Negative Effects of the Lack of Exercising

Man at television with remote control
Lack of exercise can contribute to a number of negative health conditions. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Just as exercise creates a number of positive effects in the body, a sedentary lifestyle creates negative effects. Lack of exercise affects the heart, lungs, blood sugar levels, joints, bones, muscles and mood. It may even play into the development of other heath conditions such as cancer and mental decline. Not exercising affects your ability to control your weight. Despite these negative effects, large numbers of people still do not get regular exercise.

Cardiovascular Health

One of the major risk factors for heart disease is inactivity. Because the heart is a muscle, it grows stronger with exercise and is able to pump blood to all parts of the body more effectively. Regular, vigorous exercise carries the most benefit for preventing heart disease, but any amount of exercise compared to none is helpful. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, swimming or biking on most days of the week. Regular exercise also helps keep arteries flexible, guaranteeing good blood pressure. People who are sedentary have a 35 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Arthritis

Even though you might not feel like doing it, exercise is one of the main aids for painful joints. Moderate exercise can reduce pain and help you control your weight. By the same token, not exercising will only worsen your condition. If you do not exercise you will not receive the benefits of strengthening the muscles around your joints or having more energy and strength to get through the day. Range-of-motion exercises, weight training and aerobic exercise are all beneficial to arthritis, but you must take precautions ahead of time to avoid injury. Warmup slowly and apply heat to the joints you plan to exercise.

Weight Control

Women who are regular exercisers lose significantly more weight, even without altering their diets, than women who are sedentary, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It might require as much as 45 to 60 minutes of exercise daily to attain weight loss. It usually requires both dieting and exercise to achieve weight loss, but people who exercise are more likely to stay on a diet than those who do not. Even fidgeting may help keep weight off. People with desk jobs who shift positions frequently experience a benefit from doing so.

Other Health Conditions

Regular exercise may reduce the risk of colon, breast and possibly prostate cancer. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports on studies that say regular exercise might reduce the risk of colon cancer by 50 percent and breast cancer in both pre- and post-menopausal women by 30 percent. People who have colon cancer and take up exercising may reduce their risk of recurrence. Regular exercise, especially walking, might reduce your risk of memory loss. Exercising briskly for 30 minutes three times a week has been shown to be as effective as an antidepressant for mild-to-moderate depression. There is a strong link between children between 8 to 12 years old who are physically inactive and depression.

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