Friday, January 11, 2013

How to Pick a Workout You Will Like

There exists a certain love-hate relationship when it comes to working out. We love the burn, we love the results...but we often hate having to put in the time. Let's be honest, we'd rather be socializing with friends and family or curling up on the couch with a television show. But seriously, NOT working out really shouldn't be an option. For health reasons, yes. But more importantly, there's something for every interest. You should always be able to find a workout you like. It just takes some thought on your part. Some self-reflection and honesty.

Ask yourself these four questions (in no particular order):

1) AM I GOOD AT MOTIVATING MYSELF? If the answer is "yes," then you're lucky. There aren't a lot of workouts you'll have to immediately write off. But if the answer is "no," then you'll want to consider group fitness classes or sessions with a personal trainer. Both of which hold some level of accountability over your head. Meaning, your trainer will charge you if you don't show up without reason and your classmates will notice when you aren't there. And many classes charge a fee. Who wants to waste money? "Not I," said everyone.

2) DO I HAVE ANY PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS? Sometimes our bodies simply cannot sustain certain types of physical activity because of injury or ailment. For example, if you have bad knees, then you'll certainly not want to take up running. Consult with your doctor, then consult with a personal trainer or group fitness instructor for further advice. They can help you decide what you might like and what, in essence, might be a recipe for disaster.

3) HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE FOR WORKING OUT? ARE THERE SPECIFIC SLOTS IN MY SCHEDULE THAT WORK BEST? Knowing how you might best incorporate exercise in your schedule is a great way to start the search for a workout you'll like. Particularly if you're interested in taking any group fitness classes or working with a trainer, both of which are very schedule oriented. But if these things don't interest you, then it's all about deciding how much time you are willing to take out of your day (or week) to devote to working out. For example, high intensity workouts can be done in 20 to 30 minutes, plus a warm up and cool down. You can get serious bang for your time buck in little to no time at all, maybe two to three times a week. But if you want to become a runner, if you'd like to incorporate more running, then you'll need to be flexible and available for a training schedule that will grow as your desired distance grows.

4) HOW MUCH AM I WILLING TO SPEND? If the answer is nothing, there's no need to despair. Many a great workout can be achieved using your very own body weight and not much else. But if you do have a budget, you can decide if you'd rather spend that money on a gym membership or a piece of home equipment—of course, you'll then have to decide which type of home equipment is best, which takes you back to the physical limitations you have and the time restrictions, too.

5) WHAT ARE MY GOALS? If you need to lose some serious weight, then yoga might not be the best choice for you at first. If you want to build muscle in a lean, mean way then you might want to consider working with weights on a regular basis or taking up a Body Pump class. Goals are easily achieved when you have the right mindset—and the right plan. Pick a bad plan and you'll lose motivation and interest. So knock things off the list that aren't in line with your goals.

Your cheat sheet:

Now go, choose your adventure. Remember those books? Loved them.

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway. Be sure you do...two readers will win free berries!

Question: What workouts do you absolutely hate more than anything? Like, you won't ever do them. For me, it's anything in the pool...which is totally unfortunate.


Kelly McNelis said...

These questions remind me so much of those diagrams where you answer questions and follow paths depending on your answers. Do you know what I'm talking about? I'm so tempted to make one for you! And to answer your question about hated workouts, I really hate exercise dance classes. Like, zumba. Nightmare.

adailydoseoffit said...

I totally know what you're talking about...

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