Why Most Athletes Lose Lean Muscle When They Stop Exercising Competitively

Maintaining a healthy body needs discipline and hard work. Hence, it is essential to exercise more often. However, for many people, it is not possible to remain active after retiring from sports. When a sportsperson is fully involved in sports, exercising and eating right food is the norm. Their body looks remarkable and they can easily walk, jog or perform intensive exercises. In most cases, the athletes are worshiped by many people who wish to have their physiques.

However, everything changes when an athlete steps away from sports and is no longer involved in competition. We all wonder what happens to them after such a short period. When playing, they had 8 percent body-fat, but now they are over 30 percent. Many athletes have a problem with maintaining a healthy body after retiring from a sport they spent most of their years training at.

Why Many Athletes Lose Lean Muscle When They Stop Exercising Competitively

There are a few reason reasons why many athletes become unhealthy or gain weight when they retire. Apart from the age factor, most of the reasons are avoidable.

Eating habits - One major reason for gaining weight is that they do not change their eating habits even after changing their training habits. A professional athlete usually trains many times a day. They can eat anything they want since they will burn most of those calories away. But it is not easy to change their eating habits. The first years after stepping away from their sport are normally the hardest time of their life. They usually feel they want to remain fit, but on the other hand, they want to sleep and enjoy their retirement. Though gaining some weight is expected, some of them do think they can become unhealthy.

Alcohol and smoking – Consumption of alcohol and smoking can cause numerous health issues. After many athletes retire, they involve themselves in less healthy lifestyles including smoking or drinking. Smoking increases the risk of cancer and lung disease. It is also involved in weight gain. Most people who smoke are not involved in physical activities and the habit starts to affect fat distribution in the body.

Lack of physical activities – Another major issue former sportspersons face after stepping away from sports is taking a break from physical activities. Many believe it is time to take a break from the gym for some time. The idea of not waking up early to punish the body is so pleasing to almost every athlete after retiring. They normally take advantage of this situation to sleep more hours and to enjoy things they could not do when involved in sports. Many former athletes report that they have never stepped into a gym after playing their last game.

Age – When we get old, the metabolic rate tends to slow down. Burning fewer calories means adding some pounds to our frame. The best way to avoid this is working out regularly. And since most retired athletes do not like the idea of exercising again, their bodies add more weight than ever before.

What is the solution?

The solution is planning and awareness. Becoming overweight happens with athletes from every sport ranging from baseball players to footballers and tennis players. Most of these athletes do not think they can become overweight but their confidence in their bodies can betray them. When most athletes retire, they are excited because of the freedom and the break from constant training. This freedom often causes poor eating and laziness.

The solution is to understand the risks ahead of time and try to stay healthy and fit. They can perform physical activities at a slower pace than when they were in sports. Some of the activities they get involved to avoid weight gain include:

Playing baseball - a nice exercise that does not involve much energy.

Eating high fiber food – helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Having workout equipment at home - types of equipment such as adjustable dumbbells can help in weight loss.

Playing ukulele - It is a good indoor exercise that does not involve much energy.

Sleep - sleeping on a good mattress is important if you want to maintain a healthy body.

As long they observe their diet, are involved in physical activities, and have enough sleep, they can live a long and healthy life after sports. 

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