You’ll be shocked what happens to your brain when you don’t exercise

Allison Yee

Everyone knows what happens to your waistline when you slip into a lazy girl slump and skip the workouts, but a new study has revealed exactly what happens to your brain when you don’t do any exercise.

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The study, which appeared in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, saw 12 competitive runners undergo a special brain MRI which tracked blood flow to the brain.

The participants were then told to stop all exercise and engage in as little physical activity as possible for 10 days.

Source: Giphy

While this may sound like a dream come true to some of us, after days of living like a couch potato, the runners returned for a repeat of their scans, with researchers finding significant changes to the blood flow to their brains.

Test results showed much less blood streamed to most areas of their brains, with reduced blood flow to the areas linked to the formation, storage and retrieval of memory.

Regular exercise has been linked to increased blood flow to your brain and better memory function. Photo: Getty images

Scientists are quick to point out that more testing is needed when it comes to reduced exercise and its link to memory function.

“I would not want someone to think that if they are on deadline or on vacation for a week or so and don’t manage to work out,” that they have necessarily starved their brains of blood, senior author of the study and University of Maryland associate professor J. Carson Smith told the NY Times.

It’s definitely something to keep in mind when you’re tossing up whether to go to that spin class though!

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