Question: When I begin an exercise program how long will it take before I notice improvement?
Answer: You will notice improvement within two weeks.
It’s important that your exercise program be balanced including strength, cardio, flexibility and nutrition. Improvement is determined by individual goals, and the frequency and type of exercise. If your objective is to lower blood pressure, it is measured in addition to weight loss, inches lost and added muscle. For rehabilitation after surgery improvement may be measured by increased range of motion. For scuba divers, measures of improvement may include more efficient diving performance and use of less air. A good personal trainer will guide you through this process, set a starting baseline and measure at the right milestones.
You will feel better, more alert and refreshed throughout the day. You’ll notice activities of daily living, such as carrying groceries and gardening become easier. You may have already lost a pound or two and should be enjoying your workouts.
By the third week your workouts will likely be fully integrated into your lifestyle and you may begin to feel tired. It’s important to get extra rest and focus on your nutrition strategy during this time. It is best to plan in advance for a quiet week without social engagements or other stressful events.
The good news is that by week four you will feel like a whole new person. You are noticeably stronger, motivated and energized. You are enthusiastic and looking forward to your next workout. Your eating plan is making a difference and perhaps you’ve lost another pound.
By week five you begin to focus more on how exercises feels, the muscles involved and the nuances of proper form. You should be quite comfortable taking your own pulse and measuring your target heart rate. At this point you may begin to take the lead in your fitness program. However, the body needs a couple more weeks to fully adapt, so stick with your fitness professional until at least week eight. Scuba divers, like everyone else, benefit most from a year-round physical fitness regime. Studies show reduced risk of decompression sickness (bends) for divers who are physically fit during the 90-days prior to diving activity as compared to those that are inactive.
By week six the inches are dropping. This is the time to measure body compositioin changes and celebrate your progress.
Weeks 7 and 8
By weeks seven and eight you realize that you’re fast on your way to a new fitness lifestyle. Each individual’s response to exercise is as unique as the many reasons for beginning an exercise program. Keeping in mind, that an exercise program must be balanced, begin exercising today.