What exercise routine is right for me now? This article examines how to identify an exercise level for your body and lifestyle, using some simple guidelines and common sense.
In choosing the exercise that is right for you, there are many factors to consider. One thing is certain for everyone; some willpower will be required. The sooner this is embraced, the easier it will be to step into a new rhythm with conviction and to take pleasure in your choice.
These days there are so many options available that it really is possible to find exactly what your body needs. While it is important to go at your own pace, it is also important not to underestimate yourself. You would be surprised what you are capable of when pushed, and at how rewarding it is to experience going beyond what you previously thought were your personal limits.
How much time can you allocate? It is all very well to say to yourself that your ideal would be two to three hours a day but if we set our ideals too high we can find ourselves sorely disappointed when we crumple under the load and end up abandoning the plan altogether. Even if we end up deciding to start with twenty minutes or half an hour every day, with, say, Sunday as our total relaxation day, the health and self-esteem benefits of this engagement will be enormous. Starting like this will inevitably build up both fitness and resolve so that it will be that much easier to take it to the next level, once the new habits are in place.
Do you prefer to practice alone or in a group? Or is a mixture of the two more motivating?
I find that there are some exercises I prefer to do alone. For example, once I had learned the basics of Pilates in classes with expert practitioners, it became easy to pick up a DVD that focused on the areas I wanted to develop, and follow this at home. Practicing at home cuts out the to-and-from time and can make it simpler to fit in to a busy schedule.
Other forms necessitate interaction with one or more other people. Plus, the collective focus of a group can be very motivating, with social interaction actually becoming one of the enjoyable aspects that keeps you coming back for more. It is essential to find a school or teacher that corresponds with what you are looking for and pushes you to grow in a positive environment.
Would morning or evening be more conducive to a consistent practice?
This is obviously going to be influenced by your work, children (if you have them), and class times, if you choose to take lessons. For me, morning tends to be the time when I experience the most benefit, as the whole day runs smoother if I put time into exercise before other activities. However, adaptability (within reason, as I have discovered, it can be dangerous to be too flexible – the routine must take priority for it to result in true fitness) is important and it can help to shift exercise patterns every now and again, to refresh the practice.
Other elements to take into consideration are your current fitness level, any special issues to take care of and your main goals. Often we find extra motivation due to a health scare that puts current habits into perspective, demanding an immediate change of course. In this case a crisis can turn out to be a blessing in disguise, waking us up to what we need and forcing us to prioritize health when we may previously have taken this most precious asset for granted. If you have any serious or even mild but on-going health issues, it is wise to seek professional advice. Always listen to the body and learn to know what is too much and what areas can be expanded upon.
Take the time to investigate your options. Don’t limit yourself, and once you’ve found something that suits your needs, commit! Aside from local classes you can discover in your area, or fitness DVDs, there are enormous benefits in taking the time to go on a wellness retreat or pursuing a personalised course, with a special teacher. I personally recommend taking a course with Lujan Matus, a unique practitioner who has a lot to offer anyone wishing to vastly accelerate their personal fitness and well-being.
Like What You've Read? Subscribe and get new blog posts via email!