Science Says Quitting Exercise Negatively Affects Your Body And Brain

Sometimes, getting off your couch and onto a StairMaster is a lot harder than it seems.

And that diet you've been telling yourself you would "start tomorrow" every single day for the past three years: What ever happened to that?

In all honesty, it's just too easy to get bogged down by the pressures of life and stress and avoid a healthy lifestyle when fast food or cheap delivery services are just a click away.

Still, the importance of eating right and working out is abundantly clear in scientific research, and one new study emphasizes just how necessary working out is for our long-term health.

A study collected health data from 10 sets of twins who had split in their lifestyles: One was more active and regularly worked out while the other had stopped exercising due to time constraints or alternative commitments.

The twins who had not exercised regularly were seven pounds heavier on average, had less stamina and endurance in working out and even showed early signs of metabolic diseases from living sedentary lifestyles.

What's more, it seems the twins who maintained a regularly healthy lifestyle, which consists of working out about twice a week, were more mentally fit, too.

Their brains appeared to have more gray matter (responsible for information processing) in the parts that control balance and motor function, Yahoo! Health reports.

So maybe this will finally motivate us to take the plunge and join the gym around the block -- right after this episode of "The Jinx."

Citations: This is What Happens When You Stop Exercising (Yahoo!)