All wellness guides encourage you to do some form of physical activity. As part of a well-rounded wellness plan, it is important to make physical fitness a priority. So, while you are working twice as hard in your kitchen, it’s also important that you put some time in at the gym. What if exercise isn’t your favorite thing to do, especially if you have to commit to working out at least 3-4 times a week, or even daily?! Making an exercise routine and sticking it is important to your health and wellness. What is even more important is to find what type of exercise works best for you. If you’re not enjoying the exercise that you’re doing, then, like everything else, it won’t stick.
You are an individual, what works for you might not work for someone else. You are your own unique individual person who has a different routine, a different heritage, and needs different things to keep you going. As we often say, it is important to listen to your body and discover how your routine is making you feel. Your workout should make you feel better, get you the results you are seeking, and make you happy; or, at the very least, it should keep you motivated. It is important to set goals, make a routine, and take care of yourself before and after a workout. Because you are a unique individual, learning what works best for you might take some trial and error. You might have to try exercising at different times of the day, doing different classes, or finding a fitness space that works best for you.
This one is an important issue. Deciding how you like to work out is one major thing that is going to keep you motivated. Do you need a workout buddy to keep you motivated or do you find you have the most success in a group? Are you someone who needs a professional by your side to keep you honest. Some people use exercise as a change to get some much needed alone time and that is a good way to self-care. Exercise is a great way to manage your stress; therefore, it is important to decide what kind of people will motivate you to keep going. Just as important is the atmosphere that will keep you motivated.
Do you enjoy working out in a gym, studio, or in a forest? Just like who is going to workout with you, it is important to decide where. If you are trapped inside a windowless building with no distractions and only the weights in front of you, will that help you keep to a routine? Maybe you need a friendly inviting yoga studio where you can make friends and have tea following a session … that will keep you coming back. Or, maybe you need all the fancy equipment and a variety of different ways to workout to keep you interested. You could also be a person who needs to be one with nature; running around in a park, hiking, or climbing things. No one said your workout routine had to be done inside. Decide where your “gym” is and make time for it during the week. If you are new to working out, it might be time to experiment or hire a professional to help you navigate the waters.
If you’re new to the idea of exercise, it might be time to find a professional. You don’t have to spend months with this person, but having a few introductory sessions can do wonders. Plus, you don’t want to put all this time and energy into a workout routine and discover you have been working out wrong. Or, worst of all, discover that you have developed bad habits. Bad habits can lead to injury over time. So, whether it is working with a personal trainer, a guide, or going to a few beginner classes, it’s never a bad idea to learn something new from someone who knows what they are doing.
When trying to accomplish anything it is a good idea to have a goal. When you know what you are working toward, you can have a game plan. Also good is to decide how much time you have to dedicate to your workout. When do you prefer to workout? Are you someone who prefers to workout during the day or in the evening? When does exercise make you feel the best? Another thing to consider is how much time you have to exercise. Working out for 10 minutes is better than not working out at all. Maybe working out for 90 minutes is too much for your body but 15 minutes isn’t enough. It all depends on how you feel and what time you have. It is important to remember that these things might change, too.
One of the biggest pieces of advice for a better workout is always to find ways to reward yourself. If there is no reward, there is no motivation. When you’re working out for the first time in a while, it can take some time to see the results. I always recommend you find new and interesting ways you can reward yourself. One of my favorite ways is to keep a post-workout smoothie waiting for you when you get done your workout. Or, at the end of 30 days of working out consistently, you treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers or yoga pants. Maybe at the end of 90 days, you treat yourself to a professional massage. Be creative and be generous, exercising can be very challenging and requires a lot of patients at first. Sooner or later it will become a routine and you will feel weird when you miss a session.
Just as with our food choices and stock portfolios, you shouldn’t put all your fitness into one type of exercise. Make sure that when you set up your routine that you are keeping things interesting and mixing it up. Most fitness classes do different routines every time so you work different parts of the body; but, if you are just sticking to one thing at the gym, then it is important to change it u …. not just working your arms or staying on the treadmill. It is important to be well rounded and give all areas of the body the proper attention they need. The same could be said if you’re just doing yoga, then maybe add in a little cardio one day a week. You want the inside of your body to be just as strong as the outside.
Discovering what type of exercise works best for you can be challenging and take some time. Exercise, as you already know, is an important part of any wellness journey. It will keep us strong and give us energy. Don’t be afraid to experiment and develop a routine that works best for you. At the end of the day, you want your workout to make you feel better and, most importantly, you want what you’re doing to be to be helping you achieve your wellness goals. So, make a plan, discover what works best, and get moving!