What Really Happens When You Stop Exercising?

Quitting exercise has numerous negative effects on your health—and mood changes may be the first to rear their ugly head, according to Jim White, an ACSM exercise physiologist. “The brain will begin to change, and the person may have brain fog or not feel as cheerful,” he says. “This is because the brain does not receive as much blood going to the hippocampus as it would if the person was exercising.” One study from the University of Adelaide found that stopping exercise can increase depressive symptoms after just three days.

After two weeks of not exercising, your blood vessels begin to stiffen and your pressure can begin to rise, South African researchers found. In another study, Japanese researchers discovered that after three sedentary months, endurance athletes experienced increased arterial stiffness, which has been shown to contribute to a rise in blood pressure; after 12 months of detraining, that stiffness became even more significant.

Excepted from Reader’s Digest

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