Being fit, healthy and happy should be a great experience, but with so many options, finding a fitness program that feels perfect can be overwhelming. With all the fad diets, trendy exercise classes, and fitness programs, the mere choice of how to work out can keep us from reaching our fitness goals. Fitness, like diet, is not the same across the board. Every person and every body is different.
Each individual person will have different needs and preferences, and those can change over time. Not everyone loves to jog, and some people can’t strike an interest in trendy classes, weight training, boot camps, or home exercise. Fortunately, there are enough options for how to fit exercise into your life that there is an option for every person, body, lifestyle, and schedule.
Unfortunately, the sheer amount of choices can feel overwhelming, even for the most experienced fitness fanatics. If you are on the hunt for the perfect fitness plan to start, or interested in trying something fresh and new, the first thing to consider is what kind of exercise plan is right for you. If you do research and keep your personal needs in mind, the perfect fitness plan will feel like fun instead of a reluctant workout.
Are you a self-starter who prefers to get things done on your own?
Some people need a helping hand to get started, have trouble making a schedule and sticking to it, or prefer to have the support of a group. That’s not you! You love getting things done on your own, and have no problem taking charge and achieving your goals.
Try a solo sport! Jogging, paddle boarding, weight training, lap swimming, or even singles tennis; you might thrive in an environment where every decision is yours, and you are responsible for your own results. You can push yourself to your own limits, stop when you please, and you don’t have to answer to anyone. Setting goals for yourself and reaching those goals can increase productivity and self-confidence, while giving yourself the boost you need to exercise more and push yourself even harder. Solo exercise is an excellent outlet for your need to feel productive and successful, while also decreasing stress and anger.
Are you a Type A personality who loves structure and quantifiable results?
You love structure, schedule, and results. You need a clear, attainable goal and a foolproof way to track your progress in order to feel successful and complete. You love to be in control of what you are doing and where you are going, and love to take responsibility for your hard work
Get a fitness tracker! Whatever exercise you choose, the most important thing to you is a way to track and quantify results, to demonstrate your hard work and progress. A fitness tracker can help schedule exercise, track eating habits, and show personal patterns. Most importantly, fitness trackers can keep a perfect account of your hard work, and show a clear path from where you started as you exercise and attain your personal fitness goals.
Do you enjoy social activities and/or want to exercise with your friends?
You want to work out, but prefer to have the support of friends. You love a social environment, and spending time with others. Grabbing smoothies after working out or joking about the newest yoga pose would make your workout a lot more bearable. You enjoy trying new things and forging new friendships, rather than working out on your own.
Try group fitness! There are so many classes and group fitness options, many of which are available with a normal gym membership. There are also specific studios for trendier group fitness programs, like spinning, studios for Pilates, and different types of yoga. These classes focus on a fun, supportive group dynamic that can help make fitness fun. Whether you bring your friends or forge new friendships through exercise, group fitness classes are a great way to combine social experiences with positive, healthy choices.
Do you need a support network and encouragement to succeed?
Some people are self-starters who thrive on creating their own schedules and doing everything by themselves. If you are not that type of person, there is nothing wrong with that. If you are apprehensive about starting a new fitness routine, feel lost, or need a little more support, there are countless options for that path. If you would be more successful working out in a group, and having a strong support network to help you through the tougher days, you can do it!
There are many opportunities to have a large support network to aid you on your fitness journey. There is no rule that says you need to be able to do everything alone. Having friends, especially friends on the same journey who share your goals, can help solidify your decisions and keep you on the right track. Signing up for a recurring fitness class is a great way to make friends and stay on course. Find a class that fits into your schedule and still with it! You will all be able to support each other along the way. Options for this include fitness boot camps, crossfire training, weekly classes, or personalized fitness programs.
Are you ready to make big changes, but not sure where to start?
Personal trainers are not only for body-builders and fitness professionals. Through a local gym, or through hiring a private personal trainer, you can learn different basic exercises that will help you succeed. A trainer’s job is to teach you the best options for your personal fitness journey, and push you to attain those goals. If you are not sure how to use exercise machines, how to exercise safely, or how to achieve the results you want, a personal trainer is an invaluable tool. Coupled with your personal trainer, a professional nutritionist can help you make basic dietary changes, and to understand how food will affect your personal fitness goals. With a professional support team behind you, the stress of exercise will disappear and you will be able to focus on achieving your goals.
Are you too busy to get to the gym?
With family, work, commutes, and busy schedules, sometimes getting to the gym or going for a run seems impossible. You might need to stay close to home, or you want a flexible workout schedule that does not involve driving to the gym every day. Luckily, distance fitness classes and online programs have flourished in the past few years. Workout programs like BeachBody, online yoga classes, and WeigtWatchers can all be completed from the comfort of your own home. you get all the benefits of a personalized fitness program, often including a personal trainer, support network, dietary advice, and individual workouts, without having to leave the house. If you are feeling stressed about scheduling or confined to the house, choosing an at-home fitness program will let you set your own pace.
You want to try something healthy, adventurous and new.
Whether you are a fitness veteran or just getting started, sometimes it is nice to try something new. If you want to go alone or get a group of friends together, squeeze in a lunch break activity or dedicate a whole day, there are so many healthy, fun activities to choose from. Instead of trying a new restaurant or bar, consider taking steps to develop healthy habits and trying fun new activities.
There are so many exciting, high-energy, trendy workouts to try. You can grab a green juice and go to a spin class, where you can enjoy high-paced cycling, lights, and music. You can find classes for trampoline fitness, beach yoga, tai-chi, stroller fitness for moms— if you can think of it, there is probably a class for it. If there isn’t a class, make your own activity! Go on a family hike, or head out to the ocean for kayaking, paddle boarding, or even paddle board yoga! There are always healthy, interesting activities to try.
Whatever your fitness goals may be, there is a path to follow to reach your goals. Everybody is different, and your personality, lifestyle, and goals are some of the many factors that will determine what works for you individually. The most important thing is to get started! Experiment, try new things, step out of your comfort zone, but never compare your fitness journey to everyone else. Focus on your goals, seek out what is best for you, your heart, and your mental well-being, and you are sure to succeed.