What to Expect When Starting a New Exercise Routine

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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For most of us, starting an exercise routine or being more physically active can be challenging for several reasons.  First, you have to find the time and make it a priority. And then once you start, you might find that some of the “normal” physical sensations of being more active may be uncomfortable at first.

Not quite sure what to expect? Here are some basics:

  • Sweat
    You will probably sweat. Have a towel or dry washcloth close by. Sweating means you are working hard, making progress, and naturally flushing out the bad stuff from your body. And just think about how good the post-workout shower will feel!


  • Discomfort
    A little bit of muscle soreness or stiffness is normal. It means you’re challenging your body and reaching new heights in fitness. Learn to listen to your body—know the difference between discomfort and pain—and take a day off to let your body recover, if you need to.


  • Hunger
    Don’t be surprised if your stomach is growling more often as you become more active. Your body uses food as fuel to stay active and healthy. Check out our 5 Tips to Start Eating Healthier Today to fuel your active body with more of the good stuff. 


  • Shortness of breath
    Physical activity causes your heart rate to go up, so your breathing rate will increase. Try taking long breaths in through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth to lower your heart rate and calm your nerves. If you find yourself gasping for breath, then you might need to slow down the pace or intensity of what you are doing.  

The good news is that even though it’s hard at first, you will also find some perks to exercise. In addition to improved fitness levels and health, you might also find that you crave healthier foods, sleep better, and become better able to deal with stress. And, just like quitting smoking might have been difficult at first—it will get easier and you will feel better over time.

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