One minute it’s all about hard-core HIIT workouts, and the next everyone’s doing power yoga or ballet-inspired barre. It’s hard to keep up with the latest fitness trends, and even harder to figure out what kind of exercise is right for you – especially if you’re juggling work, family, and all the other things life throws your way. It’s important to find a workout that can fit around your life and, most importantly, that you enjoy.
“Creating a regular exercise schedule to suit your particular body type and lifestyle will have numerous rewards,” explains Heidi Jones, Ambassador and Founder of the Lululemon Running Club. “It’s the ideal way to release the build up of physical tension from hard work, stress, and overthinking, as well as being able to manage your weight, improve your quality of sleep, and achieve optimal health by improving cognitive function and immune health. The challenge is to find the types of exercise you enjoy most, and then to add them into your life.”
Jones recommends taking a closer look at who you are and what your lifestyle is like. Here, she shares a list of questions to help you figure out your personalized workout routine.
First Things First
We can easily get ourselves into an exercise routine based on a whole range of external factors, such as supporting a friend, receiving a free pass to a local gym, reading about the best workouts for weight loss, or simply the fact that everyone else seems to be doing it. It’s no wonder we can’t seem to keep up a consistent routine. Before you beat yourself up about it, start by answering the below questions. They will help you determine whether or not you’re currently doing something wrong.
Why do I do the exercise I do?
What movement is my body craving?
Start with the Past
Think about a time in your life when you felt your best. This is a really good place to start finding out what works best for you.
What movement were you doing at the time? Did you dance, run, or surf?
Listen to Your Body
Once you understand how different workouts can nourish your body in different ways, you can start to put together a schedule of exercises to keep a harmonious flow of physical movement each week.
Do you feel unfocused or have you recently had a confidence knock? Try a vigorous exercise to make you feel strong and empowered, like cross-fit or boxing.
Feeling tense and stressed out? Try outdoor exercises such as hiking, cycling, and paddle boarding.
Identify with Your Personality
Take a closer look at your personality type when trying to determine your ideal workout.
Are you quiet and like to spend time alone? Consider yoga at home or taking private one-on-one lessons.
Are you better when mixing with large groups of people? Consider joining a sports team like volleyball or football.
Or are you a bit of both? Consider signing up to exercise classes or social groups; you’ll get social connections without the competitiveness.
Having a goal to work towards is a great way to keep motivation high when starting or getting back into an exercise routine. What are your goals?
Do you want to increase your flexibility? Start with yoga or a gymnastics class.
Perhaps you want to increase your fitness levels in order to run around with your kids? Cross-fit classes and RPM classes are a great place to start.
Be Honest With Yourself
Be comfortable with your starting point and choose a level of activity that not only helps you enjoy movement but that will also protect you from injury.
How fit are you?
For example, if your goal is to run 10k, but you’ve never even run one, be kind to yourself and start with a run/walk program and gradually build up to your goal. All new activities are new skills to learn. Take the time to develop, practice, and progress, and then take time to enjoy it.
Pick the Right Time
When do you feel your most energetic? Is it first thing in the morning or much later in the day?
There is no right or wrong answer; it’s simply about what works best for you and your lifestyle. Working out at the wrong time of day, when you’re feeling drained or unmotivated, can make the right workout feel totally wrong, so this is an important variable to get right.
Put It All Together
Take some time to reflect on these questions, using them as a starting point on your wellness quest. They will help you determine whether you should train alone or in a group, the time of day you should work out, and what type of movement will make you feel good. Put it all together and there you have it!
The most important thing to remember is that exercising can take many different forms. Gardening, hula-hooping, walking the dog, skipping, playing with your children, and taking the stairs are all forms of exercise. Be persistent in finding what works best for you and exercise will feel like second nature.