What you can expect, from the moment you start moving to an hour, a week, months and years down the road.

When researches tested muscle DNA after people exercised briefly, they found that the DNA was flipping genetic switches to make better use of oxygen and fuel to meet the increased demand.

When you finish
Your brain’s prefrontal cortex- crucial to memory and attention span- gets busy as levels of dopamine and BONF jump. These substances spur faster connections and facilitate critical thinking.

After an hour
Your metabolism stays revved thanks to your faster heart rate and breathing. That means your body consumes extra calories. Higher levels of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin boost mood and lower stress.

After a month
Your lungs are getting stronger and better at oxygenating your blood. That helps the body burn calories for energy and translates into more daily energy for chores, work and whatever challenges come your way.

After a week
The power plants in your muscles- mitochondria- start proliferating. You’ll have more stamina and strength, but as you adjust to activity, you may feel more fatigue- and you’ll start sleeping sounder at night.

After a day
You’ll feel sore thanks to the breakdown of muscle fibers. But that’s a goof sign. When your body repairs those fibers, it rebuilds them stronger to withstand the demands you’re making.

After six months
Your muscles will look more toned. All that breaking down and rebuilding of muscle fiber give you a lean, athletic look. You’ll also crave exercise more and be ready for new challenges. Your heart will be stronger as well.

After a year
You’ll have dropped at least a couple of sizes and your clothes will fit much better. Your bones will be much stronger thanks to the demands of your workout, protecting you from fracture and osteoporosis.

One year lifetime
Achieving fitness early in life eases aging: research has found that when people are active through the decades- even of they do just five session a month- they retain more strength, balance, coordination and quickness.

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