Tired exhausted lazy little girl kid lying on sofaThroughout this busy holiday season, you might feel tempted to skip a workout… or ten. While you know that skipping workouts is generally a bad idea, because you’re likely to gain a few pounds, you might be surprised to learn just how bad of an idea it really is!

A recent study, published in the PLOS Genetics journal, examined the results of falling off the “exercise wagon”. And the results might alarm you.

Study participants took part in a regular exercise routine, while researchers analyzed a series of their muscle biopsies. As the fitness level of participants increased, their genes (more than 3,000 of them, to be exact) were actually altered. You know that you feel and look better while pursuing an exercise routine, but now we have proof of those changes at the genetic level.

However, those changes are not permanent. After documenting these genetic alterations, researchers asked participants to stop exercising. After just a month or two of taking time off, the majority of those gene changes had been lost. And by nine months, all progress had been completely erased at the cellular level.

Yikes! As you can see, skipping just a few workouts really does make a difference. When you take time off from exercise, you almost immediately begin losing those anti-aging benefits, and getting back into your routine is just as difficult as when you first began working out.

On the other hand, yes rest days are important. No one is saying you have to work out every single day. So this holiday season, schedule your rest days (one or two per week) at the same time as your most important celebrations. Otherwise, stick to your schedule and keep up the good work. Your body will thank you.

As always, schedule an appointment with us to discuss medical weight loss and your fitness plans. We can discuss your strategy and help to ensure that your diet and exercise regimen are safe for you.