Not Doing This 1 Thing Can Increase Your Chances of Getting These Deadly Diseases

You’ve already snoozed your alarm three times. It’s Monday, it’s raining, and even though you promised yourself you’d get a workout in this morning, chances are, it’s not happening.

You know exercise is good for you. What you might not know is how much not getting out of bed to work out might increase your risk for multiple, potentially deadly diseases. If your alarm isn’t enough to get you up and moving, maybe the thought of living with — or dying from — these conditions might.

Cancer

Cancer patient with therapy dog

Cancer risk can be increased if you never move your body. | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Deadly diseases like cancer don’t just appear out of nowhere. They begin deep in your DNA and throw your body totally out of whack. Of all the things you can do to reduce your cancer risk, working out might be one of the most important.

Physical inactivity increases your risk for colon, breast, and other cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, regular exercise could decrease your risk of developing at least 13 different types.

Next: This deadly syndrome can result in a stroke.

Metabolic syndrome

Woman checking her waistline

This disease is no joke. | iStock.com/champja

There are five criteria for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome:

  • HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dl
  • Fasting blood sugar greater than 100
  • Waistline measurement of 35 inches or above for women
  • Triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dl
  • A blood pressure of 130/85 or higher.

A person must meet at least three of these five factors. Metabolic syndrome has many potential health consequences, including an increased risk of stroke, but it’s often treated with, among other things, exercise.

Next: Exercise and mental health share a closer link than you might realize.

Depression

A sad and depressed young man

This mental health illness impacts many people across the globe. | iStock.com/lolostock

Not everyone diagnosed with depression is at high risk of suicide, but that’s not the only potential outcome that makes depression dangerous. Depression also increases your risk of stroke, dementia, substance abuse, and additional mental health issues.

People who do not exercise — especially those who sit for long periods of time — are more likely to develop depression than physically active individuals.

Next: This is one of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S.

Type 2 diabetes

woman lying in bed and filling syringe with medicines

Many Americans deal with this disease daily. | iStock.com/Artfoliophoto

A person develops Type 2 diabetes when their body becomes resistant to insulin. When this happens, blood sugar levels can skyrocket, resulting in problems related to blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, and even death.

Working out regularly can help control your blood sugar and prevent the risk factors that make you more likely to develop diabetes in the future.

Next: This is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Can you avoid it?

Heart disease

Woman having heart attack symptom

Keep an eye on how your body feels. | iStock.com/Tharakorn

This is one of those deadly diseases you hear about but have trouble believing you could get. Unfortunately, it’s the No. 1 killer in America — but exercise could save your life.

Not exercising robs you of the many benefits of movement — and exposes you to almost every controllable heart disease risk factor out there. Inactivity doesn’t do anything to keep your heart and other muscles strong, even though it really isn’t as hard to do as you’ve convinced yourself it is.

Next: You’ve heard exercise doesn’t really shed pounds. Is that really true?

Exercise really can help you lose weight

man and woman doing plank exercises

Exercise does more than make you strong. | iStock.com/gzorgz

It’s probably happened to you before. You embark on a new workout plan, sweat like crazy for weeks, step on a scale … and you haven’t made any progress. Does that mean exercising doesn’t work?

Sure, exercise by itself often isn’t enough. But you have to burn more calories than you consume to even have a chance of reaching your goal weight. As little as 20 to 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week — along with better nutrition — could make all the difference.

Next: Why is exercise your best defense against a heart attack?

It’s really good for your heart

Doctor drawing ecg heartbeat chart

Keep your heart happy! | iStock.com/BrianAJackson

What is it about physical activity that keeps your heart in such good shape? There are the expected benefits — lower blood pressure; better blood sugar control; less body fat. And then there are the benefits you might not think about when you’re struggling to get to the gym.

Exercise improves blood circulation. The stronger your muscles, the more readily they draw oxygen from your blood. This means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood to these locations.

Next: If you’re looking for a natural mood-booster, this is it.

You might also feel happier and less stressed

Happy confident young woman

A optimistic outlook is important. | iStock.com/UberImages

Exercise changes your brain. It not only makes you less anxious and helps you concentrate better on everyday tasks, but also improves your mood and how you react to stress.

Dragging yourself out of bed early on a Monday morning to work out might be the last thing you want to do. Doing it anyway will set you up to have a really great day — and many more happy and healthy more to come.

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