What If You Didn’t Exercise at All? – Exercise, the one thing we all want to do. But, you know, I’ve got this huge project at work, can’t ever seem to keep up on the house cleaning, DEFINITELY after the New Year. We’ve all got excuses galore, but what’s happening inside your body if you DON’T exercise at all? Well, let’s review my list here.
1. A bad complexion
Exercise gets blood flowing. With good circulation coming their way, skin cells get the nourishment they need. So if they don’t get the goods (a.k.a., you’re not working out to boost blood flow), you might see more acne, dullness, and wrinkles on your face!
If you don’t move your bod, your system gets used to a low-activity lifestyle. So, let’s say your buddy invites you to go for a walk or bike ride around town. This sudden spike in movement will send your circulation into a frenzy. Blood will rush to your muscles and skin, the increased pressure will start tickling the nerves there, and you’ll start itching like mad.
3. Shortness of breath
While you’re taking a stroll with your pal, you’ll also find that you can’t seem to catch your breath. Any physical movement that’s more than your norm will have you feeling winded. A short flight of stairs, running for the bus, even cleaning your house will have you taking breaks to catch your breath!
4. Low energy
Don’t expect to feel alive and vibrant if you spend most of the day sitting. It’s all got to do with that blood pumping through your veins. Exercise boosts circulation, and you already know what that does to all the cells in your body, not just your muscles. Without regular physical activity, your whole system sort of goes on stand-still, and your energy levels plummet.
5. Sleepless nights
If you’re not using a lot of energy throughout the day, your body will have a hard time going into Sleep Mode. Just because you feel tired, weak, and lazy all day, that doesn’t mean you’ll want to fall asleep immediately come bed time. Exercise helps tire you out, so your body desperately craves rest when the time comes.
6. Sugar cravings
A lot of the consequences of not exercising are connected, and this negative effect comes from those low energy levels. Your body will crave sugar for a quick fuel source to boost your energy. The problem is that you come crashing down not long after you fill yourself with junkfood and caffeine. That means, the more candy and soda you take in, the more your body wants it in order to keep going.
7. Mental fog
If your brain isn’t getting much oxygen (you know, because poor circulation and shortness of breath), it won’t be on top of its game. Without regular physical exercise, you might find yourself having a hard time concentrating on tasks, staying focused, and processing information. You ever walk into a room and forget what you came for? Exactly…
8. Light headedness
Blood pressure can fluctuate when you don’t have a regular exercise routine. So, let’s say it’s on the low end and you bend down to pick up something you dropped. You stand back up, and boom – instant case of the dizzies! If your blood pressure is too high, you can have frequent headaches, irregular heartbeat,and even vision problems!
9. More sick days
Better sleep, a healthy diet, and all the things that usually come with an active lifestyle all help to strengthen immunity. If you’re living more like a sloth, then expect more sick days from work or school. Before you rejoice at that, don’t forget that a weakened immune system can make you susceptible to stuff that’s way scarier than the cold or flu! You need your body’s defense system in good shape to protect you from the really nasty germs and infections out there in the world!
10. Weak muscles
If you’re not moving your muscles, then they won’t build strength – period. Without exercise, you might struggle just to lift the grocery bags and carry them into the house!Even standing for a long time can wear you out.
Building strength in your muscles often means improving your balance and sharpening your mental clarity. Let’s say you go to pick up those grocery bags and end up throwing your back out because your muscles are being over strained! Or maybe you can’t endure the weight, so you drop a bag, and all those canned goods fall on your foot! Ow! Perhaps the bag in your left hand is heavier than the right one, so you lose your balance and take a tumble. Yeah, exercise often means fewer injuries!
You don’t just build strength when you work those muscles of yours. You improve flexibility as well. No stretching in the form of physical activity means painful muscle and joint stiffness. Of course, my next point only makes this one worse…
13. Poor posture
You might associate your muscles with lifting dumbbells and flexing like Schwarzenegger. But they’re so much more important! You need them just to hold your body upright as you’re walking, sitting, or standing. With weak muscles, you often get slouching. And what does poor posture mean?Back and neck pain, yes, obviously. But it also causes poor circulation and organ function because of the pressure you’re putting on your innards!
14. Digestive issues
Yeah, if you’re squishing your guts (and starving them of oxygen, overloading them with junk food cravings, and so on), don’t expect them to work right either! That, and since your body is on stand-still, your metabolism will do the same. Then come digestive issues like acid reflux, bloating, and irregularity.
15. Bone problems
Exercise strengthens your bones too. Weight-lifting and high-impact activities like running or jogging put pressure on your bones. Your body reacts by strengthening them. Without that, your bones become less dense and more fragile. That means higher risk of fractures and loss of bone mass. Bone loss is especially dangerous because you don’t really see the symptoms until it’s too late.
16. Mental health issues
Your brain contains happy hormones. Physical activity, among all the other things on this list, also boosts the production of these mood-boosters! Without exercise, depression, anxiety, and mood swings can appear or worsen. So give me the happy hormones!
17. A less-than-desirable reflection
Ok, let’s recap here: you’ve got weak flabby muscles, dark circles under your eyes from no sleep, bad skin, and poor posture. Doesn’t make for a very nice picture, does it? Who cares about what other people think? It’s your own self-esteem and confidence that can take a nose-dive because of all these physical consequences of not exercising. Then you won’t want to socialize, and it just snowballs downhill from there. Another confidence crusher will be…
18. Weight gain…obviously
Think of it this way: your energy levels are low, which also means your metabolism slows down. You’re craving all this junk food and not burning the extra calories off in the form of physical activity. They stick around, fat builds up, and no surprise – weight gain follows. Don’t make Jabba the Hutt your role model.
Now, I’m not going to preach at you to go out there and hit the gym, join a track team,or kick your sibling or roommate out of the house so that you can buy a bunch of equipment and turn their room into a workout space. Not that it wouldn’t be fun. Or that you need to stop watching TV and playing video games altogether because those are the culprits of a sedentary lifestyle.
No need for drastic measures here. Just get out and get moving! And start off small – you don’t need to do a 180 overnight…Keep it simple. Set a limit for your TV time, and take a walk around the block once it’s over. Make it a rule: 1 hour of TV = 20 minutes of physical activity. Even as you’re watching TV, do crunches, push-ups, or plank during commercial breaks.
Hey sometimes when I’m watching football, I’ll get up and run in place as hard as I can during the actual play, and stop when the play is over. Works up a sweat for sure. Wanna scroll through your social media? Make yourself do a set of jumping jacks first. Again, be sure to set a time-limit though! You gotta earn that scroll! Waiting for your coffee to brew?
Bust out some squats as you wait! Don’t just stand there and brush your teeth – that’s boring! Some standing high-knees shouldn’t be too difficult to do. Easy, don’t step on the cat! Turn on some jams and dance as you’re getting ready in the morning. That’s my personal favorite (not so much my neighbors’), there are so many ways you can include physical activity in your day-to-day. Leave your own recommendations down in the comments, and feel free to get creative.
Anyway, you can even multitask and make it a social thing with your friends. Oh, that really gets fun because then your competitive spirit comes out! Who can do more lunges? Play a game of basketball together. Hey, you might even find some new interests and make new friends! If you start slow, your body won’t be shocked into this new healthy lifestyle. Just commit to doing a little something everyday, don’t skip a day, and eventually you’ll work yourself up to a regular exercise habit.