Where ever you are on this journey called life, we all know it can be a hard road staying motivated and keeping on track with your fitness program. I hear so many people ask, “How can I tell if my diet and exercise routine is working?”
And in the “teaser” racks of the checkout line at the local supermarket, fitness magazines bare impossibly toned and ripped men and women on their covers with six pack abs to die for.
You look in the mirror and don’t see much, if any, results for all your hard work. So it’s understandable you are thinking of throwing in the towel and giving up on getting into shape.
Well guess what?
You’re probably stronger and much fitter than you give yourself credit for. So don’t stop now.
Changes taking place inside your body could well be paying off from doing all those gym exercises, riding your bike or doing laps in your local pool (although I have taken to ocean swimming lately).
It is a matter of time and having some faith; the outward results might just be subtle, instead of noticeable, but that will come. Keep at it and your workout routines will pay off; Rome wasn’t built in a day. All that functional training is going to pay off.
So keep reading and discover some not-so-obvious signs your gym workouts are working, and visual proof of a stronger, leaner, fitter and more flexible you are just around the corner.
1. You Are Sleeping Better
Sounds strange doesn’t it, but most people don’t connect better sleep habits with being fit. The truth, is when you build muscle and burn fat, you sleep better. So if your sleep has improved, you are on the right physical fitness track to better health and fitness.
2. Your Balance is Improving
This is a great result for those boomers following a senior fitness program. And you will usually notice an improvement in the first four to six weeks of an exercise program.
As your core muscles, legs and corresponding stabilizer muscles gain in strength you will find a huge increase in confidence giving you the ability to walk in places such as unfamiliar surroundings, uneven footpaths and steeper sloping ground or bending over to pick up something off the floor.
3. You Can Stand without Having to Shift Your Weight
Can you stand through a short meeting without switching your weight from one foot to the other? Do you effortlessly stand in line at your local coffee shop waiting for your morning hit? These are subtle signs you have improved your functional strength and flexibility.
4. You Can Keep up With Your Kids or as in my case, Grandkids
Kids seem to have endless energy. A lot of parents start exercising to be able to spend more time with their children. If you notice you can keep up with your kids better than before, that’s a sign your hard work is paying off.
“Have you been working out?” or “Gee, you’re looking good”. When you hear this, it means the improvements are noticeable so take heart and keep going.
You stand a little taller. Your posture improves, along with your self-confidence. You walk with a lighter step. You may not notice gradual but positive changes that come as a result of exercising, but your friends, family and co-workers will let you know.
6. You Find You Are Mentally Sharper
Exercise fires off “feel good” endorphins and other chemicals in your brain. Physical exertion also makes your mind clearer and more focused. Have you noticed you are mentally more capable than usual? Exercise could well be the cause.
Fitness is something that should be looked at as a lifetime pursuit if you want to gain the most for your efforts and your health especially in your senior years. You need to set realistic expectations when commencing a fitness program but be prepared for long term gains.
If you are just starting out on your fitness journey then be aware it takes time to see results.
Let it become part of your life; don’t expect too much too quickly but keep at it and you will reap the benefits over the long term. I can guarantee that from my own experiences.