What Type of Fitness Program is Right for You?
Everyone wants to be more healthy, wants to get into shape, wants to have that toned and athletic looking body, right? We read books, we buy videos, we explore our options through Internet sites and magazine articles.
And we invariably encounter confusing, often conflicting information. So, just how DO you know which fitness program is the right one for you? Trial and error? Cost vs. free? How do you decide where to put your sweat, hard work, dreams, and energy? Let’s see if we can help you out. We’ll look at several options, and then perhaps you’ll have a better idea of just what you need, and what you need to avoid.
- Goals – What are your fitness goals? By looking at where you want to go, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re willing to sacrifice to get there. So, are you needing to lose a great deal of weight? You’ll need to add diet and nutrition into your program as well as increasing your cardio. Wanting to get into fighting trim? You need to add strength training to your fitness routine, to tone and firm up those muscles. Desiring to simply begin a lifetime exercise habit? A better choice for you might be to explore a sport–something you can play and enjoy over a long period of your lifetime–that offers good fitness stability. Golfing, running, dancing, yoga, walking, biking, and swimming are all excellent choices for long-term challenge, fun, and benefits.
- Personality type – Are you a loner or a joiner? Many fitness clubs and gyms offer group classes. Group exercise offers opportunities for accountability, friendship, and an exchange of ideas. Group exercise certification or group fitness certification for trainers is something to consider when choosing a class or program. You don’t want to be in the hands of an untrained individual. Opportunities for loners exist in the solitary worlds of running, walking, and other “home-based” fitness routines. You could also hire a personal trainer–someone to help you get/keep moving, inspire you with stories and fitness quotes, keep you accountable to your own goals, and teach you new ways of eating and exercising. One big benefit of a personal trainer is that your exercise and eating plan are tailored to you, customized to meet your individual needs and goals. But if you and your trainer clash? Well, time to find a new trainer!
- Fitness Level – Your fitness level can have a big impact on what you do, where you do it, and how often. If you are a complete fitness newbie with a lot of serious weight to lose, or health matters to overcome, you may want to start slowly and simply, with a walk around the block a couple of times a day, or a few minutes or miles on a treadmill or exercise bike, or laps in the pool. You won’t want to jump into some very rigorous exercise class or fitness routine right off the bat, because your body may not react as positively to the experience as you’d like it to do. No amount of exercise or fitness is worth an injury or illness brought on by taking on too much at once.
On the other hand, if you’re already in pretty good shape, you may want to change things up–try a new sport or activity; add some new challenges to what you are already doing. Either way, you may want to consult with a trainer or coach, to find out just what kind of activity and progress–your road map to success–would be right for you.