In today’s lifestyle, if you’re not for a specific workout, you’re against it. You know you’ve seen it; CrossFitters that only CrossFit, bicyclists who scorn people who don’t bike, Yogis who only do yoga, and so on. Now, there is nothing wrong with having a niche, and sticking with it, but how do you decide what type of exercise you’ll like if you haven’t tried them out? It can be overwhelming to find exactly what is best for you.
Below are some ideas of what might fit you and your lifestyle, based on a variety of factors including access to gyms, your personality, and if you’re more of a solo or group-oriented sports person.
Yoga or Pilates
The benefits of yoga, or pilates, are massive. The most obvious benefit, and the reason most people begin practicing yoga initially, is the improvement of flexibility. With just two to three sessions of yoga per week, you’ll see advanced flexibility within several weeks. Those toes won’t touch themselves though, so make sure you’re actively engaging in the class. IN addition to flexibility, you’ll be using stabilizing muscles and strengthening them.
Evidence shows that people who engage in a full range of motion more often have a reduced chance of developing degenerative arthritis. Yoga also helps with posture problems, improves your bone health, and evidence shows may even drain lymph nodes to help with increased immunity.
There’s a common misconception that yoga is easy, but if you are fully engaging in yoga, your heart rate will be increased, and you will definitely have some muscle soreness from time to time.
Best for: Yoga is best for the individual who may seek exercise as a form of meditation, or someone who is seeking a way to reduce their blood pressure. It is not for the overly energetic person who wants to burn off hundreds of calories during a workout. Yoga workouts can be done from the comfort of your own home, which is great if you’re trying to save money on a gym membership.
Personal training can take a myriad of shapes. Some personal trainers will simply be a gym employee, who might guide you through what a few of the machines do, and how to operate them without injury.
However, just like any career, not all personal trainers are created equally. Ideally, your personal trainer should offer a personalized fitness plan to help you reach your goal, and not simply expect you to abide by what works best for someone else. Personal training should be personalized directly for you, and your personal trainer should be willing to tailor your fitness plan and goals for you. A common misconception is that personal trainers are just your spotter when lifting weights, but fantastic fitness coaches, like those at Clientel3 for example, should take your fitness level, your medical history, and even your personality into consideration when creating your plan. If you’re not seeing significant changes with your current workout plan, you may want to seek out a professional personal trainer.
Best for: People that need consistency. If you enjoy a no-nonsense approach to exercising and have a very specific goal in mind, you’ll likely thrive with personal training. This is also ideal for people who have suffered an injury and can use personal training as a form of physical therapy in conjunction with other exercises. You’ll also need to be able to keep a schedule since you’ll make individual appointments with your trainer.
Want to lift heavy weights, but also thrive in competitive sports? CrossFit might just be your cup of tea. There are many jokes about the Crossfit mentality, with some people mentioning it’s addictive or cult-like in nature. The reality of Crossfit though is that people who tend to enjoy Crossfit tend to continue working out, year in and year out. That’s hugely advantageous if you are seeking something you’d like to make sure you stick with.
Many Crossfit athletes mention that they form bonds with the people they exercise with, so if you’re competitive, looking for high-intensity cardio and weightlifting, and would like to be able to continue working out with these people for the foreseeable future, you might thrive in a Crossfit environment.
Make sure that you are doing all the exercises correctly, and seek out a gym that offers assistance or coaching beforehand so that you don’t dive in without proper knowledge of how to properly lift heavy weights without injuring yourself. If you’re concerned, attend a beginner’s class to see how the coach assists and instructs, even if you’ve had years of Crossfit experience.
Best for: the person who wants to lift weights with a bunch of other people and is fairly competitive. Ultimately, you need a fairly high level of extraversion to feel at home in a Crossfit gym. It can feel a little intimidating to join one of these since the groups are often well-established.
Tennis, Basketball, or even Kickball. Group sports are for the gregarious and extroverted.
One of the best aspects of these sports is that sports like this don’t just have you working muscles in one specific way, so if you’re looking to change up your workout, consider signing up for a local volleyball team. You’ll be using major muscles simultaneously, while you up your heart rate.
Friendly competition can also be a huge confidence boost, especially when added in with the social interaction. Instead of meeting your friends for a beer on a Friday night, opt for a pickup game of basketball. You’ll feel a lot better after having a friendly sweat session than beginning your weekend with a hangover.
The great aspect of looking into team sports is that there is a huge variety of options, so as long as you want to engage with some friendly faces, you’ll be able to find a sport that you enjoy engaging in.
Best for: group sports are ideal for people who want to have social interaction while engaging in exercise. However, as adults, it can be hard to schedule more than one game or so a week, whether it’s basketball, kickball, or soccer. You may want to incorporate other workouts into your exercise routine to stay fit between each game or match.
Turn on those headphones, and place each foot in front of the other: it’s as simple as that. Running does not take much equipment, which is why a lot of people seeking to improve their fitness health opt by starting with walking and running. You don’t need a gym membership, and aside from running shoes, you don’t need much. Running offers freedom, as well. When you physically feel like you need an escape from your daily routine, slipping into your shoes and hitting the pavement can have you feeling like a new person in minutes.
If you’re a solo exercise fiend, running can be a great option, but there are running clubs in any major city if you’re also interested in running with friends from time to time.
Great for: If you’re more of an introvert, you might find solace in running or hiking by yourself.
You may want to avoid running if you have bad knees. Seriously, running is awful for your knees. You can bypass some of this by using a treadmill instead of running outside, but this can also become incredibly repetitive. If you need some advice on running and joint problems, check out this earlier blog.
While not every single workout option was mentioned in this blog, hopefully you can see this as a great place to begin finding something you really enjoy. Whether you hit the pavement in your running shoes or find yourself joining forces with a physical trainer, there is an exercise that will fit your personality type