I am currently trying to embark on a fitness journey. I went through different kinds of exercise and now stuck with what I feel works for me, which is a morning walk and your 28 Days Beginner Workout Program.
However, I do have this nagging question in my mind: How do I know that my exercises/workouts are working?
I don’t really know what to look for except looking for any body changes, or mood/energy changes, and I honestly am not really sure if that is even what I should be looking for.
To add on, one of the reasons why I stay motivated with exercising is that I feel chubby lately, and I would like to get in shape, tone my body or slim it down, and just be confident in it. So, I would really like to know what I should be looking for to know if my exercise/workout journey is working.
If you have any advice for me, it would really help me stay more motivated to continue with this journey.
Thank you so much!
A Little Lost Fitness Beginner
Hey A Little Lost,
I LOVE this question. Because yes, the most obvious sign that exercise is “working” is seeing our bodies change. But that takes time, so how do we stay motivated in the meantime and HOW do we know what we’re doing is actually working and we’re not wasting our time and energy?! Here are some sure signs that your workouts are working.
1. You enjoy your workout.
Yayyy you can check this off the list! I’m so happy that you already found a routine that you enjoy. And yes, that is a sign that your workout is “working!” Why? because getting all of the other benefits of exercise starts with looking forward to your workout. It’s really hard for some people to find this!
2. You feel better.
You mentioned mood changes, and you’re absolutely right. Working out helps you feel happier and more calm and grounded. You’ll think more clearly and it will be easier to concentrate. You might notice that you sleep better and handle stress better too. Oh! Another big one is feeling like you have more energy.
You will “feel better” physically too. A big sign that exercise is doing good things for you is better mobility. Maybe you won’t feel as stiff and achy, or you’ll notice you’re more flexible when you stretch. You’ll feel lighter and move more freely!
3. You feel stronger.
At some point, you’re gonna do a workout and think, “hmm, I could probably do a few more reps/use heavier weights/walk longer than usual/etc.” IT WILL HAPPEN. This is my favorite sign that my workouts are working. I loooove realizing that what felt hard to me a few weeks or months ago now feels kinda easy.
That’s the addictive part of exercise for me. It keeps me motivated more than anything else!
Always keep your eyes and mind open to those opportunities to challenge yourself! No matter how small – they’re signs of growth!
4. Physical changes.
I saved this for last, because it usually takes the longest to notice. It takes consistency, courage to keep challenging yourself, and good nutrition to see big physical change. Using the other 3 changes we talked about will keep you motivated for the journey!
Remember that “physical changes” don’t just mean the scale. Your weight doesn’t tell your story! Take progress photos every few weeks or months and watch how your body subtly changes. Also, pay attention to how your clothes may fit differently.
You said that in the past, feeling “chubby” is what motivated you to exercise. And you’re definitely not alone! I used to do this too. But if you wait for the physical changes and ignore all of the other super important good things that come from exercise, you’ll never see what’s “working.” And trust me, if you’re moving and enjoying it, it’s working!
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!