There’s Science Behind Why You Feel Shit When You Drop Yr Exercise Routine

Quitting your exercise regime suddenly could affect your head more drastically than your rig, according to a new study straight outta the University of Adelaide.

Researchers reviewed studies that examined the effects of stopping exercise in regularly active adults — those who were doing at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week for at least three months, and found that in some cases, ceasing exercise induced significant increases in depressive symptoms after just three days.

Professor Bernhard Baune, senior author on the paper and head of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide, said that the symptoms cropped up independently of biological markers typically involved, but more research into the phenomenon was needed.

“This suggests some kind of novel effect in these cases, although we should add some caution here, as the number of people included in the studies we examined was small. Such findings would need to be replicated in additional trials,” he said.

While research at the minute is sparse, it makes a fair bit of sense anecdotally. If you’re a regular at the gym and miss a fair few sessions in a row, it’s not unusual to feel a bit crap. A lack of energy or a general feeling of malaise is generally what this writer experiences.

Exercise increases endorphins and studies show working up a sweat can alleviate symptoms of clinical depression; so to cut that mainlike to the morphine-like high working out provides is bound to have some consequences.

Of course, if you really can’t be arsed heading to the gym some days, don’t. Go for a walk, dance in your room to Kylie Minogue or just do nothing. The world won’t fall apart, and you can always pick it up again.

“For now, it is important that people understand the potential impact on their mental wellbeing when they suddenly cease regular exercise,” Professor Baune said.