What to expect when you start to get active

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More and more people are starting to exercise on a regular basis, as part of a more active lifestyle. It takes time and determination, but the results are worth it. As you get off the couch and get fit, you’ll notice things begin to change….

 

Kick-Off…

After sweating it out at your first workout, you’ll probably feel more awake than ever. Your heart rate will have increased and with it your overall blood flow and oxygen levels to the brain, leaving you bursting with energy. But, be prepared for how you’ll feel the following day…  it’s likely that your muscles will be aching from head to toe as a result of  delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Don’t despair and throw in the towel – it’s just because you’ve worked muscles you probably haven’t used in a while, if at all. The pain will pass after about 72 hours, and the more you continue to regularly work those same muscles, the less post-exercise pain you’ll feel.

Pushing Forward…

As exercise becomes a regular fixture in your life, your body will produce more mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis) – the part of your cells that transform fat, protein and carbs into fuel that your muscles can use as they work. After 6-8 weeks, studies show that your mitochondria levels could be up by as much as 50 percent. More mitochondria in your cells means you’ll feel more fit and your stamina will surge. So, whatever exercise you’ve been doing will get increasingly easier than it was when you first began.

Six Months: Oooh Muscles…

Six months into your new exercise regimen, you’ll start seeing results, so if your exercises are aimed at strength training, you’ll see muscles taking shape. Having pushed through and sustained such a huge change in your lifestyle, you’ll also feel less tempted to quit; studies show that about 50 percent of people drop out of a new exercise regimen in the first 6 months but are less likely to quit once they hit that milestone.

Nine Months: Faster than Ever…

If your workout has been cardio-focused, by 9 months of exercise you’ll see a 25 percent spike in your VO2 max, the measurement used in fitness to denote the rate at which your body carries oxygen to your muscles for fuel. A higher VO2 max means you’ll be able to run faster, for longer.

Crossing the Twelve-Month Hurdle…

After a year of regular exercise, you’ll have denser bones meaning that there is less chance of you developing osteoporosis when you’re older. The effects of this ailment can even be reversed by combining aerobics with steady resistance training.

There are other health benefits to exercise, especially for older people. These include being at a lower risk of developing dementia, type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer (colon/breast), depression, anxiety, stress, and arthritis.

The bottom line is, you’ll live a longer, better quality and happier life when regular exercise is part of the equation. Don’t push yourself too hard and get injured, and don’t forget that exercise alone is not enough. If after every workout you’re binging on burgers and chips, don’t expect to get the results you are looking for. You need to combine exercise with a healthy diet and lifestyle. That’s the way to get the maximum results that will ensure you get the maximum out of life!