Starting to exercise changes your body. Here are 10 ways in which your body changes when you start working out:
1. You feel sore: Exercise makes tiny tears in your muscles which your body has to repair and rebuild. This is how muscle growth happens.
2. You have more energy: Sounds counter-intuitive. But studies have shown significant increases in energy levels for people who work out regularly.
3. You build up muscles: As explained above, the gains come from small tears in your muscles that regrow. This results in stronger connective tissue and stronger muscles.
4. Your brain chemistry changes: Exercise releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness and a lower risk of depression.
5. Your hormones are affected: Dopamine and endorphins to make you feel good. Testosterone to help build muscle.
6. You grow more mitochondria: What are those? Well, these are the ‘powerhouses’ of the cell that are used to convert compounds derived from food into energy that can then be used by muscles.
7. You’ll get better sleep: Working out improves the duration and quality of sleep you get.
8. Your brain functions better: A study in published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology showed that running was associated with an increase in cell growth in the area of the brain associated with learning and memory.
9. Your heart rate gets slower: The more often you do cardiovascular exercise, the better your heart gets at trying to keep up.
10. Your blood pressure decreases: Cardio triggers the production of more blood vessels, while strength training makes those blood vessels wider. Both effects can help to keep blood pressure down in the long term. Remember that a good diet is also key here!