Deciding to work out is one thing, but staying in the exercise program is another. The secret to sticking to a workout is finding out the one that fits your lifestyle and doesn’t burden you. You can try everything under the sun to discover which physical activity fits you best, but that can be counterproductive and time-consuming. Discover your perfect workout match by considering the following.
What are your fitness goals?
For most people, the decision to start exercising doesn’t happen out of the blue. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to exercise?” Is it to lose weight? To improve cardiovascular health? To build muscle mass? And more importantly, why is that your goal? The answer could be as simple as, “I want to be able to hike mountains with my friends” or, “I need to lose weight so I can wear my old clothes again.”
Your goals will help determine the workouts you should engage in to achieve your goals. For instance, if your goal is to gain strength without bulking up, you can eliminate weightlifting from the list of possible exercises and take up Pilates instead.
Beyond losing weight, what do you want to achieve?
So your fitness goal is to lose weight. That’s a good goal. However, it shouldn’t be the end goal of exercising, because there’s a limit to that goal. At some point, you have to stop shedding pounds, because going lower than a certain weight class will make you underweight.
A better approach to exercise is to see it as something that can help you overcome physical challenges. For example, if you want to work on your flexibility, you can start by challenging yourself to do a half split, then a side split, and finally, a front split. Once you overcome a challenge, set another one. How about trying to do a headstand next? Or running 100 meters in 30 seconds?
Test your limits by translating your fitness goals to physically measurable results, e.g., “To be able to climb a mountain, I need strong calves. This means I must be able to do at least 50 squats a day.” If you’re unsure about how to set or mark your physical milestones, don’t hesitate to ask a physical trainer. Ask them how you can achieve your non-weight-loss-related goals. Your routine of choice should empower you to do exactly that.
What routines do you enjoy?
Wellness is a lifestyle, and exercise is just one component of living healthily. Together with other elements of wellness such as proper diet and sleeping habits, exercise should seamlessly be woven into your daily activities. It works best if it doesn’t feel like a chore. So if you enjoy running, stick to it. If swimming floats your boat, keep doing it. If you focus only on doing exercises that help you achieve your goals, it gets boring pretty easily. While there’s truth to the adage “no pain, no gain,” you don’t have to suffer all the time to achieve results.
Pilates and barre are low-impact, modifiable exercises that challenge both body and mind. If you’re looking for exercises that don’t get boring while improving your strength, balance, and flexibility, these could just be the perfect workout for you. Sign up for a class at C2 Body today.