When will my workouts pay off? A fitness trainer explains how to achieve realistic results

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  • Each person is different, so there is no exact timeline for how long it will take to get in shape.
  • However, a fitness trainer says with regular exercise, you should start to see results within one to two months.
  • It's also important to balance healthy eating with exercise to get both body and mind 'fit'.

Starting a new exercise routine is one of the greatest things you can do for your health. From improving your energy, mood and sleep to reducing your anxiety and stress, there is a myriad of benefits associated with being active.

But doing so can also be challenging, and you’ll likely find yourself asking: “How long until my workouts start showing results?”

One fitness expert has the answer.

In an interview with The Independent, fitness trainer Amanda Hughes explains:

“If you’ve never exercised before, you can expect to see results much faster than someone who has been training for years, as their bodies will be more conditioned.”

READ MORE | Can’t manage workouts during the week? Don't worry, exercise only on weekends is also effective

Hughes says that because we’re all individual in our make-up, the rate at which we see changes to our body will vary from person to person.

Regular exercise should lead to noticeable results

Hughes suggests that if your programme involves working out three to five times a week, you should notice results in one to two months. 

A personal trainer also told Healthline in 2020 that small changes will become more apparent and shouldn’t be dismissed.

“For someone starting out, I notice that within two weeks they can start feeling the benefits of exercise,” such as being less out of breath when you climb stairs, said Jamie Logie.

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Hughes recommends three tips to help you along the way.

1. Keep track of your progress

Documenting your workout journey, such as using “before and after” photos, can help keep you motivated.

“Whilst the initial changes will be small, over time, these results will be more noticeable,” she says.

2. Your workout plan should be realistic - but challenging

Hughes advises taking a progressive approach with your workouts and considering your starting points.

She adds: “A realistic and sustainable plan in place will help you stay on it.”

READ MORE | OPINION | Physical activity can help you to concentrate better – here’s why

Harvard Health also stresses that your exercise routine can only be successful if it’s something that suits your lifestyle, time constraints, budget and physical condition.

3. Make your workouts fun

If your workout feels more like a chore, you may lose interest and struggle sticking to your routine.

To spice it up, try out a fitness class, such as boxing or aerial yoga. “Finding something that you enjoy doing is paramount to your success,” says Hughes.

Of course, eating a healthy balanced diet is as essential as having a regular exercise routine to maintain your health and well-being.

Healthline suggests making a healthy breakfast a part of your routine, consuming healthy fats and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and ensuring you stock your fridge or gym bag with healthy workout snacks.

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