We live in an instant gratification world. You can get an Amazon package to your door within a day and food from virtually any restaurant you please within the hour. So when new clients walk into our gym, they’re looking to know how soon after starting to work out will they start to see results?
And when people ask about results, what they’re really asking is, how long until I see physical changes in my body?
We get it. You’re about to put in a ton of work committing to an exercise plan. So it’s totally reasonable to want to know how long it will take for your six-pack to come in.
But we’ve gotta be honest with you. Results don’t happen overnight. Exercise is a lifelong journey, and at Foundation FIT, we encourage our clients to try and focus on the non-physical components of starting an exercise program.
A Timeline of What Happens When You Start to Work Out
When you commit to regular exercise, here’s a timeline of what you can expect to see in terms of both physical and non-physical changes.
Within 10 minutes…
You’ll notice a shift in your mental state. Just getting your heart rate up for 10 minutes can help calm you down, quell any minor anxiety and release you from the state of overwhelm that too many of us live in.
Mindset controls the body. So in our opinion, that initial mental shift that happens when you show up to your training session is reason enough to keep coming back for more.
After a few weeks…
You’ll see a measurable change in blood pressure, resting heart rate, and recovery heart rate. These indicators are a great measure of overall health.
The decrease in blood pressure can help avoid major health problems like heart attacks and stroke. And bringing down your resting and recovery heart rate means your cardiovascular fitness is increasing and the heart is strengthening. That means you’re putting less pressure on your heart to perform activity which again helps to lower your risk of heart disease and life-threatening cardiac events.
After about 2 months…
You’ll see changes in your v02 max. That’s a measure of how effectively you’re using oxygen. And a higher v02 max means your cardiovascular system is working more effectively. When you experience an increase in v02 max, it can help to increase health benefits like longevity and reduce risk of diseases like stroke, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
After 3-6 months…
The holy grail! Finally, after putting in about 3-6 months of work, you’ll start to see those sought-after physical changes. You might notice a pretty significant amount of weight loss, changes in measurements, body composition, and muscle tone.
And it’ll take about this long for other people in your life to start noticing changes too. You might have co-workers start to ask, “are you doing something different?” or a spouse that decides maybe it’s time they hop on the workout train with you.
Now what you can see quite clearly from this quick timeline is that the physical change comes last. But what you need to remember is there are so many incredible benefits that are non-physical. So how do you get over the hump during the first few months when you feel like it’s easier to quit?
How to Keep Up Your Exercise Habit
Here are 3 tips to keep you pressing through as the fitness journey gets hard.
- Accept that your goals will change over time. At different seasons of your life, your fitness goals will change. While you might be trying for a personal best on the back squat at age 25, you might be targeting a healthy pregnancy at 32. Find a fitness routine that can change with you through life’s many seasons. And remember that sometimes the strong decision is taking it easy and letting your body rest and recover.
- Find something you like to do. Life is too short to torture yourself with exercise. If you hate running, please don’t sign up for a marathon. If you’ve never exercised before and you’re not sure what you like, come on in for a complimentary session at Foundation FIT, and we’ll help you figure it out.
- Discover your “why.” Your fitness journey might start with wanting to lose 20 pounds before your high school reunion. But the underlying motivation is so much more than that. Think about non-physical elements and come up with 5 that define why you’re getting fit now. Some big “whys” we hear from our clients are better sleep, improved mood, more energy, more focus at work, and to ward off long-term lifestyle diseases.
The Main Thing About When You’ll See Exercise Results
While you won’t wake up 10 pounds lighter tomorrow after a workout session today, you’ll start to see benefits after just 10 minutes of moving your body. It’s most important to focus on becoming the healthiest version of yourself. And you can trust us when we say that when you commit to making fitness a habit, those physical results will follow.
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