How to Choose the Ideal Workout Program for You
The bad news is that most people start enthusiastically on a fitness program but it soon fizzles out and they give up. They brand themselves as lazy, undisciplined and weak. On a positive note, it’s not really their character to blame, it’s just about finding a fitness program that “fits” you. This is because exercise (and what you wish to get out of it) is very a personal thing.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine the best workout to achieve health and vitality.
1. What are your goals for fitness?
What is it that you want from your workout? Don’t feel like you have a point to prove. If you are not going to run a marathon, there is no need to run for an hour daily. Train to lead a fuller, healthy life.
2. Are you just building muscles or training your whole person to be fitter?
Most people can't see the forest for the trees. In building bigger, bulkier muscles, they neglect their bones, circulation, balance and breathing. These underdogs of our health are far more important for our long-term fitness and well-being than just muscles. So keep those long-term goals in view.
3. Does your training schedule fit in with the rest of what’s happening in your life?
Sometimes, life’s demands like work, family and other responsibilities can throw your training schedule off. Try to plan around these necessities. If you can’t, then exercise at home. If that doesn’t motivate you enough – find a workout buddy to keep you on track.
Your fitness regime is supposed to reduce stress, not be a source of it. Working out for 20 minutes at home is better than spending a stressful hour at the gym.
4. Can you keep your fitness pursuits separate from your weight loss goals?
These two goals should definitely be distinct. If you consume too many refined calories there’s no way you are going to burn excess calories. The simple math is that you will need to burn off 3500 calories for every pound. Simply jog for six hours and you should attain your goal!
If you are simply exercising to burn off calories, you may be indulging in the wrong forms of exercise. Obviously, you will not see progress and quit.
5. Do you train to get the maximum benefit?
Your exercise program should aim at delivering more than one training benefit. For example, yoga benefits both the body and mind. Tai chi is aimed at bringing balance and improving joint flexibility. CrossFit combines strength training with stretching. Choose a workout where the benefits of exercise are multi-dimensional so that you don’t spend time doing separate workouts across different categories.
6. Does your training program have a practical application in your daily life?
Unless you work at lifting loads at the dockyard, it’s unlikely a heavy weight lifting program is going to benefit you. If you don’t really enjoy it, then don’t do a joint-pounding endurance training that will only serve a triathlete – unless your workout feeds your soul. If nothing else, you'll get awfully good at optimizing everyday tasks and even get a workout from them.
Designing Your Workout Plan
So what kind of exercise routine should you choose? Ideally, find a balance between aerobic exercises, strength training, balance exercises, flexibility exercises and meditative exercises. Choose activities that you enjoy and come up with a practical schedule that you can stick with for the long haul. The key is to keep your goals realistic and reward yourself for every little achievement along your fitness journey.
If you’d like to further determine your fitness personality and what kind of workout would work best for you take this quiz to find out.