Something Incredibly Weird Happens To Your Body When You Take Time Off From Exercising

It's not just the extra pounds you need to worry about.

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As life struggles go, developing a regular gym habit can be straight up hard, and the more time you take off the more difficult it is to get back into it.

The good news is that a day or two off won’t do you any harm (it’s actually crucial to help you recover) but a 10-day streak of hitting the sofa instead of squat machine can actually have some big repercussions – and it wont’ just show up in your physique, it’ll also have some sizable impacts on your brain.

See, according to researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, the hippocampus, the area of your brain that’s responsible for learning and memory, experiences a significant decrease in blood flow when you stop exercising for 10 days or more.

“We know that the hippocampus plays an important role in learning and memory and is one of the first brain regions to shrink in people with Alzheimer’s disease,” says the study’s lead author Carson Smith. “So, it is significant that people who stopped exercising for only 10 days showed a decrease in brain blood flow in brain regions that are important for maintaining brain health.”

He adds: “if you do stop exercising for 10 days, just as you will quickly lose your cardiovascular fitness, you will also experience a decrease in blood brain flow.”

The take home? If skipping the gym has you feeling sluggish and groggy, it might just be time to get right back into it.

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