June 27, 2017

What’s the BEST workout? By Jennifer Austin

Question: What is the best workout? Answer: The workout you’ll do! The list of possible exercise is endless. Choosing what to do for exercise is really very simple: Go back to the basics of finding what you enjoy. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll want to be doing it! And when you want to be doing an activity, you’ll increase your effort. Effort is where results happen. Design your exercise according to an activity you enjoy.

Ask yourself the following five questions:

Does the activity fill you with ease?
Do you look forward to this activity?
Do you feel physically, psychologically and emotionally better after?
Do you miss the activity when you’re away from it?
Does the activity feel natural and comfortable (doesn’t feel painful) in your body?

Find what activity promotes a “yes” answer to the previous questions, and that’s where you should begin. Here are a few ideas for common activities with fitness-focused progressions to get you started:

If you like to walk, take one day a week and extend your walk to slightly longer than your usual duration. A great way to make your walk longer is to plan for a destination walk. Head to a different neighborhood and explore, for example. You’ll be distracted by new surroundings you’ll hardly notice the longer time spent walking. Adding on in 5 minutes increments is a good way to build fitness into your walk. Build on from there to create an unaccustomed effect on your body.

If you like to ride your bike, think about organizing a work or neighborhood bike club to prepare for an organized ride. Gathering a group of friends together at a set time and place each week to prepare for a ride will add consistency into your bike schedule. Riding with others is also a great way to learn new techniques and bike handling skills to make riding more effective. Combining bike riding with a task is also a great way to make use of the time that would otherwise spend sitting in your car. For example, have to drop something off at a friend’s house, ride your bike there! Have to pick up something small at the store, hop on your bike.

If you like to jog, try adding in a few sprint intervals. If you’re used to jogging the same loop, the same speed the same days of the week, your results probably ceased awhile ago. Adding in sprints increases intensity, which is great for burning calories. Sprint to a landmark on your route or sprint according to your watch. Finding hills to jog also makes for a great muscle loading workout.

Designing your exercise around what you love to do is a great start toward fitness. Most important when just starting out, is not always what you’re doing but that you are in fact, doing something to challenge your heart, lungs and muscles!

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