After a long day at work or running around after the kids, the last thing on your mind is exercise.
With food delivery apps a few taps away and that new Netflix series out, the benefits of your sofa outweigh the thought of going for a run. And more and more people are opting for a lifestyle where they do not move around much and don’t get any exercise…
And If you do not exercise, your health will get worse. So let’s look at what happens to your body if you don’t exercise?
Let’s start with your Heart
When you are physically active, your heart has to work hard to pump blood to your muscles. This is good for your heart health and there are many other benefits that come from exercising.
When you work out, your heart responds and gets stronger, similar to any other muscle in your body. If you don’t give your heart a chance to exercise though, it will stay weak and this can cause problems for your health down the road, a weak heart will not be able to withstand any attack.
A study published in February 2019 found that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading preventable factors of cardiovascular disease and death worldwide.
Not a single part of the body is spared from the effects of ageing, and that includes the brain.
Aerobic exercise helps your brain stay healthy as you age. This means that it can help you think better and remember things better. The opposite is also true…
If you do not exercise, your brain may be more vulnerable to age-related decline.
Aerobic exercise can also assist with memory and learning. In a study published in 2015, it was shown that exercising regularly can help increase the size of the hippocampus in elderly women.
This suggests that there are actual differences in the brain structure of sedentary people and those who exercise regularly.
(Check out this article on boosting your brain power)
Not only does a sedentary lifestyle impact your brain function, but it also changes your brain chemistry.
In a study published in 2018, researchers found that even healthy adults are better off mentally when they are not sedentary.
This means that people who do not move around much and stay in the same place for long periods of time have a higher chance of developing mental health problems.
Bones, Joints and ligaments
High-impact workouts and contact sports are sometimes thought to be linked with an increased risk of bone or joint injuries, but actually, you can avoid this by taking precautions.
Exercise that makes you carry your own weight has been shown to help prevent thinning of the bones and bones getting weaker. In addition, keeping your flexibility up can help you avoid injuries from falls and keep you able to carry out regular activities for a long time.
In a study from 2018, researchers found that doing exercises with weights strengthens bones. Conversely they will become weaker later on if exercise is neglected..
Intuitively, you know that sitting on the couch and bingeing Netflix Isn’t going to help your midsection.
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who spend a lot of time sitting down are more likely to be obese or have cardiovascular disease.
So the more time you spend sitting down, the bigger your waist will probably be.
It might all sound obvious but this is simply because sitting for extended periods of time burns fewer calories than other exercises.
If you eat fewer calories than you use, you will gain weight. This also increases your chance of getting insulin resistance. That is when your blood sugar is too high. High blood sugar levels can cause cardiovascular disease.
Your metabolism slows…
Your metabolism is working well right now, but it will slow down as you get older. This happens to everyone. it’s just part of life.
One way to make up for a slower metabolism is to get more exercise. This includes both cardiovascular exercises (ones that make your heart rate go up) and resistance training (lifting weights).
Research has shown that exercise can help to increase a person’s Resting Metabolic Rate. This is the rate at which your metabolism works when you are not doing any exercise or physical activity.
When you don’t do enough physical activity, your muscles get smaller (this is called sarcopenia) and you have more body fat. This makes it harder for your body to burn calories.
Your chances of getting Cancer increase.
Researchers are still trying to learn everything about cancer and what causes it. But they do know that if you don’t exercise, you have a greater chance of getting some types of cancer.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the world, as stated in a September 2018 report from the World Health Organization. Cancerous growths happen when the DNA in cells changes (this is called a gene mutation).
In December 2017, researchers published a review in the journal Sedentary Behaviour Epidemiology. They found that being sedentary is linked with an increased risk of several types of cancer.
The 25 studies found that being inactive might cause some types of cancer, like endometrial and ovarian cancers. It might also cause breast, colorectal, and lung cancers.
Regular exercise, on the other hand, appears to be linked with a decreased risk of cancer.
The Transfer Affect
You might have noticed that many people who exercise regularly also eat clean diets.
While it may appear that people who exercise more frequently choose to be healthier, it turns out that active individuals are actually drawn to nutritious meals.
This is known as the transfer effect, whereby when you learn new skills or get better at something it makes you want to improve in other areas too. This is a good method to try to develop several different healthy habits, such as working out and eating nutritious foods.
The problem is that sometimes when people stop exercising, they also stop eating healthy too. We all know just how easy it is to fall off the wagon, you find yourself eating junk food, as your body no longer has cravings for nutrient-rich foods.
Pre-made meals that are nutritionally empty, yet delicious, like sweets, bread and cake… can send your senses into overdrive. And let’s face it, digging into a tub of ice cream whilst watching episode after episode of game of thrones is certainly an easy task
If you keep eating junk food, you’ll only crave more of it. So wouldn’t it be simpler to get moderate exercise and let your body take care of hunger naturally ?
Don’t be fooled by your appearance
We all have those people in our life who are born with skinny bodies and they can eat whatever they want without gaining weight. As frustrating as you might find it, they are actually at more risk.
As these individuals become complacent. It’s easy for them to abandon exercise in favour of doing nothing but relaxing with friends or watching tv.
These individuals actually convince themselves they don’t need to work out since they were already thin.
But if there is one thing you need to know it’s that exercise does more than help us burn calories to lose weight. In reality, not getting enough exercise might have a significant influence on our bodies and future health.
The need to know: Exercise Regularly
It is important to stay physically active so you don’t waste away from sitting around too much.
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous cardio every week.
And people should aim for two weights sessions per week where they are using all their muscles to strengthen their body.
But remember the best exercise for you depends on your age, injury history and any health conditions, so don’t just sign up for a marathon or powerlifting contest on day 1 at the gym.
Reaping the benefits of exercise requires consistency, so it’s important to consider what kind of routine you’ll actually stick with.
You should focus on doing physical activity regularly, no matter what kind it is. This could include walking, crossfit, lifting weights, swimming, cycling, or a combination of different types of exercise.
Exercise has consistently been linked with a plethora of benefits, such as enhancing cardiovascular health, increasing lifespan and protecting against chronic diseases.
So get moving.
What do you notice when you don’t exercise, let us know in the comments below.