Everyone’s been told about the benefits of exercise—how it’s good for your cardiovascular and physical health. It can also sculpt your body, give you bigger and defined muscles, and help you lose weight. While those all can be true, the biggest misconception is that you need it for weight loss or that it will significantly help you lose weight.
A little exercise does help a little, but not as much as you think. In fact, exercise can even hinder your weight loss goals. This is mainly because of the stress you put on your body from the high amounts of energy expended and body-straining movements. After a long workout, you will most likely feel hungrier than normal, sore, and tired. Most people respond to this by moving around less for the rest of the day and eating a little more. This practice almost always negates any overall weight loss benefits the exercise provided.
If your focus is on weight loss, it's better to just walk around a little more in your daily life and skip the gym. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here's the complete list of the four main benefits of not exercising.
1. Makes It Easier to Eat Less
The first benefit is that it makes eating less easier. When you workout, your appetite increases because of the extra energy that you’re expending. This basically cancels out any weight loss benefits because, most likely, those excess "lost" calories will be re-consumed later in the day. Unless you intend to fight off hunger, this is not easy to overcome long-term.
It’s better to just eat less for weight loss than try to burn more and eat less at the same time. It’s more work than needs to be done. Why do more and try harder when you can do less and get the same or better results? You will most likely have a better handle on your appetite (and a consistent appetite) when exercise is taken out of the equation. It’s also easier to reduce your appetite when not exercising because you can put more focus on slowly eating less, without the conflict of trying to stabilize your appetite after a workout. It’s also hard for the body to burn more daily and take in fewer calories at the same time.
2. Makes Losing Weight an Easier Task
Along with benefit #1, not exercising makes losing weight an easier task. When you only have to do one thing to lose weight (eat less), it makes losing weight easier to do mentally and physically. Working out is hard and a challenge for a lot of people. Sometimes the challenge begins with just finding time to do it and to be consistent at it. Only focusing on eating less gives you a better chance to eat less. That is also all you really need to do to lose weight. People can lose some additional weight by working out, but it's better to do something consistently that is easy to maintain long-term.
3. Prevents Body Injuries Over Time
Not exercising prevents body injuries over time. Exercising does strengthen your bones and muscles, but it’s really tough on joints and ligaments over time. Sports injuries can be even worse; just look up how many injuries there are on a typical professional sports team in a season, and you’ll be amazed. Long-term, a lot of athletes and others who work out on an almost daily basis see the effects later in life, with their knees and joints especially. Repetitive motions, straining body movements, and improper lifting of heavy weights on a regular basis is hard on the body. The use of exercise machines and equipment can provide even higher injury rates if not used correctly.
4. Saves Money and Time
The last main benefit is that not exercising saves you money and time. As explained earlier, working out doesn't necessarily lead to weight loss. So if your goal is to lose weight, there’s no need to spend a lot of money that most gyms charge monthly and most equipment costs.
You can also spend the couple of hours a day you would typically spend at the gym doing other things that are important to you or that you love. Time is very valuable, and most people don’t have enough of it in a day. There’s no need to use up your time focusing on things you do naturally throughout the day, and that is moving around.
There are many other benefits to not exercising; those were some of the major ones that were recognized. Exercising does have its benefits, but just know that if you naturally move around in your daily life, you might not need the manual exercise society claims you need. It’s all about knowing your options and what’s best for you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Michelle V