Choose the Best Workout for Your Lifestyle

Choose the Best Workout for Your Lifestyle

When it comes to fitness, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Your bestie might love boxing, your husband pick-up basketball games and your mom yoga. But you might not like any of those things — maybe Pilates or jogging is more your style. Knowing the best workout for you is tough.

If you are starting an exercise routine, or thinking of shaking up what you’re already doing, keep these guidelines in mind.

Tips for Starting Exercise– Choosing the Best Workout Style For You

1. Be honest with your time

If you hate mornings, don’t commit to a routine of 5 a.m. wake-up calls. Conversely, if evenings are always jam-packed between commuting, dinner and time with family, maybe that’s not the best time for fitness. You’ll be less likely to stick with exercise over the long haul if it’s not sustainable or enjoyable, so carefully consider what will work best for you.

2. Prioritize just moving

Even the most devoted exercisers hit road bumps; sometimes, life just gets in the way. On the days when you’re not making it to the gym or out for a jog, take the stairs; walk to work if you can, or squeeze in a few body-weight movements, like squats and push-ups, during a free moment. The little things add up.

Take a stroll with dog

3. Believe in yourself

It sounds crazy when you’re just starting, but if you stick with exercise long enough, you just won’t feel right without it. Like blogger Preppy Runner recently wrote, after a while, it’s just like brushing your teeth.

4. Buddy up

Accountability is key when it comes to starting and sticking with a new habit. Whether you respond best to external or internal accountability differs person to person; just take the time to reflect on your needs. Your children can be great workout buddies too, plus, it’ll instills the active lifestyle young.

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Workout with your child

5. Plan ahead

Pack your gym bag the night before (and a healthy lunch, too). Some people even keep a spare set of clothes at work, so they never have an excuse to skip exercise. Also get in the habit of scheduling movement like you would any other appointment. Even if you feel busy, remember: An hour of exercise is just one little hour out of 24!

6. Find what you like

We feel the need to reiterate this one more time: Exercise can be fun. Not every day, sure, but in general, you should enjoy it. If you love tennis, play tennis. If you like to walk and listen to audiobooks or podcasts, do that. If group workouts are your thing, find classes that you feel are motivating. If you keep searching, you’ll discover your fitness match made in heaven.

spin class outdoors

Expert-Approved Routines to Try

The Beginner: Walking and light lifting

Former couch potatoes should not just hop on the treadmill and go for it. Working out too hard too fast is a recipe for injury — and a quick return to the couch.

woman running on the sidewalk

Photo Credit: Dave Meier

Jason West, clinical assistant professor in the exercise and sports medicine department at the University of Tulsa, told ABC News that newbies should start slow with a walking program and some work on weight machines. “Weight lifting machines are a good place to start because people can “just sit in a comfortable position and focus on one muscle group,” he said.

If you can, invest in time with a personal trainer when you’re new to exercise. Trained fitness pros can help you find what you like to do and assist in mapping out goals for fitness gains.

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An emphasis on moving throughout the day is great for newbies, too.

The Weekend Warrior: Weight training

Casual joggers looking to take it up a notch should consider HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, as well as circuit training. (Although, no matter how fit you are, any time you’re upping the intensity it’s best to take it slow and consult with a pro if you can.)

woman weight training

These heart-pumping exercise routines can be a great way to build muscle and torch calories with a relatively small time investment. Several studies have found interval training to be a more effective way to burn fat than slower, steady state jogging, for example.

The Time-Strapped Parent: At-home workouts

Busy, sleep-deprived parents might feel like exercise is the last thing on their priority list. But physical activity is key for a long, healthy life with your child, so it’s smart to find out how to fit it in.

“People tend to think they need to spend hours on end at the gym. It’s the quality, not the quantity. With a 15- to 20-minute weight workout, you can achieve great benefits,” Brad Schoenfeld, a fitness trainer in Scarsdale, New York, told WebMD.

You can also find fun things to do with your kids: nature walks, trips to the pool, playground tag — all these activities count and add up.

The Retiree: Swimming

Individuals of all ages can find pounding the pavement to be hard on their joints. The problem often becomes worse with age.

woman sitting with her feet in the water

Photo Credit: margot pandone

 Enter: swimming laps or aqua fitness classes. These impact-free exercises take the pain out of exercise for many people while helping with strength and flexibility.
What’s the best workout you’ve done that works for your lifestyle and why? Share in the comments below because your solution can help guide others in finding the workout that’s right for them!

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