It’s easy to focus on the present without thought of the future, but the choices you make today will affect tomorrow. Stay up late tonight and you’ll be tired tomorrow morning. Skip flossing for a few months and your dentist is more likely to find cavities. Skip exercising and—well, you can overcome that any day, right? After all, you’re in good health and not too overweight, so why exercise? Since you don’t have time to workout and prefer not to break a sweat, you may think you are exempt from needing to work out.
Unfortunately, this incorrect thinking can have very dangerous side effects.Though exercise may not be your favorite thing to do, physical activity should be a regular part of your life for a host of reasons. Not only does working out help your mood and your physique, but people who lead a sedentary lifestyle are at a greater risk for medical conditions, weight gain, clinical depression, and premature death.
Here’s what can happen when you don’t exercise:
You drive to work, sit all day at a desk, drive home, and sit all evening on the couch. If this sounds like you, prepare yourself for disease, sickness, and failing health. Just as exercise cuts your likelihood of suffering all sorts of ailments, not getting in the gym on a regular basis drastically increases your risk for major diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and high blood pressure. Think of the pain, anxiety, medical bills, and life-altering changes that come with diseases like this.
Exercise boosts your immune system so it’s not just the big, scary diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle, but smaller illnesses, too. Spend your life sitting around all day and you should expect more sick days with colds, flu, and other infection, because they’re right around the corner.
Coupled with an unhealthy diet, an inactive lifestyle can cause you to pack on the pounds over time. When you don’t burn the calories you eat, they turn to fat in your body. Numerous health conditions are linked to excess weight and especially to visceral fat (the fat around your waist that surrounds your internal organs).
Being overweight comes with more problems than just your health. Think of your self-esteem, discomfort, joint pain, discrimination, clothes that don’t fit, or the extra cost to travel. All because you’re not getting up and moving your body.
Depression Sets In
Studies show those who don’t get enough exercise are more prone to depression, low self-esteem, and anxiety. Exercise is one of the best and most natural remedies for depression and other mood disorders. It releases feel good endorphins that improve your mood. Working out also helps relieve pent-up tension, builds self-confidence, and provides a healthy hobby to fill your time.
Studies show 1 in 10 deaths are attributed to a lack of exercise. It may be hard to believe, but a sedentary lifestyle is associated with all of the following statistics:
- Men are at a 45 percent greater risk of dying from cancer and women’s risk for cancer-related death increases by 28 percent.
- The risk of dying from respiratory problems increases 92 percent for men and 75 percent for women.
- Heart disease deaths increase by 52 percent for men and 28 percent for women.
These stats have you on the edge of your seat? Take the next step by standing up and walking around the block. It’ll do your body and mind good. It may even save your life.