Besides some of the more obvious health benefits of regular physical activity – such as an improved physique – there are a few other things that will happen when you start to exercise. Some of them are truly good things that’ll touch all areas of your life – others, well, while they certainly don’t outweigh the positives, they’re definitely things to keep in mind as you begin your journey to better health. Here's…
10 Things You Can Expect to Happen When you Start to Exercise – the Good, Bad and the Ugly
1. Increased Energy
Apart from a few aches and occasional sore muscles, you can expect a huge increase in your overall day-to-day energy levels. Whether you’re on the track or in the sack, your enhanced cardiovascular capabilities will definitely go a long way!
2. Enhanced Dexterity
Not only will you feel more energetic, you will find everything from your strength to your physical coordination will improve, helping you to navigate even the most cluttered of offices minute tasks, or busy crowds like the ninja you are!
3. Suppressed Appetite
Depending on your existing hunger levels and the type of activity you engage in, you might actually find yourself feeling less hungry on some days. Furthermore, a lot of people report reduced cravings and a growing preference for healthy foods to help ‘fuel the machine.’
Disclaimer: This will NOT apply to everyone, as we’ll see below!
4. Improved Sleep
It really goes without saying that exerting yourself physically is going to leave you feeling more tired in the evenings. But increased levels of ‘feel good’ hormones like serotonin will also help you relax more easily at the end of the day and get a proper night’s rest.
5. Improved Mood
If you've ever experienced the ‘runner’s high’ then you know how great you can feel at the end of a workout; this mood enhancement also carries over to the rest of your life.
6. Greater Self-Esteem
Self-esteem and confidence stem not just from looking better. You will experience pride as you set fitness goals and reach them – and more confidence in all areas of your life.
7. Peer Pressure
One downside of adopting a healthy lifestyle is you will have to learn to say ‘no’ on a regular basis.
Party invitations and coworkers’ birthdays can often derail even the most determined of fitness fiends, so be ready with either a plan of attack, or try suggesting an alternative activity where you won’t be tempted to wreck your hard work. If you’re still worried about temptation, then consider skipping the event altogether.
Note: there are some negative effects of “over exercising”.
8. Increased Appetite
While some people report a decreased appetite, chances are if you’re lifting weights and burning up more calories, you’re going to end up with hunger levels through the roof.
It can be tempting to resort to frequent bouts of junk food, justifying it with, “I need the calories,” but be sure to give your body what it needs in the form of lean protein, healthy fats, and enough quality carbohydrates to fuel your exercise…then and only then can you have some Krispy Kremes!
Exercising more often usually goes together with eating a healthier diet. Unfortunately we live in an age of highly processed convenience-based foods, while their healthier and higher-quality counterparts are often more expensive.
Be sure to look out for specials on meats and clearance discounts on fresh produce; this should help your grocery budget stretch a little further.
…and The Ugly!
10. Frequent Bathroom Trips
No truly honest exercise article would be complete without mentioning this dirty little secret of fitness enthusiasts.
If you’re exercising more and eating a decent amount of protein, then you’re most likely drinking a larger amount of water – or at least you should be!Don’t be surprised if you end up gaining a bathroom-related reputation or nickname among your friends for your frequent visits to the bathroom. For those that know me personally I drink a lot of water, coupled with a small bladder I inherited from my mother, well, I'm with you… and if that's the cost of living a healthy, active life – so be it!