You want to get into better shape, but you just haven’t found a routine that inspires you. Or, given your busy life, finding time to exercise seems impossible. While the hurdles to establishing a beneficial exercise routine are many, the challenge isn’t insurmountable. With the right mindset, you can find a fitness regimen that fits your interests, needs, and schedule.
The perfect exercise regimen is far from being one size fits all. First off, think about what activities interest you – a quick Google search will yield myriad possibilities, from hiking and biking to running or tai chi, just for starters. Do you like a social or solitary activity? Intense and exhilarating or serene and peaceful? Once you’ve come up with a list of possibilities, it’s time to move to the next step.
Next, consider your needs on all levels. Physically, do you need to incorporate strength training? Do you have limitations that make certain activities impossible? Be honest with yourself as you narrow down your list. What will satisfy you emotionally? Just because your best friend runs marathons doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. If you deal with anxiety, yoga has been shown to be beneficial. Pilates may help those of us who have trouble sleeping. For more energy, cycling may be your answer, while for clearer thinking, weightlifting may offer perks. Too much stress? Try Tai Chi. As you can see, there’s no single solution that’s best for everyone.
Last but not least, be realistic about your time. If driving to and from the gym takes 30 minutes and your schedule is crunched, you may be better off using that half hour to lift some simple weights at home. Does your dog need more exercise? A power walk around your neighborhood with Fido may be preferable to lining up for a treadmill. If you want to spend more time with your kids, maybe a family bike ride is in order. With a bit of foresight, you can create an exercise plan that fits your interests, emotional and fitness needs, and schedule that will carry your through this year and beyond.
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