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Is Staying Fit Easier than Getting Fit?

Several recent studies have found that when athletes completely cease training, they rapidly lose strength and endurance. Being completely inactive, even for a short period of time, de-tones muscles and compromises health.

However, these same studies also found that relatively small amounts of activity allowed the athletes to maintain much of the health and fitness they had previously gained. If they just cut back to one weight-training session and two endurance workouts per week, they lost only half as much aerobic power as those who stopped exercising altogether.

In fact, according to the New York Times:

"Even more relevant to those of us who aren't world-class athletes ... a study just published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise suggests that visiting the gym only once a week may be enough for young and older athletes to hold onto past strength gains ... There are caveats to these encouraging findings, of course. You must have a baseline level of fitness to maintain, for one thing ... If you have no fitness base, resolve now to build one."

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