What Can Happen When You Are Not Being Active or Exercising?

No matter how old (or young) you are, regular physical activity is important for maintaining a well-functioning body. Whether you're recovering from an injury or just being a couch potato, an inactive lifestyle is unhealthy. Not exercising doesn't just affect the way you look, but also reduces bone density, increases your risk of several preventable diseases and weakens your immune system.

Bone Loss

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, our bones require applied stress for them to grow. Bone stress causes a signal to be sent to the body to build bone density. If you don't stress your bones by exercising, you can suffer from low bone density, which can turn into a case of osteoporosis. Also, if you never exercise and stretch your joints, your arthritic joints will stiffen over time and their adjoining tissues will weaken, causing arthritis.

Muscle Loss

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Your bones need stress exerted on them to grow, and so do your muscles. A muscle's fibers need to tear for it to rebuild itself larger and stronger. So as you may already know from experience, if you don't use your muscles, you "lose" them.

Increased Risk of Disease

Muscle loss caused by inactivity makes your metabolism slow down. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body converts food and drinks into usable energy, and if you have a slow metabolism, your body ends up storing a lot of the energy you consume. This leads to weight gain and puts you at a higher risk of developing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, depression and anxiety, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

Weaker Immune System

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According to MayoClinic.com, without regular aerobic exercise, your immune system weakens. This makes it harder for your body to fight viruses such as the flu and the common cold. So if you never exercise, you're likely to find yourself getting sick more often.