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3 Things That Happen When You Stop Working Out

By Genevieve Cunningham

We’ve all heard about the benefits of working out. The weight loss, the muscle growth, the boost in self-esteem. We’ve been told how much our lives will change for the better when we engage in regular exercise. But what happens in the reverse? What if you’ve been working out regularly and then suddenly stop? Is it really that big of a deal? If you’ve been losing your workout motivation, take a look at what happens to your body and mind when you stop working out.

Stiffness and Inflexibility

It doesn’t take long at all for stiffness and inflexibility to set in. Our bodies need constant movement in order to remain flexible. While you may not notice any big changes immediately, it won’t be long until you notice that it hurts to stretch, is uncomfortable to bend, and feel the stiffness settling into your muscles and ligaments. While stretching will help (even without exercise), maintaining a regular workout routine is your best defense against inflexibility.

Energy Loss

You might think that giving up your workout will lead to more energy throughout the day. But this thought process usually backfires. When we exercise, our body is able to work more efficiently, thus freeing energy. It also forces the creation of endorphins and adrenaline, two hormones that contribute to energy reserves. Unless you want to feel sluggish and rundown, keep up with your exercise a little bit every day.

Weight Gain

This is probably the most obvious negative side effect of quitting exercise, but it usually happens more quickly than people realize. You might not gain 100 pounds overnight, but it won’t take long to gain 3 to 5 pounds. This won’t seem like much, but your body will get used to the extra weight quickly and it will become the new norm. After a bit longer, you may gain an additional 3 to 5 pounds. But again it won’t seem like that much. As this continues over time, you may notice the pounds piling on … slowly enough to ignore, but significant enough to make a difference.

Should you take a break from working out? A small break won’t make or break your health, but a significant break may cause some unwanted side effects to happen. Don’t let these happen to you. Stick to your routine, push through the lack of motivation, and keep yourself in shape. With some willpower, you can avoid these problems and keep your body in the best shape of your life.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pittsburgh, Pa.

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