How to tell you’re making progress
Remember, regular exercise benefits your body AND your mind and we’re here to show you some pretty cool signs your fitness could be improving and eight clues to look out for:
You feel more energetic and mentally alert
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there’s a reason you might feel an energy boost.Exercise improves brain functions like memory and cognition both immediately after a workout, and long after.
The Mayo Clinic also explains regular physical activity delivers blood supply and oxygen to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. This means you’ll also have more energy when you’re not working out.
You’re sleep is improving
Sleep quality is another big clue! Signs you are getting a good night’s rest include sleeping more while you are in bed, falling asleep in 30 minutes or less and waking up no more than once per night.
A 2019 meta-analysis of 14 studies between 2010 and 2018 found a positive link between sleep quality and physical exercise. In fact, researchers found moderate activity had a better outcome on sleep quality than more intense exercise for both young and old people.
Results from another 2020 study confirmed exercise can be used as a preventative measure for sleep apnea.
Your clothes fit differently
After a few weeks of working out and eating healthier, you might begin to notice a change in the way your clothes fit. It could be the waist of your favourite pair of jeans feels a little looser, or you’re feeling more comfortable rocking the LBD that’s been tucked away in your closet. if you’ve been doing lots of strength training and are noticing your clothes are feeling tighter than usual (particularly around your biceps or thighs), it might actually be a sign you’re developing muscle - amazing!
Your friends and family have noticed changes
If friends, family members or colleagues have started asking about your secret to healthy, glowing skin (yes, exercise can do that!) or noticed an improvement in your energy levels or posture, it’s likely kudos to your workout plan.
When you look at your life holistically and are more mindful about the daily habits you normally don’t think twice about, you’ll begin to see these wins too!
You’re progressing, not regressing
If you're a beginner, you might have started your Sweat program modifying exercises to make them easier.
If you’ve reached a stage where your coordination and strength are better and you’re now increasing the complexity or adding resistance to bodyweight exercises, don’t discredit this sign that your strength and fitness is improving.
You want to nourish your body with healthier food
Finding it easier to say no to sugary snacks? Researchers have found short workouts may reduce sugar cravings. While other studies argue exercise may increase your appetite, this 2020 review concluded it actually helps to regulate it. The review also found that you are more likely to make better food choices when you are physically active.
This might be because you’ve learnt how the right foods can positively impact your training (and of course, your health!) or simply because you know that when you’re feeling good on the inside, your workout performance will benefit too. So next time you catch yourself reaching for an apple when you’re looking for an afternoon snack, take a moment to appreciate your progress… and remember, a celebratory slice of cake or pizza at a social event can be part of a healthy, happy life too! The secret to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is everything in moderation.
You’re performing daily activities easier and feeling stronger
If you breathe better on the commute to work or perhaps your tight hips are a thing of the past (bring on deeper squats!), this could be a sign you’re getting fitter! Plus, if you’re doing any type of resistance workout, it’s likely they include compound movements like push-ups, lunges or plyometric exercises which are a great way to improve functional strength and make it easier to perform everyday activities like lifting, running and climbing.
You look forward to working out
When you skip a workout, do you miss it? Or maybe you don’t feel quite right? That’s because our bodies were made to move! Getting into a good workout rhythm can help you become your best self, inside and out — and you’ve probably already discovered this!
Regular exercise can even improve your social life! Working out with Sweat means joining thousands of other like-minded women from around the world in your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
The support of the Sweat Community might give you the strength to step outside of your comfort zone, or you might have found a workout buddy who keeps you accountable. Working out doesn’t have to be boring, and if you’ve started finding it’s become one of your favourite parts of the day, it’s a sign you’re making progress.
Fitness progress is more than just what you see
The hard work you are putting in is paying off and if you’ve noticed any of these changes, it’s a good indication that you are getting fitter.
If you’re struggling through a setback or are scared to start your first workout, try committing to just 10 minutes each day, and see how great you begin to feel!
How are you finding your fitness journey? Let us know in the comments!