There’s a world of fitness information out there, much of it confusing and even contradictory. Should you be doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) or steady state cardio? Yoga or weight training? Swimming, running, or walking?
If you’re looking for the ideal workout routine for you, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. But if there’s one thing we would like you to understand, it’s this: there is no one ideal workout! Everyone is different and what works for you won’t work for everyone else.
Here are a few things to consider as you decide what types of exercise to do.
What are your goals?
Do you want to burn fat, tone your muscles, improve your cardiovascular health, or help to control a chronic health condition?
While all types of exercise are good for you, different routines offer different benefits. Consider your goals and make sure that the type of exercise you choose aligns with them.
What do you enjoy?
You won’t stick to your workout routine if it’s a dreaded chore. Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment.
Hate running? Then don’t run! HIIT makes you want to die? Then try something else! There is no point forcing yourself to do something you hate when there are thousands of different options out there.
Think outside of the box, too. If traditional cardio or sweating in the gym sounds like hell, why not try a martial art, an adult dance class, or a fun fitness trend like pole fitness or hula hooping? When you reframe exercise as something that should be fun, you’ll start to see how many different ways there are of keeping fit.
What are your strengths and abilities?
We’re all good at different things and our bodies have different capabilities. While your workout should push you if you want to enjoy maximum benefits, it’s also fine to play to your strengths.
Get to know yourself, your body, and how you think. Then find a form of exercise that allows you to make the most of the things you’re good at.
Don’t be afraid to try things
Your workout does not have to be (and shouldn’t be) something static and unchanging. As long as you’re moving your body regularly and challenging yourself, you will be reaping the benefits. So if you want to try a different class each week or mix up your runs with swimming or dancing, go for it. You never know when you’ll find a new type of exercise that you fall in love with.
Whatever this week’s Instagram fitfluencer or Youtube trainer sensation has to say, there is no such thing as a workout that suits everybody. You are unique, and your fitness regime should be tailored for you.