Geriatrician, Hospitalist, Patient Advocate, Healthcare Educator

Changes to Expect With Regular Exercise

Photo by Lucas van Oort

So you’ve been consistently getting in your exercise for the past month and are wondering when you will start to see some results. Don’t stop what you are doing if you don’t see the results. Like anything, this will take time but here is what to expect:

Decrease in heart rate

Like the other muscles in your body, the heart which is also a muscle will get stronger and your heart will pump more blood per beat which will decrease your resting heart rate. You can expect to see this change in a few weeks of consistent work-outs.

Change in blood pressure

  • Going from being relatively sedentary to increasing your step count and getting in some aerobic exercise can decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • After a few weeks, there will also be an improvement in blood pressure for those individuals with borderline elevated blood pressure and those who have hypertension(known elevated blood pressure). However, those with normal blood pressure, will see little overall change.

Muscle fitness

You may notice a little bit of muscle toning in about a month or two, but it may take about 3-6 months to see significant improvement in your muscle fitness when you incorporate regular resistance training in your work-outs. This is because the neruromuscular connetions learn how to more efficiently contract your muscles. Although the results of resistance training are variable from person to person, you will eventually see improvement in strength, muscle tone, and overall fitness.

Weight loss

This again varies from person to person but to really see some significant result, you need to get in 60 minutes or more of activity time.

Improvement in mood

Exercise will lead to an improvement of mood, reduce stress, and help energy levels. It has been found that even a quick 10 minute walk can have these results.

Improved endurance

With continued exercise, endurance will improve. It takes about 8-12 weeks to see improvement in endurance and overall cardiovascular health. There will be more oxygen delivered to the working muscles which will allow for longer work-outs and reduced effort.