If there’s one thing this world is not lacking, it is workouts. They come in all shapes and sizes, with endless possibilities. Don’t belong to a gym? Pregnant? Have back pain? Want to lose fat? Need to put on muscle? Jeans not fitting like they used to? Could you use more energy? Think you want to run a marathon? No worries, you can go online and find a workout for anything and everything.
But which is the best choice for you? What type of workout should you be doing?
The kind you enjoy.
Oh yes, it’s that simple. Here’s the thing- if you like your workout routine, you’re going to do it. If you don’t, you won’t. Isn’t it best to do something we enjoy, so we stick to it? This way we set ourselves up for success rather than failure.
Let’s say you want to lose a few pounds of fat before the summer begins, but the only exercise you can get in right now is going to a yoga class two times a week. Do it. Will you see massive amounts of fat loss doing this? No. But there are a few other outcomes here: yoga may be a stress reliever for you which will lower your cortisol levels, decrease inflammation and make it easier for your body to let go of fat. And now that you have signed up for this class, you become inspired by the instructor or those around you, making you want to implement healthy habits outside of the yoga room as well. So you start to eat a little bit better and notice that your body begins to change even though you aren’t burning a ton of calories during your new routine.
Now it’s a few weeks in and you’re fitting into those cute workout outfits better and getting the hang of this downward dog thing. You want to be able to hold the pose longer but your arms get tired, so you decide you need to increase strength a bit. Ah- why not try some simple weight lifting exercises, this way you can impress not only yourself but that cute person who keeps setting up their mat next to you in class.
So you join a gym or purchase some weights for your home. You begin with the basics. Squats, push-ups, bent-over rows, planks, chest press, lunges, pull-downs. You get pretty good at these and feel stronger in the gym and in the yoga studio. Your confidence is at a high and you’re getting closer to that fat loss goal without giving all of your attention to it. You incorporate 2 days of weight lifting into your routine, only 30 minutes at a time because you’re pretty busy, but it’s working. And more importantly, you enjoy it.
This can be said for all sorts of exercise. What tends to happen is that once we find a routine we enjoy we make it a part of who we are. It becomes a staple in our week and gives us confidence. Now we take little bits of ourselves and devote more attention, like choosing a healthier breakfast option that gives us more energy for the afternoon workout. Once we feel ourselves becoming better, we strive for more and implement small changes to increase our results.
The thought of going to a killer kickboxing class that bothers your back, “but that’s ok because it’s burning lots of calories and now I can go home and eat that pizza and then feel totally guilty, sleep, repeat the next day” – is a thing of the past.
Find an activity you enjoy doing. Something that makes you happy, that drives you to get better. If it isn’t totally in line with your goals that’s ok. Because moving and doing something is better than doing nothing, or doing something you dislike and will only last for a few weeks. It’s often thought that if we are successful we will then become happy.
I believe happiness should come first, which will then yield success.
Let this be your mantra and the world will offer you a whole new realm of possibility.