7 Things You Can Expect When You Start Working Out for the First Time
Whether you’re a brand-new gymgoer or are returning after an extended break, you will probably have a different experience at first when compared to regular gym members. Starting or restarting a fitness regimen is a big change in anyone’s life, so naturally, there are some things you should prepare for. Below are seven normal things you may notice when you begin to exercise.
You Will Be Sore (But That’s Good!)
Growing your muscles requires creating little tears in your muscle fibers, with the rebuilding process making them stronger. Aching and feeling sore can affect you anytime between one and three days later and can last longer than that.
But this isn’t a bad thing or something to be worried about in the slightest. In fact, if you feel sore the next day, you know that you put in some hard work. If however, you feel something like a sprain in a joint or a pulled muscle, you may have injured yourself during the workout. In this case, see your doctor or a physical therapist. But ordinary muscle soreness is perfectly normal and a sign of progress.
Soreness will decrease over time if you stay consistent. Research shows that even after just one workout of a certain kind, your soreness will reduce the second or third time. While there is not an all-encompassing rule to how much you should workout when you first get started, if you are too sore to continue you should probably take a break and add on slowly. The good news is that the more you work out the less sore you will feel.
You Will Have More Energy
You might feel exhausted during your first workout, but you will notice your energy afterward and the following day will be boosted. More so, you will feel more mentally motivated to get back into the gym again!
As for the physical side, let’s go back to middle school science. Exercise builds more mitochondria and more capillary density in your muscles. If there is one thing you remember from middle school science it is that mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and they are responsible for helping us produce more energy.
Research even backs this up. A study published in PLOS One followed 100 college students who reported feeling burned out and fatigued. Half of the participants were told to run three times a week for six weeks; the other group did not change their workout habits. At the end of the study, the running group reported less overall fatigue than the control group.
Sleep Might Come Easier
Many Americans struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, but working out could turn that around. A large study, conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, of 3,081 adults, found that participants between the ages 18-85 who did moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise for at least 150 minutes a week had a 65 percent less chance of feeling overly sleepy during the day.
Increased sleep quality is also good news for your fitness progress, too, as your body needs quality sleep to release hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone, both of which are involved in muscle repair.
You Might Have Better Brain Functionality
Going with the increased energy is better brain activity. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can have a positive impact on the brain by increasing cell growth in the area associated with learning and memory. So, not only will consistent exercise help your body, but it will sharpen your mind too!
Your Mood is Likely to Improve
Many cite their mood and mental health improving as better than the physical improvements they notice. Exercise not only releases the body’s feel-good chemicals, endorphins, after a workout, but it has also has been shown to reduce daily stress.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course, if you are struggling with mental health conditions, reach out to a medical professional, but try adding regular exercise to your routine to alleviate some symptoms and manage your mental health conditions.
You May Lower Your Blood Pressure
Cardio and strength training will affect your blood vessels in a great way. These exercises can actually trigger the widening of blood vessels which will decrease your blood pressure over time.
Of course, your diet plays a part in this as well, and eating too much junk food may counteract this effect. Be sure you stay on top of your diet as well as your physical fitness routine!
You Will Feel A Sense of Community
At Xperience Fitness, we want our members to feel welcome and like they are part of the family. Nobody should feel uncomfortable at the gym, so we do everything we can to make our clubs welcoming. We offer plenty of different group classes, high-intensity interval training, as well as personal training. Our classes are great opportunities to meet new people and form strong relationships. We want you to enjoy your time at the gym, not see it as a burden. With friendly faces everywhere, we can’t wait to see you and help you hit your goals!
Learn more about our memberships, locations, and how you can join by clicking here.