I imagine that many of you, much like me, hear so many different opinions about what kind of workout you should be doing. Every time I go into a Walgreens to simply get contact solution, I'm bombarded with the magazine racks advertising "Best Exercise for a Great Butt" or "The Workout to End All Workouts" and other over the top headlines claiming to have all the answers when it comes to physical movement. And don't even get me started on the Internet-everyone saying that their way is the only way.
I used to jump from exercise theory to exercise theory, as fickle as the wind. If I read that a celebrity with a body I admired did yoga, you had better believe I was hustling to the nearest yoga studio to get into my downward dog. If I then heard that getting a personal trainer was the answer to all my body woes, I would hunt down a trainer and nearly kill myself in a weekly session. Needless to say, I wasn't listening to my body, heart or bliss when it came to working out.
If you find yourself following an exercise routine that the Internet or magazines or friends or your mom tells you to do but you aren't truly enjoying it, it's never going to be sustainable. Yes, maybe you will do Zumba for a few months but if your heart isn't in shaking your groove thing, you will eventually find reasons not to do it. It is so important to find what YOU love to do. There are so many options out there, such as:
1. Working out at home-This takes discipline but it certainly offers the least excuses. Put your workout time in your calendar (and if there is any way to do it in the morning, your rate of success of working out goes up exponentially) and let your family know that for however long you are working out, you are unavailable except for true emergencies. Home workouts could include a walk/jog outdoors, a DVD, self guided yoga, body weight exercises (squats, lunges, pushups and planks) or an online program like www.dailyburn.com. Whatever it is, even if you do just 10 minutes, that will have great health benefits over time.
2. Gym membership/Group Fitness/Crossfit/Yoga Studio-I personally have found that I love working out with a group. You couldn't pay me to get on a treadmill at a gym but get me into a class with good music and an enthusiastic instructor/coach and I'm sold! Usually working out with other people makes you work harder (at least it does me) but of course there is that whole "getting to the gym/studio/box" thing. Choose a location that is either home or work adjacent with a flexible schedule. (Or do what I do which is become a member of one of the Studio Share programs like www.classpass.com or www.studiohopfitness.com. You can visit multiple studios in town for a flat rate. Makes for a much easier time scheduling!)
3. Personal or small group training-For people who struggle with form or direction, working with a certified and skilled personal trainer can be excellent. They can also take high performance folks to the next level. It's not my cup of tea but again, this is so personalized and if having that trainer keeps you honest with your workout routine and helps get you to the next level, great!
Whatever you choose-yoga, running, weightlifting, dance, HIIT, Pilates, walking, crossfit, pole dancing or some combination of these things, make sure it's something you truly enjoy. If you really have fun doing it, you will feel motivated to move even on days that you are tired. So what movement do you love??
(Photo Cred: huffingtonpost.com)