7 Tips to Finding the Best Workout

exercise-at-home-901909-mI have a hard time getting into an exercise routine. And then the next thing I know, I’m in more of a rut than a routine.

It’s important to find a workout routine that will fit your lifestyle and personality. From my own experience, if you try to create an exercise program that doesn’t match your skills or isn’t something you enjoy doing, you won’t stick with it.

Here are 7 questions to ask yourself as you design a workout routine:

What is your goal?
Before you plan a routine, you need to decide why you are working out. What is your specific goal? Do you want to build muscle, lose weight, increase strength and endurance, or get toned?

To lose weight: You need a high-intensity workout. You can try Zumba, spinning or running.
To build muscle and tone: You need strength training, such as kettlebells.
To get more endurance: You need a hardcore burn for your whole body, and can try boxing boot camp or kick boxing class.

What is your fitness level?
If you sit on the couch with the remote, you probably need to start with a workout that’s different than someone who has been running 5K marathons. Decide if you are beginner, intermediate or advanced. With just about any type of exercise routine, you can tailor it to your fitness level. For instance, if you’re a beginner, you can start out walking and then work up to jogging. If you’re advanced and already run 5K’s, you may want to try a half marathon or triathlons.

How often can you workout?
We are all busy. Finding a time to fit in your workout can often be the biggest challenge. Decide when is the best time for you to exercise. Some people like to get up and workout early in the morning. Others find that after work is good time to wind down before going home. I personally have found that right before lunch is a good time for me. Then, decide how many days a week and which days you prefer to workout. If you can make exercise a regular event on your schedule, you are more likely to turn it into a routine.

Where will you exercise?
Some people like the gym. They like going somewhere specifically to workout. You may have more access to equipment and get more variety at a gym or fitness center. Others like to be outside and go to a park or just run or walk in their neighborhood. I personally like to be at home. I work from my home so I am more likely to fit in a workout if I do it at home.

What do you enjoy?
I am more inclined to workout if I enjoy doing it. As much as I hate my treadmill, I do like the ease of just going to my basement and hopping on for a walk or run. I also like playing team sports, such as volleyball, softball and basketball. I have fun playing in the yard with my kids. I pass a volleyball with my girls and play baseball with my son. Sometimes we do some basketball scrimmage or just throw a frisbee. All of these activities get the heart pumping and incorporate muscles that I may not use on a daily basis.

What is your personality?
Your personality can impact the type of workout routine that will be best for you. If you like to socialize, you may want to go to a gym, attend exercise classes or get together with a group of friends. You may need someone to yell at you to motivate you. You might thrive in a boot camp setting or having a personal trainer to challenge you. Most of the time, I am a loner and like to do my own thing. I also like to keep things the same. I like to know what to expect and not have to put a lot of thought into deciding what my workout will be each day.

How can you mix it up?
However, your routine may get stale or just need to be shaken up every once in a while. You may need a challenge or to get motivated again. Here are few ways to mix things up:

  • 7-minute workout: You work harder than you thought possible and push yourself to the max.
  • Sprint triathlon: It’s a shorter version with a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run.
  • Ballet barre class: You can take classes at a studio or follow a video at home.
  • Adult sport leagues: Show your team spirit and join a recreational league, such as tennis, volleyball, basketball, softball or even dodgeball.
  • Aerobic gaming: Get serious about video games with exergaming. Burn calories by dancing or boxing.
  • Hula hoop: Give hula hooping a whirl. Who knew this grade school fun could burn calories and raise your heart rate.

If you’re having trouble getting into an exercise routine, design a fitness program that will fit your goals and your lifestyle. You are more likely to keep on track and achieve more balance in all aspects of your life. You can make your workout routine fun and effective!

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