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What 30 days of exercise can do

Posted September 10, 2014 in Advice Column, Clive

When it comes to starting any exercise program, it can be overwhelming to think too far into the future. It’s wise to take a smaller scale approach to fitness: one day at a time, one week at a time and one month at a time. So, for those of you looking to get started on a fitness routine, let’s take a look at what a 30-day program of strength and cardio exercise can do for your body and your mindset.

During the first 30 days of a progressive strength training program, you can expect improved muscle performance, increased strength, better ability to resist fatigue, and you may look and feel more tight and toned. When you are new to strength training — or coming back after extended time away — the first session can feel tough. Stick with it, your nervous system will become more efficient — known as neural adaptation — and your muscles will adapt to the work. Within that first month, you will increase muscle strength. If you continue to progress over subsequent months, your muscles will increase in size, called hypertrophy. For women, this does not mean big and bulky arms. It means lean and toned arms. To continue getting positive results, continue to use heavier resistance to overload the same muscle groups.

Once you begin aerobic exercise for the first time — or after a long absence — you may feel winded. Your breathing may seem labored and your heart rate may elevate quickly. This is normal. You just need to gradually build cardiovascular capacity and make your heart and lungs work better for you. Cardio training will do that. By the end of 30 days these experiences should improve, and may even disappear. As you progress and are able to increase the duration and intensity of your cardio workouts, your heart rate will begin to slow down (a good thing) and recover more quickly after each session. As your heart gets stronger, your blood vessels will become more elastic, which could lead to lower blood pressure. Your body is now able to take in and process oxygen at a faster rate — meaning your aerobic capacity will improve during those first 30 days, leaving you ready for greater challenges.

Thirty days of exercise can even improve your brain function. Regular exercise improves oxygen flow to the brain. It also helps the body release hormones that assist in brain cell growth. Research has shown that exercise, even a minimal amount of aerobic exercise, improves mood, will decrease stress and anxiety and even helps ward off depression.

A leaner body, a strong heart and a better brain.

Information provided by Tina Howell, Master FitCoach/Owner Koko FitClubs.

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