8 Things You Can Expect When Working Out for the First Time
When you’re looking to get in shape and perhaps even shed a couple of pounds there are some things you should expect from your new workout routine. Oh and I’m not just talking about stronger muscles and the improved endurance. Yes of course that’s a benefit from working out but there’s a lot of other things you may notice when you start working out. For most people it can take some time for your body to adjust to your new workout routine.
Here are eight sometimes troubling yet totally normal things you might notice when you start working out. If you’re anything like me knowing what to expect can help you stay on track when the going gets tough. But first and foremost give it time, and let the positive effects motivate you to keep going.
1. You will likely be sore, very sore
When you work your muscles, you actually create little tears in your muscle fibers, and it’s the rebuilding process that makes them stronger. This aching and sore feeling can affect you anytime between one to three days after your training session. Believe it or not soreness can happen to anyone who does a workout that their muscles aren’t used to (yes even those seasoned gym-goers)
However, as you progress with your workouts your body begins to understand how to move more efficiently leaving you feeling less sore. If you find yourself barely being able to move after a workout because of intense soreness and achiness, try stretching, lightening your exercise, and using heat or ice to soothe your muscles.
2. You might notice your energy levels increase…eventually
Exercise should make you feel energized — not exhausted. When you first begin working out it can feel like your sweat sessions are depleting your energy leaving you with little to no energy. The good news is you’re not alone and this is completely normal. When you exercise, you burn calories and expend energy, which means you need water, nutrients and rest to recover. The other good thing is that once your body adjusts to your new activity level, you should begin to feel more energized after your workouts.
3. A good workout can help you get great shut-eye
Many Americans struggle with getting a good night’s sleep but working out could turn that around. If you want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more rested? Get moving! As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done on a regular basis. What’s more, is those who exercise may reduce their risk for developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
4. You might feel hungrier than usual
In the sports nutrition world, meal timing is key to performance and recovery. This is Because you use up most or all of your glycogen stores while you work out (depending on the type of activity, intensity and duration). After working out you need to replenish them so you can have enough energy to work out tomorrow. It’s ideal to eat your first post-workout meal within 30 to 60 minutes of finishing your workout.
5. Stress might be easier to handle, and your overall mood might improve too
There’s nothing like that immediate post-workout high. Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step. Exercise boosts those feel good endorphins that have numerous health benefits including stress reduction and can even help with depression.
6. Your skin might break out
Working out can cause excessive sweating, as well as a buildup of oil, dirt, and bacteria on your skin — all of which can lead to acne. However, you don’t have to quit exercising in order to see clearer skin. The key is to maintain proper hygiene before, during, and after your workouts.
If you notice a few more pimples or blemishes after starting an exercise program, there are a few ways to troubleshoot. First, take off your sweaty workout gear and rinse off after hitting the gym to prevent body acne. And always start your workout with clean clothing.
7. There will be setbacks and times you want to quit
Do not throw away your new routine for a missed day or two. We have all been in the situation where we have worked out consistently for a few weeks, but then we cannot make it to the gym one day and then we don’t step foot through those doors until months later.
To ensure you will be faithful to your workout routine, build your support network. Sign up for a personal trainer so you cannot miss a session. Join a class where you can get to know the other members and trainers. Make working out fun by incorporating a fitness training system with resistance bands and a balance board.
Also, set goals, long-term and short-term; make goals to run a 5K, do an unassisted pull-up, bench your body weight, or do a physical activity with your kids.
8. Your confidence will reach new heights
Regular exercise helps build confidence by improving our body image. While exercising you’re likely to strengthen and tone your body, and seeing these results can greatly improve your self-esteem and help you feel better about the way you look.