With exercise, muscles get bigger and bigger to generate enough power to meet the demand. This is called hypertrophy, where the cells in tissue divide faster to increase their numbers and build mass. When you do not use the muscles as much, the body decides to recycle the precious resources by breaking down the extra muscle. This is called atrophy – also known as wasting.
Muscles are not the only things that atrophy. The less you think deeply and explore your curiosities, the more your intelligence and wisdom atrophies. As you care less, your heart and ability to love atrophies. As you smile and laugh less, your happiness atrophies.
Like much of nature, the human body dislikes the status quo and strives to avoid stagnation. It continuously breaks down old, unnecessary things to make way for new, different things that will help you better adapt to your environment.
Unfortunately for us, that means to maintain the parts of us that we like, we must train and use the relevant “muscles” – whether it be lifting weights, reading books or laughing heartily for no reason.