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Will I feel good after exercising?

The definition of feeling good is different for everyone but usually people do report feeling good after exercise. Generally people exhibit feelings of accomplishment, completion, happiness, success, warmth and strength after a workout is complete.

I love this question. I can feel the mixture of fear and anticipation from someone that I would label a "health seeker." This person probably hasn't been a member of a sports team, or a gym for that matter. "Working out" or "exercising" has simply never been a part of his/her life. That is perfectly fine. We are all athletes, and the only way to see what this means to you is to get up and go!

The bottom line is that this person should be so pumped to start. And by starting, I mean going for a 10-minute walk around the block, trying 10 push-ups leaning against their counter top. Anything! Just move! Hold on to the back of a chair and slowly squat down 15 times. Simply things to get your body moving. Soon, the heart rate will increase and you may even begin to perspire. During the activity and after you are done, you are likely to feel proud of yourself, and the majority of emotions will be positive ones. This will propel you to want to repeat this the next day, with slow and steady progress.

This is an interesting question, because in many ways it’s a counter question to our real concern which is, “Will I feel pain after exercising?”

Most people who haven’t worked out for a while have had the experience at one point in time of doing too much too soon; thinking that since they haven’t been in shape, the only solution is to start running three miles a day - immediately.

Over training a de-conditioned body is a recipe for disaster and can lead to injuries that will set back both your ability to train, and your desire. 

As Andy Sharry indicates above, it’s important to start gradually. Ease yourself into a program and be aware of how your body responds. It’s not unusual to feel some tightness and soreness after being out of practice for a while, but you should not be in pain.

Minimize your discomfort by making sure to stretch both before and after a workout, and if you find that you truly feel badly afterward, recognize that as your bodies way of saying you’re doing too much.

The important thing is to not give up. With consistency and persistence your body will progress, and over time you will find that you are exercising at a level you never imagined possible. When you do, you’ll find that yes, you will feel good after exercising.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
You betcha.  And you’ll feel even better if you exercise with a friend.  Your body naturally produces feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins after you exercise.  This phenomenon is typically referred to as a runner’s high.  And don’t worry, you don’t have to run to experience it—it happens after any exercise, but it isn’t just your feeling good about yourself for exercise…that is an additional benefit—positive self image.  However, runner’s high doesn’t last forever, so if you’ve worked your body hard or done certain exercises that worked muscles you’re not used to working, you might be sore, which definitely doesn’t feel as good as the “high”, but if you get your partner to give you a massage, you can get those endorphins flowing all over again.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.