Health

What happens to your body when you stop being active?

It is easy to get into bad habits: too much couch time, slouching in an office chair for hours on end, and not exercising regularly. We all succumb to this once in a while. The problem is, you’re doing your body more harm than good. Here are some motivating reasons that highlight why you should lead an active lifestyle all of the time:

DIFFICULTY SLEEPING – People that are not active are at greater risk for sleep apnea than people who spend most of their day with some form of light or moderate activity. Sitting still in an office all day with no form of activity can therefore put you in a bad cycle of restless sleep alongside the long hours spent sitting still.

WEIGHT GAIN – Within a week of not hitting the gym, your muscles lose some of their fat burning potential, and your metabolism slows down. This usually happens when you lifestyle changes. Inactive days as a student or office worker can lead to weight gain and a slower metabolism.

MUSCLE SHRINKAGE – Studies show that after a week of not working out, your muscle mass decreases. Your body burns more calories maintianing muscle than it does maintaning fat. This means that the more muscle that you build and maintain, the more calories that your body will naturally burn every day on its own.

DECREASED ENDURANCE – Within two weeks of avoiding the gym, the amount of oxygen your working muscles can use decreases by about 20 percent. Did you know that your working muscles can take oxygen out of the blood three times as well as your resting muscles?

INCREASED STRESS – Exercise releases endorphins, so if you stop working out, you’re more likely to feel stress and have mood swings. Research shows that physically active people report greater feelings of excitement and enthusiasm than less-active people. This means that being active actually helps you handle everyday challenges in a better way. Does that count as a life hack?

INCREASED CRAVINGS – Cravings for “comfort foods” are a result of lack of positive influence on mood, energy, and stamina that you get from exercise. This means that exercising helps you gain control of mindless comfort eating.

LESS GRAY MATTER – Your ability to grow brain cells decreases, while your chances of suffering from depression increases. Scientists have found that being active and leading a healthy lifestyle helps to sharpen the mind in exactly the same way as it increases the fitness levels of the body. Constant, steady gentle movement during your day leads to the growth of new cells in the area of the brain that boosts memory. It is not clear why being active triggers the growth og gray matter (known as neurogenesis) but it may be linked to the increased blood flow or higher levels of hormones that are released when the body is in activity.

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