The same exercise that is right for your friends, your family, or your partner is not necessarily going to be the right exercise for you. How do you find the right exercise? Below are some questions you can ask yourself which may help you find the exercise program that’s right for you.
Have you determined what your fitness goals are? If not, consider this question – what is it that you want to achieve with your exercise program? Do you want to feel great and look good in your own skin? Has your doctor told you that you need to become more active? Do you want to find an exercise program you won’t hate? The above three questions will help you express your fitness goals. Remember, you can get healthier by exercising consistently 30 minutes a day than you can by exercising for two hours once a week. Find something that is easy to incorporate into your day and you’ll be most likely to stick to it.
Is your goal to train your muscles or train your entire body? Many people focus primarily on training their muscles (legs, arms, and heart) but they may neglect the remaining part of their body. The other things to consider when exercising include training your breathing, working to keep your joints healthy, enhancing coordination, increasing circulation, and maintaining balance. Your body is more than simply muscles. It is important to train your whole body with the exercise to enable you to reach your long-term fitness goals.
What exercise program fits best with your schedule? If you’re a busy person – parent, spouse, caregiver, employee, or any number of hats you may wear – you may feel like you don’t have time to exercise. If you don’t have time to spend an hour or two a day at a gym, you can also exercise at home. If you hate to exercise alone, ask a friend or family member to exercise with you. Remember, the goal of exercising is to reduce stress rather than creating stress for you. Choose something you can do without having to leave your home and travel to get there.
Does the exercise program have more than one benefit associated with it? People who practice Tai Chi understand that the activity trains their joints as well as encourages balance. Those who practice Yoga realize it helps train the body and the mind simultaneously. Anyone who enjoys CrossFit understands that they are increasing strength and agility at the same time. If can find an activity that accomplishes more than one thing at a time, give it a try. You may find you enjoy the varied benefits.
Will your exercise program carry over into your everyday life? If your job requires you to move heavy items, a weight lifting program might be best for you. However, if you sit behind a desk all day, unless you enjoy pushing weights, you probably don’t need to focus on that exercise. The goal is to find an exercise that you will enjoy doing, and that is important to you, for now and into the future. The more important it is for you, personally, the more likely you will continue it.
Are some physical activities difficult for you or has your doctor suggested you avoid them? If you have had heart surgery, it is unlikely the doctor is going to suggest that you start training for a marathon. If you’ve had knee surgery, rowing a boat will likely cause stress or injury to your knees. Walking is one of the least jarring exercises and it is something you do throughout your day. Adding a short walk in the evening might be a good option for you if you have health issues.
If you’re a social person, it is unlikely that you will enjoy exercises that keep you away from other people. Taking an exercise class with a friend will help you be social as well as help you continue to exercise. If you’d rather be alone after a long, hard day at work, being in an exercise class probably isn’t going to work for you. You may prefer a quiet exercise like swimming or yoga where it is quiet and there aren’t a lot of people around.