So, you have chosen to make this the time that aside from eating better you are going to work out too. Good for you!! Really.
Here are some things that you may notice as you either begin to workout or for the first time in a long time.
1. You will likely feel sore.
- You are now using muscles that have been watching life go by for a long time and they will need a little TLC as they work for the first time. Your muscles actually will appreciate the new use, but, they may feel tight, and sore. Perfectly natural and as you get used to working out, this will happen as you push yourself harder and harder. Some people actually look forward to that pain as a sign that they are working hard enough. That is not totally necessary, but it is also not a bad thing. Keep in mind I am talking muscles, not joints. Learn to listen to your body and learn the difference. That will be the key to avoiding injury. Epsom salt is a great relief to that soreness, btw.
2. You may feel hungrier than usual.
- This is actually a cool thing. It is a sign that your metabolism is speeding up and your body is looking for more fuel to feed itself. Again, not a bad thing. Although not everyone feels this, some seem to not feel hungry at all. Again, this could be a cool thing. The most important thing to remember is that your body is using the ‘good food’ that you are giving it, so make sure that the fuel you are going to be eating is the best you can give it. Just because you are working out, you should go and eat whatever you want just to curb your hunger. Eat healthy proteins, healthy fats, and fill up on fiber-rich foods like complex carbs to give you that filled up feeling again. The junk you may be tempted to indulge in will actually make you feel yucky. Believe me.
3. Your skin might break out.
- Regardless of your age, you may notice a new crop of breakouts. You may think that you feel like you have found the fountain of youth, but you aren’t going that far back. No, you are not reverting back to your teenage years. Your skin is actually cleansing itself. The sweat will be kind of ‘flushing’ your skin. This is a good thing, just make sure that you are keeping your skin clean. You don’t want any ugly bacteria growing on your skin, then it will seem like teen years all over again. Keep both your skin and your equipment clean. Wipe down everything, keep your hands off your face and other places that seem to break out, use a gentle cleanser with little perfume. Don’t reuse your towel, even if it didn’t get too wet, you likely put it down on something that somebody else was sweating on. Same goes for gym gear, gloves, hats, headbands, clean often. Ladies, makeup doesn’t actually belong in the gym.
4. You might notice your energy levels increase.
- This is a great feeling that, for me, seemed to creep up on me. I didn’t notice until all of a sudden, boom. One of the benefits of doing heavy lifting vs cardio is that your muscles continue to work after the workout is over. When you finish cardio, you finish cardio. Building your muscles builds your metabolism speed so you continue to use more energy throughout the day long after the workout is done. As your metabolism speeds up, so does your energy level. In the beginning, you may feel totally drained, but that feeling should fade and be replaced by the exact opposite, energy. Muscles use more energy to function, so if you build your muscles, you will produce more energy.
5. You should sleep like a baby again.
- With increased energy needs, your body will respond with a need for sleep. Sleep is such a coveted thing these days, and working out should help you get it. As your body learns to work harder, it will also need to rest. Unless you are planning on competing in something totally huge in the near future, your body won’t need to work out all the time. Your body will require downtime and the best downtime is sleep. That is when your body will do its best healing and recovering.
After all, is said and done, keep in mind that anything new will take time to adjust to. As long as you are equipped for what is to come, you can be prepared. Also keep in mind that just as with everything else, you will have setbacks and bumps in the road and detours. Just stay true to your commitment to a better you and you will be great.
A muscle is like a car. If you want it to run well early in the morning, you have to warm it up. – Florence Griffith Joyner