Here’s What Happens When You Don’t Exercise

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you’ve come to the conclusion that we are big on urging people to become the most awesome version of themselves.

I mean, we own a CrossFit box, so of course we are all about fitness.

And, for the most part, we’ve talked about why it’s important to get bit. But we haven’t spent any time talking about what happens if you don’t go to the gym.

That changes with this post.

We’re not in the business of scaring you, but you should know what happens when you don’t engage in regular fitness.

Let’s examine your brain and body on no exercise.

Your Brain

Researchers once studied the brains of high intensity runners and asked them to move as little as possible for ten days. This inactivity slowed the flow of blood to eight regions of their brain. The hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory formation, storage and retrieval – we talked about the hippocampus last week – was affected by the restricted blood flow.

While there were no solid results to report, we do know that the less blood that flows to the hippocampus, the more susceptible you become to poor memory.

Exercising on a regular basis also produces the “fun” chemicals like serotonin and endorphins. Since your body craves physical activity, these chemicals are released into the bloodstream so that your body tells you it wants you to continue to work out, even if your conscious brain is telling you that it hates when you do burpees.

Your Body

We don’t think it’s necessary to explain how your body benefits from exercise, but here is what is happening when you don’t exercise.

A few of the main reasons you exercise are to control your weight and blood pressure. When you don’t exercise, you burn fewer calories than you do if you do work out. (Duh.) The excess calories that don’t get burned off turn into extra weight, which goes straight to your midsection. This can turn into higher blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Plus, it gets harder to work out when you start to become overweight because you start to put stress on your joints.

If you still don’t feel the need to exercise on a regular basis, know that your muscles become weak from a lack of use. Bones also lose density with age. Working out regularly helps to keep bones and muscles from deteriorating. Not only is this going to ward off Father Time for a bit, but those muscles will react positively when you’re using them for more than just holding a remote control.

Finally, a lack of exercise just makes life unbearable. If you work high up in a building, it’s tempting to always take the elevator to get to your office because you are short of breath if you take the stairs. But that’s your body telling you to get your butt moving! The more exercise you do, the more endurance you build up. This allows you to take the stairs instead of an elevator. And when you’re climbing flights of stairs, you’re exercising, so it’s a win-win.

The next time you get to the gym on a regular basis, take a minute to take stock of how great you feel.

It feels good, doesn’t it?

Whether or not you work at a desk or your profession takes you on a job site, we all need to exercise.

But you already knew that. Consider this our way of gently nudging you to the gym, if you aren’t on your way already.

Interested in trying out our gym? Schedule a free, no-sweat intro today!

The Power of Choice

Most of us have an area in our life we wish we were performing better in. That part of us that doesn’t quite fit into our own skin. It could be a touchy subject that our spouse and friends know to steer clear of, the elephant in the room. It could be the promotion you still haven’t received, the credit card you haven’t paid off, or the weight you were supposed to lose by the beginning of  summer… in 2012.

And because you’re wearing this very uncomfortable skin that’s not quite your size I am happy to tell you that you are exactly where you chose to be today.

I can already hear the objections rising up so let me explain why.

You see I totally understand your story. I understand because it’s yours, mine, and everyone else’s. Sometimes having a new baby, a busy time at work, or the worst timing for a medical emergency/broken down car/economic depression can happen. There are a million and one events in life that can derail us. They are not always fair and can seem impossible to overcome when they show up knocking at our door.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

At that point we do an admirable thing. We give up on our dream. We set it aside to go fix the problem. We change our identity and become the superhero who knows exactly how to work overtime and take care of a sick parent. We do it because we want to make sure the story has a happy ending. We do it out of love.

And life goes on.

And sometimes the situation gets better. And sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the situation that called for a superhero 6 months ago no longer needs a hero to save it. But there you stand in cape and tights committed to action. Except now it’s time to go home. Time to write a new story.

Where you stand today is a result of many choices. Some of your hero moments were the big decisions that shaped your trajectory. Like I said, I’m proud of you for doing that. But now it’s time to get back on the path. Your path. The one you stopped telling yourself that you wanted because it hurt too bad to think that it may never come true.

You might think it’s too late (it’s not).

You might want to try, but feel that you strayed too far (you haven’t).

You have to remember you have the power of choice. And it’s a good thing that you do. It gives you the power to turn your greatest adversity into your greatest strength. You always have the option to shy away or to stand and fight.

It’s time for a new story. You’re the hero and you’re at the turning point in the movie of your life. So what are you going to do next?You’ve endured hardship, learned tough lessons, and fallen time and time again. Wouldn’t this be a great time for everything to turn around?

Maybe you can recruit someone to help you get there, a long lost friend or a wise old mentor. Maybe you need to crank up “Eye of the Tiger” and experience the training it will take to achieve your success.

The time to act is now. Don’t slip back into your old story. You are the hero. The power of choice brought you here. Your choice decides what happens next.

So what are you going to do?

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New Hudson, MI