How Fast Do You Fall Out of Shape?

Given the current pandemic, many people have replaced their regular exercises to only walking or running at the moment as most gyms are close and all gym equipment are out of stock in most stores.

Walking is a form of exercise. walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress.

However, walking alone is not enough to keep us fit and healthy.

How Quickly Will We Lose It?

The general rule is “use it or lose it,” but how quickly you’ll lose it?

Muscles Loss

Inactivity for most people (non-athletes) will cause reduce in muscles strength at a rate of roughly 1-3% per day with noticeable strength loss after 2.5-3 weeks.

If individual is keeping some kind of light movement/exercise, you can slow the rate of muscles lost to about 4-5 weeks without noticeable changes. However, if you are sick and were immobilized, muscles strength can decrease up to 50% in just 3 weeks

For athletes taking a break, general strength doesn’t change much during a two-week hiatus. But the muscles used for skills that are very specialized for certain sports, such as slow-twitch muscle fibers for endurance athletes, will decline at a faster rate.

Cardiovascular decline

Strength of our hearts and lungs decline more quickly that muscles strength. When deconditioning occurs, our heart will gradually lose the ability to handle extra blood pump by up to 5% in 24hours.

Resting heart rate will also increase by 4-15 beats within 3-4 weeks of deconditioning before it plateaus. Studies shown that deconditioning show that oxygen intake capacity that was gained after exercising regularly for 2 months will be lose after just one month on inactivity.

Some light at the end of the tunnel

The effects of deconditioning on your muscles, cardiovascular system and weight can all be restored with exercise however it would require months of retraining.

Here at Capital Physiotherapy, we will help individual get back to their fitness level and by giving each individual a tailor re conditioning program depending on what we assess and educate each client with specific advice on frequency for exercising, rest period for optimal performance, type of exercises and what to look out for to prevent deconditioning/ injuries to occur in such a time that we are living in, even if we can’t go to our regular exercise outlet, we can still have ways to keep us fit and healthy.

If you feel that you might be suffering from deconditioning symptoms, I would suggest seeing one of our experienced physiotherapists, where we can assess the severity of your deconditioning issues and more importantly, come up with a treatment plan. It is important that you get this looked at and treated soon, prolong deconditioning can result in poorer treatment outcome as well as chronic pain and inability to do your normal activities.

At Capital Physiotherapy, your initial appointment is 1 hour long. This allows our physios to be thorough in their assessment, as well as giving them enough time to give you treatment on the same consultation!

If you have questions regarding any physiotherapy related concerns, we have Telehealth Consultation or drop us an email at