We all know that exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Yet, most people don’t think much about exercise unless they’re actively trying to lose weight. So whether you’re following a weight loss plan or just trying to take care of yourself, you might feel perplexed if you’re exercising regularly and yet the number on the scale doesn’t budge.

If you’re not losing weight, does that mean you aren’t getting fit? Absolutely not! In fact, this might be a sign that you’re simply putting on more muscle tissue as you burn fat. Other signs that you’re getting healthier include:

You feel more energetic. Exercise is one of the best fatigue fighters. In fact, people who exercise regularly might notice that they experience fewer of those annoying afternoon energy crashes.

Your exercise routine feels easier. Alternately, other daily tasks might also feel less strenuous to you. You might notice that you no longer get winded from climbing a few flights of stairs, or that bringing in the groceries doesn’t feel like such an arduous task anymore. As you get healthier, your stamina increases.

You’re eating less. This seems counter-intuitive, because exercise should make you hungry, right? But a regular exercise routine can actually decrease your hunger hormones, so that you experience fewer cravings throughout the day.

You feel happier. Research has repeatedly demonstrated a link between regular exercise and improved mood. You might feel more positive about life in general, or experience less anxiety over daily stress factors.

You’re achieving goals. It’s a good idea to set benchmark goals for your exercise routine, so you can track your personal health improvement. You might see that you’re lifting more weight at the gym, able to perform more repetitions, or can add miles to your daily walk or run.

Of course, the best way to assess your personal health is to keep up with your annual physicals. Schedule an appointment with your doctor, so you can be screened for conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. If you’ve been exercising regularly, your doctor will probably be able to see a difference!