What Are the Risks of Not Staying Physically Active?

Pretty much everyone knows that smoking is bad for you at this point. Whether that convinces someone to quit or to not start is another issue, but the point is that everyone knows it’s bad for your health. That should say something about how serious physical inactivity is when sitting is now being compared to smoking. 

Increased Weight Gain

One of the most obvious risks of not staying physically active is that the likelihood of your weight increasing goes up significantly over the long-term. This happens for a couple of different reasons. First, and most obviously, being physically active burns calories. When you aren’t active, you aren’t burning those calories, which means that energy is being converted into fat and stored by your body. Second, and perhaps a little less obvious, is that you lose muscle when you don’t use it. Since having more muscle means burning more calories, when you lose muscle, your body loses some of its capacity to burn off calories.

Weaker Bones

Physical activity is crucial to keeping your bones strong. This is because bones become more dense in response to the loads placed on them. The reverse is also true. If you don’t put some amount of stress on your bones, they won’t strengthen that way. That can mean trouble later in life since bones naturally lose density as people age. If it gets bad, that can lead to conditions like osteoporosis, which makes people more susceptible to fractures, including vertebral fractures. TYMLOS may help reduce the risk of vertebral fractures in people with osteoporosis.

Increased Risk of Some Cancers

Cancer is the second leading cause of death for people in the United States. While there isn’t much that can be done to prevent some types of cancer, others are often heavily influenced by lifestyle, including the level of physical activity you engage in. Regardless of how much you weigh, being physically active reduces your risk of developing cancers like lung, kidney, stomach, esophageal, breast, colon, uterus, and bladder cancer.

Clearly there are some risks that come with not staying physically active. The general recommendation is to participate in 150 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular activity per week, or an average of 30 minutes per day for 5 days, and at least two days spent on muscle-strengthening activities that engage all the major muscle groups. It may sound like a lot, but if you find something active that you truly enjoy doing, trust us – the time will fly by.

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Simon Greenberg

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