You like red, your brother likes green, and your sister prefers blue. You all like chocolate, and nobody likes Brussels sprouts. Why would you think that the same workout would fit each of you?
A workout routine can and should be as individual as you are. Luckily, there are so many options that you can find something to fit your body, your style and your pocketbook.
Whether it’s a team sport such as baseball, a solitary pursuit such as running, chanting “Om mani padme hum” on a yoga mat or training for a triathlon, there’s an exercise program that’s just right for you.
Remember, whatever you choose, a well-rounded exercise program should incorporate aerobics, strength training and flexibility exercises. If you’re looking for a set workout plan, we have plenty of totally FREE options to choose from! Check them out here!
Aerobic exercise means you need to do something that makes you just short of breath. This is the kind of exercise a person with zero fitness can begin with.
A brisk walk, jogging, pounding a treadmill or swimming will all meet your need to get your heart pumping.
You should be able to talk or whistle while you exercise; if you can’t, you’re overdoing it. This is the bare minimum for getting yourself on the road to fitness!
Most people need a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week.
If your muscles are strong, you will be less susceptible to injury, have more endurance and better posture. Working out with weights or using your own body in bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups or lunges – will help build muscle mass.
Your muscles work in opposing sets; some “push” out while others “pull” in. Overly strong or weak muscles can cause pain, so proper strength training helps keep your muscles balanced.
Setting up a workout plan that covers your entire body will make sure you don’t end up out of proportion and out of whack.
You don’t have to be able to sit in lotus or twist yourself into a pretzel, but being flexible makes it a lot easier to go through the day without sore muscles. A muscle that is stretched regularly is less likely to tear under sudden stress.
Yoga, Pilates, ballet and tai chi are all good ways to build and retain flexibility.
It’s also important to warm up properly before and after you run or do strength training; stretching can help prevent cramps and injuries, and is a great way to cool down after a hard workout.
Who are you, and why are you doing that exercise?
The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates may have coined the term “Know thyself.”, but it still fits in today’s modern world.
No matter how well-rounded the program or how supportive a personal trainer is, if an exercise program doesn’t fit your personality, you won’t stick with it.
With that in mind, take a few minutes to consider and identify some of your likes and dislikes.
Take a look at the list below to see what kinds of fitness activities might be best for you:
– You are happy doing things alone or with one or two good friends.
Solitary fitness activities might be the best choice for someone who prefers to be alone. A long run through a park or a workout in your own home can meet both your fitness requirements, and your need for private time.
Tennis or a similar one-on-one sport could be fun with the right partner.
– You like being part of a group; other people energize you.
The camaraderie of a team sport such as soccer or basketball will rev you up; your teammates provide you with the social interaction you need.
Exercising in a busy gym may also suit you, and you should probably look into the many fitness classes that are available.
Chances are you’d love the friendly competition and group motivation that comes with them.
– You have a schedule, a to-do list and a plan, and you stick to all of them.
You will do best with an exercise routine that is a part of your schedule. Block out an appointment at the gym every day at the same time, or take a brisk walk as soon as you get up. If you’re not a morning person, take that walk at lunch time.
Finding an exercise program that lets you measure your improvement probably will help you even more – more reps or a specific number of seconds off your daily run – because you like to track your progress.
– You like to keep things loose, so you can make a change or take a different direction if something interesting comes up.
The risk to keeping things too loose is that it’s easy to get distracted. You might do best with home exercise equipment so you can exercise when the mood strikes.
An exercise buddy may give you the little bit of extra impetus to stick to a routine.
Break it up and do something different periodically – different kinds of exercise help keep you from getting bored and keep your body guessing.
– You have adequate funds to pay for an exercise program.
The sky’s the limit! A personal trainer can be expensive, but that may ensure you actually exercise on a regular basis. Also, a personal trainer can help you tackle some of the more difficult things you might not want to try without professional instruction.
You could also put that money into creating the ultimate home gym. There are a lot of equipment options out there, so do your research before choosing anything.
Remember: you can get a great workout in with something as simple as a few dumbells.
– You’re operating on a shoestring exercise budget.
Good old-fashioned calisthenics – think boot camp routines such as jumping jacks, sit-ups and pushups – won’t deplete your pocketbook, although you should have a good pair of shoes.
You can do a bodyweight routine pretty much anywhere.
The only requirement to get a good workout in is a little creativity.
Find a good spot for pull-ups, or use some heavy household objects for your weights. Walking, jogging and running are also free once you’ve bought the shoes.
– You live in town.
Schools and parks may be available for team sports such as basketball.
The key is to get out and find what opportunies are available. No one is going to MAKE you get fit. Your success is up to you!
– You live out in the country.
Hiking, cross-country skiing, ice skating and biking are all fitness activities more likely to be readily available in the country. A long walk on a country road soothes the spirit as well as exercising the body.
You may be thinking, “I don’t have time, I don’t have money, there’s no gym in my little town!”
All of those statements may be true. However, if you are alive and breathing, there are ways to get your daily exercise. Park your car at the far end of the lot and walk to the grocery – and walk fast, so your heart rate and breathing ramp up.
Take the stairs (yes, that means you have to climb them, not just go down), even if it is three flights. When you pick up the kids’ toys, squat instead of bending – it builds your quads and saves your back.
Lift the baby over your head to work the muscles in your arms or play tag with your toddlers. Every little bit helps you build your overall fitness.
One thing’s for sure: you’re not going to get anywhere by sitting on the couch watching TV and drinking that soda every day.
The real secret of fitness success is that there’s no secret. It comes down to how much you’re willing to work to get the results you want.
Whether your goal is to bench 300 pounds or to walk 15 minutes a day, take small steps to work your way up to success. The possibilities are endless! Get started with a workout plan to match your goals today!