We are all well aware of the importance of exercise and that ideally, you should be incorporating it into your routine 4-6 times a week.
And while you’ve done your best to make this happen (bought new sneakers, found some workout clothes, looked into gym memberships), if you’re like a lot of people, it’s still not going as well as you hoped.
Don’t worry: the reason may just be that you are trying to gain success in the wrong types of fitness, at the wrong times and for the wrong amount of time.
What type of exercise should I use?
There’s running, cycling, the cardio equipment at the gym, kick boxing and bootcamp. There’s weights and crossfit, heavy lifting and barre. There’s yoga, pilates, and other flexibility training, and of course all the classes and group workout sessions. Sometimes all the exercise options make it hard to know which one is best. The truth is, the best one is the one that you enjoy the most and that you will stick to and do consistently. Sometimes it can take a while to figure this out and a few trial and error sessions, but this is totally okay! Remember that at first, any exercise is likely going to suck if you aren’t use to working out regularly, so I usually suggest you try something consistently for 2-3 weeks, and then if it still isn’t something you enjoy, try something different. Here’s a few things to consider to help you figure it out:
Do you only feel like you’ve had a good workout if you’re dripping in sweat? If so, then you may be more into the cardio side of things. Cardio allows for increased heart rate for an extended period of time, leaving you tired and sweaty at the end.
Do you love that sore feeling the day after a workout? Maybe you should lean more towards lifting weights and focusing on strength training. Of course cardio still leaves you sore, but after a while your body becomes more efficient at it and you are simply burning calories, while with strength training, you increase the weight or reps and your body has to work hard again.
Are you looking for something quick, or do you want to spend some time at the gym? If you are into simply getting your workout done quickly and spending as little time doing it as possible, HIIT, or tabata training might be for you. It’s high intensity training that results in maximal gains in minimal time. If you tend to enjoy your workout time and see it more as your time to be alone and take a break from the rest of your life, endurance training like running or cycling might be better.
Do you like to workout alone, or do you need a buddy? If you are the kind of person who gets your motivation and drive from being pushed by someone else, consider signing up for a gym such as ClassPass, which is class and instructor based and you show up and have someone else tell you how and when and how hard to work out. If you are motivated by competing against yourself however, and are good at getting into your own head and pushing yourself harder with no one else around, endurance sports or strength training may be the way to go.
Take some time to think about what types of fitness would work for you and don’t be afraid to try a few options to find one that you like and enjoy!