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What Happens When You Stop Exercising

There are many reasons why we stop exercising, whether for a while or for good. We take a rest day, we get sick, we become too old, or we just get bored of exercising. No matter what the reason is, there will be changes in your body if you take time away from exercising. And the longer you go without exercise, the more obvious the effects will be. So, what are those changes? Let’s find out together.

You will likely gain fat and lose muscle mass

Although it will take a while—about 8 to 12 weeks without exercise—you will start seeing physical changes in your body. For one, you’ll start naturally losing muscle mass. As a result, your metabolism slows down, limiting the body’s potential to burn fat. In addition to that, because your physical activities are now cut from your routine, you won’t be able to burn as many calories as you would have.

Your strength might also be affected

Studies have found that strength can be maintained only up to four weeks without exercise. Any longer and you’ll start to slowly lose your muscle strength and power. Strength is at least the slowest to diminish over time though so there’s a bit of a silver lining still. Those who we can say are “genetically blessed” can even go for 3 months without exercising and still keep their strength in good condition.

Endurance will be the most affected

Just after 2 weeks of no exercise, you’ll start to notice your endurance drop. Walking up the stairs to the third floor wasn’t a problem before but now you find yourself breathing a bit harder than usual. This all has something to do with our VO2 max. To put it simply, VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen our body can effectively use. Multiple studies have shown that our VO2 max will drop even more up to 20% after just a month without exercise.

Is it really that bad?

If you consider the points mentioned above, it’s only bad if you take too long before getting exercise again. It doesn’t really mean that simply not exercising anymore will cause you to get sick more often. But you will lose all the benefits you get from actually exercising. If you do decide to exercise again, your body will easily adapt to the physical stress. This is because of “muscle memory” which points that it’s easier to regain lost muscle tissues than to actually build new ones. 

How to minimize these effects

Of course, there are also many ways to minimize the negative effects of taking a break from exercise. One is to just do lighter exercises compared to your usual. If you usually lift weights at the gym but decide to stop for a while, you can just do bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and etc. If you also want to avoid gaining fat, make sure to watch your diet and continue eating healthy.

How to Prevent an Injury from Scarring

Most of the time, people think of scarring as an unsightly blemish on the skin, while a few individuals look at them as cool and even refer to them as reminders of one’s battle wounds. But is there a way to prevent scarring? To answer that, you will need to know the factors that contribute to its appearance.

Determine the Nature of the Injury

The appearance of the scar will depend on the nature of the injury; such as its shape, size, depth, and even location. The way your body reacts to the injury will also affect the scarring process, because those who are prone to having keloids will have a harder time preventing scars from appearing. Deep wounds will take more time to heal than shallow injuries, but it can also be influenced by how healthy your skin is (and if you have any existing skin conditions), its thickness, the amount of blood that gets to the injured area, and even the skin color.

Scarring is a Healing Process

The first thing a dermatologist will ask you is the cause of the injury and its healing progress. Scar prevention often begins with proper treatment, although scarring from deep cuts are almost always impossible to prevent. Scarring itself is a part of the normal healing process, but the healed tissues no longer contains the normal parts of the skin, that is why the affected area will look a lot different from the surrounding skin.

There are Different Types of Scars

There are three types of scars that result from various types of injuries; these are, thin or flat scars that might fade over time; hypertrophic scars that create raised, thick, and reddish scars; and keloid scars that result in raised, dark or reddish scars that often extend beyond the affected area. The last type of scar is often the result of an overproduction of collagen in the skin. This is common in people with severe acne and will need intervention from a doctor to reduce its ghastly appearance.

These are steps you should observe to reduce the scarring while your injury is still healing.

  • Get the best possible treatment for your injury. For example, a cut will heal better if you can get stitches as soon as possible to prevent infection and other complications. If you can’t get a cut stitched soon enough, it will start the healing process, making the stitching less effective.
  • Hasten the healing process. Injuries need to be kept clean, moist, and infection-free with clean bandages and doctor-prescribed healing ointments. Disinfect the wound everyday then change the bandages or dressings to speed up its healing process.
  • Avoid scar creams. They will not reduce the scarring regardless of the manufacturer’s claims. Most of these products contain vitamin E or other ingredients that will not help at all and might even cause irritation.
  • Don’t pick at scabs. This is often the cause of scarring and will slow down the healing process. The scabs will come off naturally, so be patient.

How Do I Stick to My New Resolutions?

Different people obviously have different things they want to achieve. The thing is though, it’s pretty common for people to forget their resolutions as the year goes by. If you have that problem too, even when you really want to stick to your resolutions, you’re in luck! Here are some ways to improve your chance of following through your resolutions and achieving your goals.

Make sure your resolutions are achievable

One common mistake people make is that they think about resolutions that aren’t exactly achievable (or at least in a short amount of time). Making your resolutions simple will give you the mindset that it’s definitely achievable. For example, you want to start gaining weight so you go to the gym. It is very much possible to gain 20-30 pounds in 5 months with a strict diet plan and a training coach. Knowing this, you at least won’t doubt yourself and think that you can’t do it anymore.

Write your goals down

Write your goals down and put it somewhere you can easily see. When you put your goals on paper and see it every day, it can serve as motivation and a constant reminder for you. Maybe you plan to do better at work, so put it up somewhere on your desk. If you are able to achieve it and cross it off the paper, you can be sure that you’ll be satisfied with yourself.

Take it slow

When it comes to following resolutions, it would be in your best interest to take it slow. Especially because most resolutions are things you’re not used to doing. If you plan to jog around Singapore because you want to join marathons in the future, don’t push yourself too hard. Pick easier routes first, then slowly progress and increase your distance or pace. Just remember that there’s really no need for you to rush!

Track your progress as well

One of the best ways for you to stick to your resolutions is really to track your progress. It’s quite a surprise that not many people do this, but keeping track has many benefits. For one, you can see how much you’ve improved. You can also see where you excel and which areas you need to put more effort in. You will also eventually pick it up as a habit and that will help discourage you from sitting out on your resolutions.

Tell your family or close friends about it

If you tell others about your resolutions, you’ll be pushed to think that they have expectations of you already. Telling your family or close friends that you’re going to stop smoking, for example, will simply lead them to expect that you will. In this case, you wouldn’t want to disappoint them. In addition to that, it will be easier for you to turn to them if you need advice or if you just need a bit of their help.

What You Need to Know About Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is one of the most misunderstood conditions, because it is often confused with food allergies, food intolerance or just being picky with food. But this autoimmune disease which affects 1 out of 100 people worldwide is a serious condition that damages the small intestine.

Causes of Celiac Disease

Most people with this condition are undiagnosed and later suffer from other medical conditions, such as intestinal lymphomas and gastrointestinal cancers, nervous system disorders, lactose intolerance, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and gall bladder malfunction. Studies are still ongoing to determine the cause of the disease, but most doctors point to the genes as a determining factor.

When an individual with celiac disease eats food with gluten, the immune system will react by damaging the villi of the small intestine to prevent the absorption of the nutrients. Celiac, sometimes spelled coeliac, comes from the Greek word “koiliakos,” which means the “suffering in the bowels.”

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

There are over 300 symptoms of celiac disease which can vary among individuals, because these are determined by several factors, such as; the duration of breastfeeding as an infant, amount of gluten consumed and when the person started eating gluten, the age of the person, and the damage to the small intestine.

The most common symptoms include digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation, bloating, and stomach pain. It is also often accompanied with joint pain. Children with this condition often have delayed puberty, damaged teeth enamel, slow growth, and short stature. The following symptoms might also be present: bone or joint pain, infertility, irregular periods, mouth problems, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, headaches, anxiety or depression, fatigue, and skin problems.

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease

Some of the symptoms of the disease are similar to signs of other medical conditions, so these must be eliminated through physical exams, dental exam, blood tests, intestinal and skin biopsy, and genetic tests. The blood tests will look for celiac disease antibodies, while the genetic test will check for the gene variants or changes that are linked to the disease.

The biopsies will remove samples from the small intestine and skin tissues to check for antibodies. These are necessary because it’s also possible to have other conditions related to the gastrointestinal tract such as irritable bowel syndrome, small intestine bacterial growth, microscopic colitis, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and pancreatic dysfunction.

Treatment of Celiac Disease

There is no cure for celiac disease yet, so doctors will recommend a gluten-free diet for the patient. Food made from wheat, barley, rye, and other variants and related species should be avoided to reduce the symptoms and to avoid further damages to the small intestine.

Other hidden sources of gluten such as malt flavoring, preservatives, stabilizers, and modified food starch should also be avoided. Moreover, you will also need to avoid non-food items and medication that possibly contain gluten, so you should never take medication, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products unless prescribed by a doctor.

4 Simple, Easy, and Cheap Ways You Can Treat Yourself

Treating yourself to something once in a while is great, but while you may think that it means splurging on something huge, this doesn’t always have to be the case – you can still enjoy yourself without breaking the bank to do so.

Here are a few simple and easy ways you can treat yourself after a long, hard day, or as a motivation to keep you working hard and achieve your goals without the expense:

1. Give yourself a few minutes to do nothing
When you’ve finally finished a task that’s been the centre of your attention for a long while, there’s always a joy that comes with finally seeing it through. Once you’ve finally seen the task to completion, be sure to give yourself a few minutes to do nothing.

This will not only give you the much-needed breathing room that’s crucial after every major task, but will also let you reboot your mind when you have to plan for something else.

This doesn’t just extend to office tasks, but also for your overall life plans – once you’re finally done filing out certain paperwork to get something you’ve been meaning to, a few deep breaths doing nothing will really help you out.

2. Take a shower and a nap
Once everything on your plate for the day or the week is done, the first thing you want to do is to physically and mentally unwind, and you can do that with a good shower and a nice, long nap.

This is also a good opportunity for you to change your sheets at home – there’s nothing quite like the smell and feel of fresh sheets coupled with a shower after a long day.

You can also choose to have an early night with this, especially if you’ve been working overtime on a particular task, and put off chores and other tasks until the morning after.

3. Do something small that you enjoy
Whether it’s having a go at your favourite bike trail or simply curling up with a good book at home, now’s the time to finally do it – especially when you have stacks of books piling up in your room that you’ve been meaning to read but never found the time.

If you prefer the outdoors, taking up your running shoes or your bike is also a great idea and a welcome break from the monotony of office life.

4. Take the day off
If you work a traditional 9-5 or 8-6 job, taking a vacation day just for yourself might just be what you need to unwind – and sometimes, the best thing that you can give yourself isn’t material possessions, but time.

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