It is no mystery that regular exercise is an important aspect of healthy living. The benefits of exercise are endless—lower blood pressure, lower blood cholesterol, stronger heart, stronger muscles, healthier lungs, and better psychological/emotional health, to name a few. Once you have decided to begin an exercise routine into your life, the next step is to choose the right workout strategy for you. How should you choose between hiring a personal trainer and working out at home to an exercise video, for example? Many factors influence this decision—your schedule, body type, physical restrictions, fitness goals, activity preferences, etc. Here are some tips to consider as you study and select the right plan for you.
What Do You Enjoy?
One of the biggest criteria for choosing a workout regiment is if you will enjoy the exercise. If you dislike the activity, it is more likely that you will drop out of the program all together. Think about these questions:
- Do you like working out alone or with friends?
- Do you like competition during exercise?
- Do you like to exercise indoors or outdoors?
- Do you like organized activities (basketball, soccer)?
- Do you enjoy circuit training?
Once you have thought about your answers to these types of questions, you can narrow down what kind of exercise you should look into. If you like group exercise indoors and you get a kick out of competition, you might consider joining a sports league or a cross fit gym. If you like outdoor, solitary exercise, then an outdoor running regiment might be best for you. Whatever your interests are can be a guide in your selection process. Additionally, you may want to choose a few things and do different exercise on different days. Any way you can make working out more enjoyable will yield big benefits down the road.
Another important aspect of this decision is your ultimate fitness goal. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle or prepare for a marathon plays a role in your workout routine. Losing weight requires a mixture of weight lifting and cardio. Exercising for the purpose of muscle gain will certainly be heavy on the weight lifting. If you are planning to train for an event such as a marathon, half marathon, or triathlon, you will probably construct your exercise routine around those specific athletic activities (running, biking, and swimming). If you are hoping to increase flexibility, strength and improve stress management, then yoga or Pilates might work for you.
Body Type/Physical Abilities
All exercisers have different skill levels and physical abilities. Exercise should accommodate those things. If you have weak or afflicted joints, a low impact activity may be best, such as swimming, or working out on the elliptical. If you need a low intensity workout program, then walking, jogging or lifting light weights may do the trick. The key is to respect your body, what it can do and what it cannot. You would not want to risk aggravating an injury or causing permanent damage.
Touch All the Bases
A good workout routine is often one that addresses several health targets including flexibility, balance, strength, and aerobic exercise. It may be easy to forget one or more of these areas when exercising, especially when you do not have lot of time, but they are all important parts of your physical health.
After considering these points, you will be better equipped to make a smart workout regimen decision. Whatever choice you make, however, should be one that you carry over into other aspects of your life. Making fitness a priority certainly includes a good workout plan, but it also includes a change of lifestyle. A healthier lifestyle will lead to a happier you.