Keeping the promise I had made in my post about ditching the New Year’s resolutions, I have decided to dedicate this one to the topic of exercise.
Choosing a fitness program can be challenging for some.
Now I don’t know about you – but I’ve certainly noticed just how many fitness classes, trends, and home workout programs there are. They seem to multiply by the month..with some withstanding the test of time while others make their way to the neighbor’s garage sales or local flea markets (thigh master anyone?).
However, diversity in and of itself makes sense considering that we’re all unique in our tastes, preferences and abilities.
The downside to this though is that sometimes, what appears to be an abundance of choices can create confusion – especially for those who aren’t sure about how to incorporate healthy living into their agenda.
So to help clarify things and point you in the right direction, I’m going to offer a few simple tips to help make this process easier for you.
Choosing the Right Fitness Program
Tip # 1 – Keep it Safe
There are a few things you can do to make sure your quest for healthy living goes as smoothly as possible…and one of the ways to go about this is to make sure you’re doing things the right way.
Exercise safety includes things like warming up and cooling down properly, exercising like a beginner if you ARE a beginner and making sure you stay properly hydrated.
Just to name a few.
The simple act of being mindful when it comes to your fitness program offers endless rewards while helping you to stay consistent and challenged.
Tip # 2 – Keep it Realistic
While it’s understandable that you may want to see results as quickly as possible, keeping your program realistic may help you avoid unnecessary injury while working at a pace that encourages safe and proper progression.
For example – if you aren’t much of a dancer, but have a desire to give it a try… then the advanced Zumba class or DVD won’t be the right choice for you.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s out of your range of possibilities.
It just means that in order for you to successfully make this a part of your life – you’ll benefit from starting with the beginner’s version and being kind and forgiving with yourself as you learn to master the movements.
Then – feel free to go ahead and go to a more advanced level.
This applies to any type of workout.
Whether it’s something you have a natural ability toward, or something you feel curious about – keeping your pace and progression realistic will not only help you stay safe in an activity that stresses the body (as exercise does), but it’ll encourage you to keep going since you won’t feel the need to give up on something you can’t keep up with.
Tip # 3 – Keep it Enjoyable
The best way to stick with anything is to love the process. Take some time to discover the ways in which movement in and of itself makes you feel most aligned with joy and have this be your primary form of fitness.
- If you love to ride a bike, do so. Start with some leisure riding and build up your strength and stamina. If this becomes something you are passionate about, then consider either taking a spinning class or try some long distance riding (preferably away from traffic).
- If walking is your thing, go for it. Grab a loved one and take a stroll. Work your way up to fitness walking either outdoors or in the privacy of your own home using one of Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home programs.
- If you enjoy swimming – then swim my friend. Just make sure you know how to first (you’re thinking thank you Captain Obvious) and start to increase the intensity as you go along. Kicking, treading water, swimming laps and water aerobics are all effective and challenging forms of exercise. Make sure the weather is co-operating…and don’t be afraid to inquire about how well the pool is taken care of if it isn’t your own (as I’ve read some disturbing facts about public pools).
The key to success is the combination of work and pleasure – always in perfect balance.
Over to you…
Have you found yourself confused about how to choose an appropriate fitness program? If so, did the tips I’ve shared here help?
Image credit – Skeeze