Finding the perfect workout can be like trying to find the perfect partner or trainer – it can be tough. I’ve tried lots of different training styles, and while I can appreciate most of them, they aren’t all the one for me. It’s important when trying new workouts to keep an open mind, you might just be surprised at what you find. When I first tried Pilates, I was skeptical, I wasn’t sure how it would compare to my typical workouts, but I kept an open mind and as a result Pilates help repair my body post babies, and helped keep me healthy while training for half marathons.
Aside from keeping an open mind, you also need to know what you want to achieve. If you want to improve your flexibility and reduce stress, you may want to opt for hot yoga over sandbag training. If you want to lose fat then you might want to try Capoeira, which burns up to 500 calories per class while also strengthening you from head to toe.
Knowing whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced fitness gal will help ensure you choose a training style that is safe and effective for you. For example, if you’ve never worked out before you should probably skip the CrossFit and try Essentrics, whereas if you’ve been working out everyday for years, solely walking probably won’t give you the results you’re looking for.
Although recovery ability usually improves with fitness levels (and unfortunately decreases with age), they’re not synonymous with each other. So it’s important to know how long your body needs to rest between workouts to minimize the risk of overuse injuries, illness and maximize results. Some people can run everyday without issue, while others may need a day or two between yoga sessions, it all depends on your body. If you’re excessively sore, feeling increasingly lethargic or stiff, you may need more rest between workouts.
This is where you need to be honest with yourself, if 20 minutes is all you have three days a week, then commit to just that. Don’t overestimate your time commitment, instead set yourself up for success by making your training fit your schedule. For those who are super crunched for time try Tabata workout or if you’re a busy mom consider joining a StrollerFit class.
What you have access to will also play a role in your training style. If you’ve been dying to try a Barre class but there isn’t a studio for miles, this isn’t the workout for you. But swimming might be a workout to try if you have a pool in your condo building.
Yes, the more money you have to spend, the more memberships and equipment you will have access to, but this has nothing to do with your ability to keep fit. In fact, all you really need is a good pair of running shoes, a mirror and your own body. Combining running with calisthenics exercises (exercises using your own body weight), are an inexpensive and effective way to get in and to stay in shape. You can also participate of many free events, like Lolë Meet-Ups.
Being an introvert or extrovert can determine a workout for you. If you need others around to stay motivated, sign up for a Zumba or Ballroom Dance class instead of hitting the weight room solo. But if solace is what you’re looking for try Running or Stand Up Paddle Boarding.
Take a look in the mirror– are you a pear, curvy, slim or athletic build? Embrace your natural shape and work with it. If you’re a pear, you might want to focus on building your upper body and core with something like Pole Dancing, to help create the illusion of slimmer hips.
Finally, find something you love! No matter how great a workout is, if you don’t love it, you won’t do it.
These tips should help you find the right workout for you and help you get in shape for 2014.