“Hurray!! I have reached my ideal weight and my fitness levels are more than average. It’s time I can quit rigorous gym sessions and chill for a while.”
Well, if you ever thought so then you surely know how quitting exercise effects your body adversely. There comes a time when you want to relax or maybe you have a tied up schedule next month but if you stop exercising your body will change for the worse.No denying the fact that you had worked hard for months to get the perfect shape and fitness of your body, but quitting exercise for as less as two weeks can reverse the positive effects.
While stopping exercise clearly deteriorates your strength, endurance and metabolism, it has many other effects on overall body’s health and fitness.
What happens to your body when you quit exercising?
The phase when a fitness freak stops exercising is called detraining. Irrespective of how fit you are, if you stop exercising your body drops the fitness levels. Here are a few examples.
1. Lower stamina
A regular fall in VO2 max(level of oxygen being used by your body while exercising) is observed in people who stop exercising. VO2 max represents the degree of endurance. Studies suggest a drop of 15 % in first month.It can cause breathlessness while doing any physical task like playing a football match or taking up the stairs. So in a nutshell, it lowers your body’s stamina.
2. Fat restoration
In no time you will again put on all the lost fat if you completely become sedative. The golden rule for keeping obesity at bay is to burn more calories than being consumed. Boycotting any routine workout plan will give your body no excuse to shed the extra calories. Your body starts losing muscle mass and fat burning metabolism, causing weight rebound. So even in unavoidable circumstances sneak sometime out for a quick workout.
3. Blood sugar levels escalation
Post meals, the glucose levels in your blood increases. But the active muscles continuously use up sugar in the bloodstream as a source of energy and regulate the glucose levels. But if your physical activity rate is low, then excess sugar remains in the blood for longer time, thus increasing the risk of diabetes.
4. Loss in muscular strength
Interesting thing about muscles is their ability to grow after wear and tear. When you stop exercising, you are not giving muscles any physical stress that should cause it to enlarge or strengthened. Thus detraining phase introduces your toned muscles to atrophy. As a matter of fact, now you might have to work twice as hard to regain the same muscular strength.
5. Effects Brain’s performance
An active brain resides in an active body. If you are not adequately active for a while, your brain’s functioning gets affected. You will see a change in alertness, decision making ability and brain-body coordination. Exercising also prevents loss of brain tissues and rather generates new brain cells. This occurs due to increased blood flow to brain while exercising.
6. De-condition Cardio organs
Exercise enhances your cardiac output. Hence your heart can pump out more blood with each contraction and your blood vessels can supply more blood to different body parts. Not exercising will decrease theability of blood vessels to oxygenate and lower the number of capillaries. This can also cause high blood pressure. Broadly all these factors lead to cardio deconditioning and increased risk of heart diseases.
7. Worsens Memory
Ageing or some neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer saps your memory. Hippocampus is that region of brain which stores memories. A pause in your exercise routine will slow down the flow of blood to hippocampus and allow it to shrink. This makes it difficult to memorize and recollect. Regular moderate physical workout can prevent age related or chronic memory loss.
8. Psychological effects
Regularly exercising will not only boost your health and fitness, it will also pump your mood. During workout, your body produces hormones like endorphins, dopamine, serotonin etc. which have calming effects on your brain. They keep depression and anxiety away and lift your mood.
Considering the ill effects of not exercising, you should manage to take some time out of your busy schedule to safeguard your health in the long run.