USE IT OR LOSE IT: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU STOP DOING CARDIO
So, they say…”use it, or lose it.” I didn’t realize how true that was until it happened to me.
My only job in Colorado was being a fitness instructor. I was teaching 4 classes a week and always would throw in 1 or 2 more of other instructors’ classes. I ate…A LOT, just to keep up with my calorie burn. Fast forward a month. I moved to Atlanta was working full time, temporarily living in a 2 bedroom apartment with no place to work out, and still eating A LOT. I went to a few classes but nothing was working. Still, I did quite a bit of yoga and a handful of treadmill classes. Somewhere along the way I ended up getting a hip injury. Not good. It put me out of commission in a big way. I couldn’t even walk for a workout.
Our first big shoot was coming up for REB3L, and I prayed my hip would hold out. I stayed off of it weeks before the shoot. I didn’t even begin to think my endurance would be an issue; it had only been 6 weeks since I had done REB3L Groove.
So, off I went to Colorado to do the shoot.
My absence from cardio hit me in a BIG way. (Well, that and the lack of oxygen after being at sea level for so long 😉 ) But, not having kept up with my cardio hurt me, badly. I never could have imagined how bad. Of course we were hitting it hard: three 7+ hour days in a row of non-stop REB3L Groove. I ended up getting sick, and the paramedics came. I went down on the shoot and was even out for two songs. The altitude hurt me a bit, but honestly I think it was the lack of cardio in my life the 6 weeks leading up to it.
So, being one of those who needs answers and needs to understand the “why,” I started doing a little research. Basically, it comes down to this: It only takes 7-14 days for you to start losing endurance associated with cardio. Strength takes a little longer–about 2-3 weeks–but you don’t want to lose that either!
This holiday season, take some time to shop and hang with the family. Just be sure to try to squeeze in a couple cardio sessions a week to keep up all the work that has already been invested. That way you won’t be back at square one when you get back into your routine.