You are at higher risk for depression
Quitting exercise has numerous negative effects on your health, and mood changes may be the first to rear their ugly head, according to exercise physiologist Jim White. “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.
Need some motivation to start exercising again? Take up hobbies you did as a child that double as kilojoule-burning workouts.
Your blood pressure rises
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.
You’ll lose control over blood sugar
If you can keep your blood sugar levels steady, you’ll lower your risk of weight gain, fatigue and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that participants who followed an eight-month-long regime of strength and aerobic training improved their blood glucose levels, but about half of them lost those benefits within 14 days of quitting exercise.