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What Happens to Your Body When You Start Exercising

What Happens to Your Body When You Start to Exercise

Whether you’re returning to a fitness regime following a long hiatus, or beginning to exercise for the first time – you’ll be astonished how fast your body will begin positively changing thanks to your first sweat session.

After the First Workout:

It’s common knowledge that regular exercise leads to improved health, but did you know that just one workout affects your mind and body right away? Symptoms of stress and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are promptly alleviated as endorphins (the happy hormone) and serotonin (mood stabilizer) rush through the body. The quality of sleep improves that night, helping to get the deep sleep needed to maintain energy throughout the day. The immune system strengthens for up to 24 hours to fight off the flu, colds, and other ailments. But the most amazing transformation in the body as a result of just a few minutes of exercise is the immediate modification of DNA. Just one workout will positively change the genetic material in muscle cells to help lower the risk of diseases which may be genetically dispositioned in the body, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

After the First Week:

Inevitable muscle soreness will be experienced after each workout during the first week, as muscles begin repairing the small tears in the muscle fibres that resulted from strength training and intense cardio. The muscle fibres begin to strengthen to accustom themselves to regular conditioning. After one week of exercise, your VO2 max (the optimal rate that the heart, lungs, and muscles can efficiently use oxygen during exercise) has increased by up to 5%. This means that your aerobic endurance is getting stronger – allowing you to workout harder and for longer periods of time. If regular exercise is combined with proper nutritional diets, some may see a small difference on the scale within the first week. The growth stimulating proteins released into the body during regular exercise has begun forming new cells in your brain to stimulate brain function.

After the First Month:

Four weeks into your workout routine, your body will be leaning out by replacing fat stores with increased muscle mass. Your fast and slow twitch muscle fibres have increased in size, allowing more protein to reach your muscles. This will cause an increase in your resting metabolic rate, meaning you’ll burn even more calories outside the gym. By now, your body has adapted to your exercise routine as the exercises are getting easier as you go along. At this point it’s crucial to crank up the weight load and intensity of your workouts to ensure your muscles are always being challenged.

After the First Year:

After one year of regular exercise, your heart will have slightly increased in size, allowing it to pump blood out to your organs more efficiently which results in a lower resting heart rate. Your body composition will have noticeably changed over the last year to lean out fat and increase muscle mass. Your bone health improves as bone density increases, reducing your risk of fractures. Your body’s cells are now able to break down fat more effectively as an energy source, rather than storing the fat in various parts of the body. Exercising will have become a regular habit at this point. Mental health will stabilize as both your body and mind begin craving that workout ‘high’.

Looking to experience the benefits of these bodily changes for yourself? Underdog is the place to help you get to your fitness milestones and beyond. We’ll assist you through your first workout, first week, first month, first year, and beyond. Now is the time to start living the life you always imagined.