Your brain when you stop exercising

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4 Things that happen to your brain when you stop exercising

Let’s face it, the majority of people takes a lot of work to exercise regularly. But even those that do, cease to exist at some point in their lives, either because circumstances change, because they are injured or because they have become so lazy as the rest of the world.

We all know that when we leave sport to one side, our body suffers quickly. But, did you know what your brain does too?

How does your brain change when you stop exercising?

4 Cosas que le ocurren a tu cerebro cuando dejas de hacer ejercicio

It has been proven that exercise releases endorphins, a neurotransmitter that generates feelings of well-being. Feel good psychologically, it avoids the risk of depression, besides strengthening the self-esteem.

While it is true that the impact of these consequences varies depending on the age, sex, the type, and frequency of your exercise, leave the sport it is never a good idea.

A new study from the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that even a short break, about 10 days into your training, can cause large changes in the brain.

Your mood can come crashing down

A study conducted by Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, suggests that the cardio can be so effective for boosting the mood as antidepressants.

And is that in addition to the endorphins we have already mentioned before, when you exercise, your body produces other chemicals that induce happiness, such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine or endocannabinoids. So when you stop your routine, you lose the influx of these reinforcements for the encouragement.

In just two weeks of rest, can increase the levels of depression and up the tension and the anger.

Your memory may suffer

According to research conducted by the University of Maryland, blood flow to the brain of the athletes, especially the hippocampus, a structure involved in learning and memory, significantly decreased after a break from exercising for 10 days.

A lower blood flow in the hippocampus may be related to a mild cognitive impairment and even Alzheimer’s. In addition, it can hinder the learning or the development of new memories.

When you do not do exercise, your body also produces less amount of a type of protein called cathepsin B, related to the improvement of the memory.


The exercise strengthens all the parts of the brain tissue, including gray matter. This makes the brain more resistant to stress and aging.

So if you leave aside your workouts, you may start to develop problems of information processing and critical thinking.

Concentration problems

A review of the research of the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology of the University of Amsterdam, published in the British Medical Journal, concludes that even short bursts of exercise (between 10 and 40 minutes) lead to an immediate boost in concentration.

The impulse must, at least in part, to the increase of the blood flow in the brain. Although it may also be related to the higher levels of the chemicals that we have discussed previously, that keep the brain on high alert.

Now you already know that in addition to increased body fat, decreased levels of resistance or increased sensitivity to insulin of your body, the lack of exercise is also an agent that affects rapidly to your brain.

Do you exercise regularly? What have you left for a long period of time? Oh, tell us about your experience in the comments!

Share how it affects the lack of exercise in your brain with your friends!

Cover image: Beatriz Gascon J / Shutterstock
Sources: health / mensjournal / menshealth / sciencealert

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