Hello my friends,
We often talk about the benefits of exercising and being physically active, but we do not talk enough about what happens to our health when we DO NOT exercise.
We know the therapeutic benefits of exercise, which help keep us in shape and sustain proper body function.
It has been recommended that every healthy individual engages in 45-50 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise regularly as well.
But, have you thought about what happens when there is exactly zero exercise? Or when you go without exercising for a significant amount of time?
While we can safely agree that there are some lifestyle habits (from drinking, smoking, eating excessive junk, etc.), which can be detrimental to our well-being, not moving a single muscle can be just as bad.
Take this for example. While regular, brisk exercise is said to delay aging, not meeting required levels of physical activity can accelerate the risk of prematurely dying, and causes more deaths globally than tobacco consumption or diabetes, as per a study published in The Lancet.
Now, while skipping a day or two of exercise (or even a week) would not do much harm to our body, there is a lot of graver risks if we go without budging an inch, or moving our arms upwards for a month.
Here are 8 things that can happen if we do not exercise regularly or remain physically active:
1. Our Heart Becomes Less Efficient
Exercise keeps the heart pumping and active. Aerobic and cardio exercises done regularly are linked to a good heart rate and a lower risk of heart ailments.
However, if we do not exercise or go a long time without any form of physical activity, we will start to experience our heart functioning poorly and have it impact everyday tasks. The heart rate can get disturbed, we can encounter shortness of breath, and coupled with poor dietary habits, we will be vulnerable to facing heightened heart issues and cholesterol levels as well.
2. Our Muscles And Bones Weaken Down
One of the most important roles exercise plays is to keep the muscle and bones cells strong. When we do not exercise or move around, not only do we undo all the progress previously made, it can also reduce the muscle strength we have and make us feel a lot weaker.
Simply said, our muscles weaken down and we lose out on the bulk of our muscles, which are needed from breathing to movement facilitation.
Even picking up simple weights can seem tougher, and muscle function may not remain energetic or as helpful as before. Weak muscles may also make it difficult for us to carry out everyday tasks and activities, and increase the risk of falls.
Moreover, it also deregulates the ability of bones to absorb calcium, making way for weaker bones over time. This is one of the major reasons for the ever increasing number of osteoporosis patients in the world
3. We Can Struggle To Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Believe it or not, exercise has an important link with good quality sleep and if we are not fulfilling any of the two – sleep or exercise, we are exposing ourselves to the risk of bad health. When we work out intensely or go to the bed tired after a brisk walk or run, chances are we will enjoy good sleep and wake up feeling energized.
That is the pivotal role exercise plays in facilitating sleep. And, when we do not move around or stretch those muscles, we will risk bad sleep.
Not only is exercise a great stress buster and sleep inducer, not getting good sleep can be a sign that we are skimping on the required physical activity needed for the day.
What also needs to be remembered is that poor quality (and fewer hours) of sleep on an everyday basis has also been linked to several metabolic and hormonal issues, including diabetes risk, weight gain, poor mental health.
4. We Lose Out On Endurance
Exercise builds stamina and makes us gain endurance. And, when we do not exercise, we are at a big risk of undoing all the gains and becoming relatively weaker, in a very short time. Remember, endurance counts as a key measure to determine how healthy and fit we are as we age.
A study done in reference to this analyzed the dip in endurance levels over time in swimmers. When their VO2 levels (amount of oxygen exerted during intense exercise) were compared to the time they engaged in only basic exercise, it was observed that there was a whopping 11.2% level drop. With significantly lower physical activity levels, the drop could be even more shocking.
5. Our Blood Sugar Levels Get Disrupted
Type-2 diabetes is a big risk factor and sadly very common in our country. While it is a metabolic disorder characterized by a lot of symptoms, one of the changes that can disrupt blood sugar functioning is lack of physical activity.
Yes, that is true. Since exercise plays a major role in determining how our body processes carbohydrates, doing little to no exercise can accelerate blood sugar rise, increase inflammation levels, and make us prone to tackling obesity.
6. Our Metabolism Slows Down
The lesser the activity, the slower the metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of every chemical activity in our body. It keeps us alive and functioning. When there is very little physical activity, the body adjusts itself to a very low BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). The lower the BMR, the higher the chances of fat gain and many other disorders that can be easily avoided.
7. We Have Sluggish Brain Response
Regular exercise supports better functioning of the central nervous system. It boosts the oxygenated blood flow and strengthens the nerve signaling of almost every cell in our body. In the absence of physical activity, this entire process gets sluggish as there is no efficient supply of oxygenated blood.
8. Depression and Anxiety
Guess what, a majority of depression cases can be controlled by embracing a fitness lifestyle. In the absence of physical activity, our brain health goes for a toss (factors mentioned above) which leads to depression and anxiety.
Try to understand that exercise is not a luxury. It is the need of the body. Adopt an active lifestyle by either joining a gym, playing a sport or at least by going for a regular morning/evening walk.
Remember, prevention is better than cure, therefore, stop being a couch potato!
Contact us today and let us show you the right way to exercise to keep your body functioning properly, and help you to do the things you love.
See you next week!