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Effects of Not Exercising

written by: Nicky LaMarco • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/30/2009

You often hear about the beneficial effects of exercising, but you may wonder if it is really as important as people say. It is. More and more people are exercising less than ever or not at all. This can lead to serious health problems that may even be fatal.

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    Without regular use, the muscles and bones grow weak. This can cause serious harm as a person grows older. People normally lose muscle and bone mass as they age. This means that if they have not built up their muscles and bones over the years, they are more likely to suffer fractures and muscular problems. A lack of exercise has been linked to osteoporosis in women. Not exercising can also make arthritis pain and disability more severe. Back pain affects millions of people and can be a crippling problem. If you do not exercise regularly, than you are at a greater risk of back pain, especially when engaging in strenuous exercise.

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    The heart is a muscle, and any muscle needs to be used regularly in order to be strong and fit. Aerobic exercise is the best way to strengthen the heart muscle and can help prevent heart attacks and other serious cardiac disease. People who do not exercise are more likely to have higher blood pressure. Also, not exercising can decrease the body's ability to control the insulin levels and glucose metabolism.

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    Exercise is one of the key factors in weight control. In fact, the government recommends at least sixty minutes of exercise each day for weight control. While that is not always possible for most people, exercise is necessary if you are trying to lose weight. Not exercising can lead to obesity depending on your food intake, and obesity is a major factor in a wide range of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

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    Exercise improves mood, concentration, and helps our bodies deal with stress and anxiety by releasing chemicals, such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine. People who do not exercise find themselves more fatigued and unable to concentrate. People who do not exercise consistently are also more likely to have depression.

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    You now know about the serious effects of a lack of exercise, but you may not know how to add exercise into your life. You should start small at first and try these tips. You will be more likely to stick to exercise if it is something you like to do. If you hate running, then do not make yourself jog every day. Instead, try a swimming class or tennis. If you are not good at sticking to a consistent schedule, then try exercising with a friend or joining a team sport. There are many local soccer and baseball leagues you can join that compete with other players at your skill level. You may find that you are severely out of shape when you start, but do not give up. Soon you will find that your fitness level has drastically improved. So start exercising today to protect your body now and for years to come.