Getting in shape can take a lot of commitment to the cause, but so can staying in shape. It’s not the type of thing that maintains unless you do. But there are times in life that we might have to skip the gym here and there, sometimes for health reasons, sometimes life just gets in the way. But how quickly do we actually start falling out of shape?

Well some research has shown that you will start to notice decreases to your fitness levels within a single week of inactivity.

Other research suggests that your fitness will start to decline by the two week mark, although you might notice that returning to a cardio activity could feel challenging even before that point.

If keeping muscle tone is important to you, this is definitely something to keep in mind. You don’t want to lose those gains for no reason.

Some studies say that the amount of oxygen you can take in and use will be declining by the time you hit the one month mark of not working out.

Another thing that will happen is that the volume starts to decrease at a rapid pace, which makes the oxygen intake even more strained. The ability to oxidize fat stores decreases, and the enzymes that are used to metabolize energy in general also start to decline.

This can also vary a lot for the individual and depends on your current level of fitness. For people who are super fit it will start to go away faster because you’re already pushing the higher levels. But then again, if you have been active in training for a long time you will hold onto some of the fitness longer than you would if you did not have a history of it.

However do keep in mind that while it might feel like a pain to get back to your peak fitness levels, you are still better off than you were before you started at all. While some declines are just going to happen if you take time off, it takes much longer to lose the progress that you made than it took to make it to begin with. Just be sure to get back in action as soon as you can.

Also keep in mind that sometimes rest from workouts is necessary, for both physical and mental health. Even the best athletes in the world take their time off to rest and recover. That doesn’t mean that you should take a week off each month, but that if you are forced to every once in awhile it might actually do you some good.