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Lace up your trainers and see your body change

Have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you start exercising? Most changes are positive but knowing what to expect can make it easier to stay motivated and reach your fitness goal.

The good news is that you can start to feel more energized from your very first workout as increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain releases endorphins, the so-called ‘happy hormones’ which make us feel more alive.

Now whether you doing cardio, strength training or a combination of the two you can expect some soreness to start with. A few aches and pains are normal for up to 72 hours post exercise. It’s something referred to as DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness – but regular exercise will ease this.

Your body will start building up the production of mitochondria, the part of your cells that convert carbs, fat and protein into fuel for your muscles. After six to eight weeks you’ll really start to feel fitter and your endurance will increase.

The key at this stage is to build things up nice and slowly adding only 10% in terms of effort each week to avoid injury which can be so demoralising early on.

As you get into it you will start to see pleasing changes to the shape of your body, such as a more defined waist, stronger core and muscle toning.

By six months you will be exercising smart and often and there’s a fair chance you will have succeeded in making a lifestyle change and won’t fall off the fitness wagon.

For cardio (such as running, walking, cycling, dancing and swimming) aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week; for strength training aim for three sessions a week with rest days between. In both cases a balanced diet is also paramount. Be prepared to change your workouts to avoid boredom, overuse injuries and weight loss plateaus and consider joining a class or club to stay focused.

After nine months your VO2 max – a measure of fitness which refers to the rate your body can transport oxygen to your muscles for fuel – will have increased by about 25%.

And after one year of regular exercise your bones will be denser, reducing your risk of osteoporosis.
Longer term you will improve your heart health and also be at lower risk of developing arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and certain types of cancer such as breast and colon.

Exercise will also elevate your mood, sharpen your focus, improve your sleep, boost your confidence and can reduce levels of stress and anxiety.

All will depend, of course, on the type and intensity of your workouts and how long you exercise each week. The best advice is to pace yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or two – life will get in the way!

Melton Sports is here to help you every step of the way so lace up those trainers, give it time and let the positive effects motivate you to keep going.

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