How long does it take to get fit again? To get truly back in shape? Well, it depends. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one fits all” answer here. The most important factor to pay attention to is “What were you doing before?” This plays a big role in how quickly you can get back to where you left off. This is not to be confused with the recommendation that people should take a few days off from exercising every six to eight weeks as the body needs to repair and strengthen the muscles between workouts.
“I took two months off from lifting weights.”
The typical timeframe for getting muscle back is that it takes half of the time the person took off. If you took a two month break from lifting it would take one month of consistency in time and intensity of workouts to build back that muscle lost in two months.
“I haven’t worked out in 10 years.”
Well, a lot of things have most likely happened to your body in 10 years so it is hard to say when you will truly get back to being that fit. You are 10 years older after all. What we can say is that after two weeks of consistent workouts, you will start to see progress.
“I haven’t worked out since the new year.”
Again this depends on what you were doing before, but on average, you can expect to regain your fitness in about 16 weeks. Muscular strength can begin to improve in four to six weeks with noticeable results in 12 weeks. The same can be said about your cardio too, it follows a linear pattern.
How do you get back in shape?
It is important to start slow. So many people like to jump right back in like they never took any time off, but don’t do it. This can quickly lead to injury or kick down your motivation because you will be sore for days.
Try starting with mobility and flexibility workouts like yoga and other stretching workouts first. Then add in light cardio workouts such as light jogging or jumping on a bike. Last, add in strength training and more intense workouts.