Check your mindsetYevhenia Haidamaka / Rd.com
Too busy to exercise? Or not motivated enough? A recent U.K. study analyzed what happened when healthy people took a break from physical activity for two weeks (they reduced their daily step count from 10,000 a day to 1,500 per day). They discovered that their new sedentary habits lead to a loss of muscle, more fat, and reduced cardio fitness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. One way to minimize fitness losses when you can’t exercise as much is to adopt the right mindset, says Cris Dobrosielski, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise and owner of Monumental Results in San Diego. Forget the “all or nothing” approach that keeps you thinking that one or two days a week isn’t good enough—so you might not get in any activity at all. “That’s an unfortunate cognitive approach that leads to destructive behavior,” he says.
Realize it can be good for youYevhenia Haidamaka / Rd.com
Rather than assuming the worst-case scenario (I’m going to turn into a ball of mush! I will never get in the habit again!), a planned week with less formal exercise can do your body good. Even athletes take an “unloading” week where they exercise at lower volumes and lower intensity, says Dobrosielski. Apply that same attitude and suddenly you’re having a week focused on rest and restoration—not a bad thing. Make sure you’re sleeping well, too, with these 13 secrets from sleep doctors.