Every few months a “new” type of exercise or fitness routine makes its way into the media and takes the world by storm. Remember Taeboe? Crossfit? Pole Dancing? Pilates? Yolates? It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the options about which you should pick to help you become a fit, healthy person.
Don’t worry – I have the answer in one sentence.
Do what makes you happy.
For some reason this isn’t intuitive to everyone. Some people think that for muscle gain they should do x, for leaning out they should do y, and oh my god they heard that t, q, r and p are crazy and they’d never try! It’s really so much more simple than that.
Try a type of exercise or fitness. Like it? Do it.
A great example is my stepdad. My mom has bought him gym membership after gym membership and the man refuses to go. Once I managed to drag him, but he spent the entire time walking circles around the indoor track. I didn’t care, it meant that he was moving. A few months later my stepdad dropped about 40 pounds from walking. Yup. He’d put on his headphones, tune into a football game or talk radio, and just cruise around the neighborhoods and trails on foot for an hour or two. He found it relaxing, he enjoyed it, he did it. He looked forward to his walks. He invited us on the walks to share the joy. In fact, when we went to Mexico he’d wake up early to walk on the beach. On vacation!
Another example is my mom’s friend Kelly. She’s been on every diet, exercise plan, health routine, etc. known to man. She decided to take up spinning one day with me at the gym. She hated it. Absolutely hated it. But her fitness heart rate monitor told her she’d just burned 450 calories in 1 hour – which was what spinning was about to her. Calories. So she’d go every so often, hating it, trudging through it. Eventually the thought of going to spin filled her with foreboding. Then it translated to a lack of will to go to the gym. Then? Then she stopped going all together.
Seems counter productive, right?
Fitness should be about what you love.
Here’s a personal example – I love the desert. Love it. If it’s not 120 degrees and dry as hell I am unhappy. I love to go outside and hike. I could walk, run or climb the Arizona mountains for hours a day if I could. I love it. I enjoy it. I don’t care about driving to go to do, or navigating through Phoenix traffic. I feel the same way about my challenge yoga class. My mom would rather shoot herself in the face than spend an hour contorting herself into poses, but I would rather die than skip it. See what it’s about?
Trying something new.
This is important too. No matter how much you love to walk, run, lift weights, etc. you’ll eventually get bored. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery: climb a new mountain, go to a new instructor, sign up for a new gym. Sometimes it’s a complete revamp of what you do. My suggestion? Try a new class. Go to your gym, grab the class schedule, close your eyes and let your finger land on a random class. Barre Boutique? Sounds fun.
The same goes with those of you who aren’t gym go-ers. StumbleUpon is a great way to find random stuff. Click the fitness or health tab and GO! Type in “Outdoor exercises” into Google and see what happens. Try a BodyRock.tv workout or Nike Fit Club.
Do what you love and exercise will become part of your life! THAT is the best exercise for you.