There are so many different styles of workouts, from yoga, to kickboxing, to rowing, to spinning, to running, and so on. It can be hard, and quite overwhelming, to determine what you should be doing in order to reach your goals. So, with hundreds of different ways to exercise, how do you know what is best for YOU? Here are 5 tips to help you determine which workouts are right for you!
1. Determine your fitness goal.
Determining your fitness goal is essential in coming up with a workout routine. Is weight loss your main priority? Then you might want workouts consisting of a mix between strength training and cardio. Do you want to build up a significant amount of muscle? Heavy weight lifting is probably the way to go. Do you have a dream of running a marathon? Cardio and endurance-based workouts are in store for you. Determining your fitness goal is the most important step in determining your perfect fitness regimen.
2. Decide how much time you can invest.
The amount of time per week you are willing and able to invest is also a critical factor. If you are able to dedicate 10-12 hours per week to exercise then it’s possible to mix up your routine with different workouts, such as mixing strength training and cardio. If you are only able to hit the gym 3 days a week for short workouts, you might find that HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) will work best for you and your schedule. This type of training should not be done more than 3 days per week, and is an extremely efficient way of burning fat as these workouts can be as short as 10 minutes and probably no longer then 30 minutes. You may also fall somewhere in the middle. You may have a few days where you’re able to stay 1-2 hours at the gym, but other days may be so busy that you can only get a quick 20 minute workout in. This is perfectly acceptable as well.
You should always take your schedule into consideration and take the time to plan your workouts according to your schedule. You need to be realistic with yourself. I know we all want to be able to get a workout in 5 days a week but many times this is simply not possible. It is important to be sure you don’t overwhelm yourself with too much otherwise your workout plan will fail in the end. If three days a week is all you can manage you are not shorting yourself in any way; you can get a great work done with a 3 day-per-week workout schedule so long as your workouts are smart. It is recommended to try and get a workout in at least three times per week, no less than twice per week.
3. Figure out what kind of atmosphere you like.
The atmosphere you workout in is more important than you may think. Are you the type of person who enjoys solitude and likes to workout alone without anyone around? Maybe home-based workouts are best suited for you. Do you enjoy the atmosphere of a gym? Would you prefer working out alone at the gym or do you enjoy the camaraderie of a fitness class? Or maybe you are someone who loves being out in nature. If so maybe trail running or hiking would be good for you. Figuring out what type of atmosphere you like being in can really help you to narrow down your exercise options.
4. Do you need accountability?
Some people need accountability or they won’t get it done on their own. Maybe you need to pay for a gym membership to force you to get to the gym. Many gyms have signup slots for their classes. Maybe putting your name down and taking up a slot will help you wake up for the 6 am spin class! Sometimes getting a workout buddy can be a great motivation so long as they are as determined as you, if not they can actually hold you back. Hiring a personal trainer might be another way to hold you accountable for working out. If you enjoy fitness classes or yoga you might find a studio that you love. These studios usually sell class cards that often times have to be used in a certain time frame. There are countless ways to hold yourself accountable for working out, you just have to figure out which way is best for you.
5. Always, always, always, do what you love.
Of course, this is the most important. If there are certain types of workouts that you love, then always do that. There truly is no bad workout. If you love yoga, do yoga. If you love running, run. If you love biking, bike. No matter what your goal, you will never reach it if you are forcing yourself to engage in workouts that you don’t enjoy. Doing what you love comes above anything else. If you’re new to the game and you have no idea which type of workout you like, I recommend trying out a few different styles and eventually you will find something you enjoy.