When you start and exercise program, there is almost an instant benefit to your body. These start out as relatively small benefits, but become more noticeable, and larger the longer you go for!
At the very start of your exercise program, usually within the first 10 minutes, your body will adapt by slowing some things down and speeding other things up to allow you to exercise more efficiently (believe it or not!). A good example of this is your heart rate increasing to allow greater blood flow around the body. At the same time, your digestive system can slow down, which in same people (if they have eaten too soon before training), can end badly! With the increase of blood flow around your body, you get more blood to your brain, which helps you to be more alert!
After a prolonged amount of time, the systems involved in increasing your heart rate can also start responding by sending out stress signals to your body (come on, you have been pushing yourself for such a long time!), which can result in excess muscle breakdown, so it is always good to be mindful of this! Depending on the type of training you are doing, this time can vary, with cardio generally being able to be done for a longer duration than something which is high stress like strength based training.
Once you finish your training session, your body will start trying to return to a “normal” state. The fitter you are, the quicker this transition will occur, and the more you train, the fitter you will get! Generally, everything that was going faster during exercise will slow down, and everything that was going slower will speed back up! In some cases, the body can actually overcompensate with these changes, and this is one of the causes for the “post exercise endorphins” that people can get. One of the main benefits here is in regards to blood pressure. Someone that has high blood pressure can actually lower their pressure through this over-correction! Done correctly, and with the right frequency, this can lower someone’s resting blood pressure! When you wake up the next day, especially in the early days of a new type of training, you will likely be quite sore, due to the tightness of the muscles, and the micro-tears that occur due to the stress that you put your body under. However, your body gets better and better at not only repairing these, but also at protecting itself from them occurring in the first place!
As you go further and further with your training, you can also notice another affect; you start losing weight more easily! This is because for 2-3 days after training, your body’s metabolism is running at a higher rate! This is due to the muscles repairing, and the replacement of oxygen that was used during training. Going further from here, you will start noticing not only physical changes, but also mental changes! The weight and muscle gain that you get is great, but the mental benefits are even better! More muscle means more energy being produced in your body, and the frequent increased blood flow to the brain can increase its function greatly!
Outside of this, each person will have their own set of benefits. In fact, being healthier has so many positive side effects that it is difficult to justify not having a regular exercise program! I would like to finish with this; if you are not experienced with training, or just starting out, it is always a good idea to consult a Personal Trainer to put you on the right track with your training!