Whether you're a newbie or a seasoned fitness fanatic, it’s important to celebrate your fitness wins as you embark on a challenging journey. The benefits of working out extend beyond the external appearance of your body, even though that may be the most common reason some people tend to begin their fitness journey in the first place. Choosing to include fitness in your life has the potential to transform both your body and your overall well-being.
There are certain signs you’re getting fitter that you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Sure, the number on the scale might be some sort of indicator, but we’re talking about signs that you are fit and healthy or signs that your workout is working. These delve past physical changes and into mental strength and emotional growth. Recognize progress and celebrate each win, no matter how small. Those tiny, consistent changes add up over time, helping you achieve your goals and see the desired results.
1. Increased Stamina and Endurance
If you’re just starting, then you very well know that feeling like you might not make it. That moment during a killer HIIT workout where you feel like you might fall over and die. But over time, as you exercise consistently, that HIIT workout gradually becomes more doable and less difficult. This is because your stamina and endurance have improved. Your ability to complete workouts you once felt you might not even make it through is a huge win and an obvious sign you’re getting fitter.
2. Noticeable Muscle Tone and Definition
Although this one is physical, this is one of my favorite signs your workout is working. Who cares what number you see on the scale if you look in the mirror and notice your body is transforming in the sexiest way? It’s that “if you know, you know” thing. And don’t worry — if you haven’t experienced improved muscle tone and definition just yet, get ready to smile. Be patient and remember all good things come in time.
3. Improved Flexibility and Mobility
This one is common sense but is often overlooked when looking for signs you’re fit and healthy. The more you move your body, the more you’ll see improved mobility and flexibility. Growing up as a dancer, I was super flexible. Even in college, stretching was a regular part of my daily routine. But nowadays, I've lost some of my limberness, not being in class regularly nor having extended periods dedicated to stretching and warming up. This is a perfect example of the idea that you lose it if you don’t use it.
The good news is that you can get it back whenever you want. You just have to commit. And when you start to incorporate specific workouts, such as yoga or pilates, you’ll easily be able to spot signs your workout is working. And the wonderful thing about this is that it’s connected to reduced muscle stiffness and discomfort. If you're searching for signs you’re getting fitter, an increase in mobility and flexibility and a decrease in pain and muscle stiffness is your win-win situation, my friend.
4. Resting Heart Rate Progress
A healthy resting heart rate is a clear sign you are fit and healthy. A normal healthy resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute (BPM). Professional athletes often have resting heart rates below 60, so if you have a resting heart rate in the 60s, give yourself a pat on the back.
As you embark on your fitness journey, check your heart rate progress. If you’re an Apple Watch user, I recommend doing this first thing in the morning when you wake up for the most accurate reading. If you notice your heart rate is gradually lowering over time, you’ve come across another sign that you’re fit and healthy.
5. Consistent Energy Levels
The beauty of working out is the endless list of benefits that come with it. One of them is a boost in energy. Sure, your actual workout will require a significant amount of energy. But contrary to what many believe, your energy levels throughout the day will be higher. An intense workout actually leaves you feeling more energized, and that’s why many people love working out first thing in the morning. Your energy levels will be more consistent if you’re consistent with your workouts. Add this to the list of often overlooked signs your workout is working.
6. Faster Post-Workout Recovery
When you start your fitness journey, It’s essential to ensure you give your body enough recovery time. In our fast-paced world, where our lives are so busy, we often overdo it. However, recovery is essential to building strength and endurance and helpful when it comes to avoiding injury. If you’re consistent with your workouts, you’ll notice your post-workout recovery time decreasing. Your body’s ability to recover faster is yet another sign your workout is working. Woo!
7. Mood Boost
One of the best-known natural ways to improve your mental health is to move your body. This is because exercise releases neurotransmitters that naturally boost your mood. There have been many scientific studies done that show a direct correlation between exercise and mental health. Those who exercise regularly lower their risk of depression and anxiety.
When we talk about the overall health benefits associated with fitness — this is a huge one. Not only does your workout improve your physical health, but it also boosts your mental health. Working out really has the power to affect your life in countless ways positively.
Feeling blue? Get outside and go for a walk or pick up some dumbbells. You won’t regret it.
8. Clothes Fit Better
Okay, so we can’t ignore the feel-good physical changes that show you’re getting fitter. These are wins that feel amazing and should be celebrated as well. When your clothes fit better, there’s no arguing that your workout is working. And this beats a lower number on the scale any day, in my opinion.
Sure, weighing yourself is an easy way to track progress if you’re trying to lose weight and get fitter. But it’s just a number that no one but you and your doctor need to know. Your clothes fitting better is much more reason to celebrate. And guess what? The number on that scale might not drop, but if your clothes start to fit you better, then there’s your unarguable sign that your body is changing.
There are several signs you’re getting fitter that you’ll want to keep in mind to help you track your progress. Instead of focusing on a number on the scale, try choosing a few of the ways we mentioned to help you determine your progress on your fitness journey. Depending on your specific goals, some of the signs you’re getting fitter may be more applicable to you than others.
Remember, consistency is key, and progress often shows up in tiny increments. It’s not about overnight results or instant gratification. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to identifying signs you're getting fitter. Ready to commit to getting fit? Sign up for your first class and level up your fitness game with us!