A long-time childhood friend visited me this weekend and in a span of 3 days we managed 3 hikes, an ocean side 10km walk and an ocean kayak. She said it was the most exercise she has done in months (part of the job of being my friend I guess) and as we were driving her back to the airport she asked me what the best thing was that she could do for exercise when she gets home. This is probably the question I get asked the most, and I write about the most. My answer to her was, “Do what you enjoy the most because if you don’t enjoy what you are doing for exercise, then chances are you aren’t going to do it”.
There are an infinite number of exercise choices available to us, which was not the case when I started out in this industry 13 years ago. All you could do then was join a running club, become a member of a generic fitness or community center, buy some home workout DVDs or pay an arm and a leg for a personal trainer. Not only do we now have more options in the type of exercise we do, but we also have endless choices in who we do the workouts with. I was in a minority group when I was graduating university and I was probably the youngest person in my triathlon and cycling clubs and most of my workout buddies were 10+ years older than me. Fitness is so mainstream now it seems like everyone is part of some sort of studio or exercise group. When did exercising become so cool?
So how do you pick? And what is best? The first steps are understanding that you don’t have to pick just one thing for your workout and that you can switch up what you are doing week to week or month to month. Unless you are specifically training for an end goal, the more variety the better.
The next thing is don’t be scared or intimidated to try something new. I recently reached out to an old client letting her know that I would be teaching some classes at the studio she works out at and she was so grateful because she’s been too intimidated to try it alone. This took me by surprise because she is super fit! But I totally get it as trying something new is scary, so just be scared and go try it. Show up early and get acquainted with the space and introduce yourself to whoever is in charge and let them know you are new. Trust me. This is exactly what I do. I work out for a living and when I try something new I am a beginner like anyone else. Don’t be scared, just go for it.
Also, understand that fitness doesn’t have to be expensive. That used to be the case but there are so many options available to us now that exercise really doesn’t have to cost anything, except time.
Working out with a personal trainer is probably the priciest option, but not all of us need a personal trainer. Personal trainers are great for people who like to be pushed hard and held accountable. They are also a good investment if you are wanting to learn correct form, work through an injury or if you are someone who doesn’t want to worry about what they should be doing and have a professional do it for them. A better option (in my opinion) is small group training, which seems to be the fad these days. Small group training can cover a variety of fitness modalities from dance classes to HIIT classes to CrossFit and it has all the benefits of working out with a trainer without the hefty cost.
Now if paying for a membership somewhere isn’t something that you can afford then put a workout app on your phone and get sweating solo, or with a friend. Most of the fitness apps are free but there are ones that charge a small fee, and in my opinion are worth every penny. Have you seen Chris Hemsworth has a workout app now? I could get out of bed earlier and work out in my pajamas with Thor!
The most important thing when deciding how to move and challenge your body is pick something that fits in your lifestyle, makes you sweat and gives you something to work towards. Something as simple as a set of stairs in a park can be all you need.
If you are struggling with building your healthy lifestyle, I am always an email away. Reach me here at [email protected].