Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to commit to a healthier lifestyle, moving a lot, eating well and resting properly. You are in the first 6 weeks of your fitness plan and you are riding the fitness rollercoaster. Ups and downs, excitement, fear and a little bit of soreness! Exactly what you should expect in the first six weeks of working out.
Not everyone LOVES the idea of exercise. It can be tough – its a challenge and for some people a big change to their existing lifestyle and routines. The first six weeks of working out are the toughest. Your mind and body are adjusting to your new lifestyle – one that includes moving a lot and eating healthy.
Your first six weeks of working out can include; returning to exercise after illness or injury, you used to exercise and haven’t for a while and now you are back at it, or have never exercised before and are stepping out of your comfort zone and getting that body moving!
1. Things will hurt.
We love it when you move a lot! Your body will love it too. It might let you know it is not used to what’s happening by being a little sore though. Your muscle fibres actually tear a little when you work out, then they rebuild, stronger…making you stronger. o a bit of soreness is to be expected and congratulated! You should never exercise to the point of injury!! Do a little bit more as and when you can. Any injuries or pain you have concerns about should be referred to a Doctor or Physio for assessment. Why not visit 6S Physio at Mingara – located close to Mingara One Fitness. If a particular exercise is causing you pain please stop it immediately – either ask for assistance – perhaps you are not performing the exercise correctly or seek medical help. The trainers at Mingara are all ready to help whenever you need it. Not sure? Simply ask. Check out the crew at Mingara One Fitness here. The aching or soreness you feel for the next 2 to 3 days is actually a real thing – delayed onset muscle soreness – DOMS! Your body will adjust to working out and the DOMS will become less and less evident.
2. Get ready to feel hungry
Eat well! That’s our only tip here – but it is true. Once you start a more active lifestyle, you will notice in the first 6 weeks of working out that you will be hungrier – and more often! You are burning more calories than before and your body will be looking to top up the tank to keep that engine running. The trick is to fill up on the right foods and to snack smart. Ask your trainer about the right fuel for before your workout and options to benefit you after your workout. You want your body to have everything it needs to exercise and recover well. The Wellness Cafe at Mingara offers a great range of pre and post workout options – smoothies, fresh juices, protein balls, wraps and more.
3. Sleep well
You may not have been sleeping well – up until now. During your first 6 weeks of working out, you will be tired! Your body is learning new things and moving differently. You are using up way more energy than before you started moving a lot! Rest is important for many reasons – not only to you need enough rest to be able to function properly but your body repairs and restores itself while you are asleep. The better quality the sleep – the better the recovery. Great for sore muscles! For most people, it will be a great thing to start experiencing more rest! What a welcome change! Check out these tips on how to sleep better.
4. Feel alive!
Believe it! At the six week mark, you should notice that your energy levels are on the rise! At first, when you start out, your workouts will leave you energy drained – but – this switches to having the opposite effect. You should begin to feel more energised!
5. Stress might be easier to handle, and your overall mood might improve too.
The mood-boosting benefits of working out can feel just as rewarding as the physical benefits. There’s nothing like that immediate post-workout high (thank you, endorphins), and exercise has also been shown to help manage daily stress for many people. You’ll probably realize after a few good workouts that sweating out your frustrations and stressors can feel pretty therapeutic. Working out can be a way to process your thoughts (or distract yourself from them, if that’s what you need). Plus, exercising outdoors is a great way to get some mood-boosting fresh air, too. At the end of the day, it’s “you” time, which is a major element of self-care.
Regular exercise can also have a profound impact on mental health disorders. While you should absolutely seek out professional help if you’re struggling, studies have shown that regular exercise can also be an important component of managing depression and some other mental health conditions.
6. Your skin might break out.
Unfortunately, sweating more can leave you more prone to acne and breakouts. Sweat from exercise doesn’t cause acne, perspiration during or after exercise creates the ideal moist environment for bacteria to proliferate. Bacteria can be spread to your face by touching it or wiping it with a towel that’s been hanging on the arm of a dirty treadmill, so it’s pretty unavoidable.
If you notice a few more pimples or blemishes after starting an exercise program, there are a few ways to troubleshoot. Take off your sweaty workout gear and rinse off after hitting the gym to prevent body acne, and make sure you wash your face after a workout. Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t foam too much to avoid over-drying your skin.
7. There will be setbacks and times you want to quit.
Honestly, it’s not always easy to stick with a new workout program, and you’ll probably want to throw in the sweaty towel once or twice. No matter how hard you work, there will be setbacks and plateaus, and these will test your dedication.
And sometimes, your dedication won’t win. There is no perfect. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a workout or two. But don’t let that throw your whole new routine–just get back on track when you can. Consistency is the name of the game. After years of letting a week of missed workouts turn into months, I’ve discovered that there’s no bad time to get back on track.
To keep going when the going gets tough, it’s important to build up your support network. “Share your goals. Find a trainer. Join group fitness classes. Find people to support you and help you mentally overcome that hurdle of getting started,” says Lefkowith. You can also set small daily and weekly goals to keep you motivated. You aren’t alone!
8. Your confidence can reach new heights.
Working out can be an incredible way to boost your confidence. Exercise will challenge your mental strength and willpower, but after you prove to yourself that you can push past those limiting beliefs in the gym, you will realise that you have the strength to tackle any challenge life throws at you. Celebrate the victories, big and small, and use them as momentum to power you toward your goals—in the gym and out.
It’s about you!
Congratulate your selves on your first 6 weeks! You have made changes, tried new things, hopefully even found a class or activity you really enjoy and even maybe a couple of new gym buddies. Don’t forget the team at Mingara One Fitness are here to keep you motivated, help with goal setting, provide workout inspiration and help you use equipment properly and to exercise correctly. The most important thing you can do is concentrate on what works best for you – just ask the Mingara One Fitness team for assistance when you need. Keep up the great work!