The majority of people who start an exercise program will quit eventually. Then they’ll spend a significant amount of time kicking themselves for being lazy or undisciplined. The thing is, exercise isn’t about a one-size-fits-all program. You need an exercise routine that fits your personality.
Choosing the best program is more about understanding your personal goals than understanding exercise. You want something that works for you, your needs and your goals. To find your ideal program, ask yourself the following questions:
1.) Why Are You Exercising?
What do you want out of your workout program? If you want to run a marathon, your program should be vastly different than if you just want to improve your health. Cater your training program to your concrete, personal goals.
2.) Are You Working Your Muscles, or Training Your Whole Body?
When people start an exercise regimen, they’re usually so focused on their muscular strength that they forget about their joints, breathing, coordination, and balance. These elements are more important when trying to achieve long-term fitness goals so make sure your program keeps that in mind.
3.) Are Your Fitness Goals and Weight Loss Goals Separate?
If your fitness goals and weight loss goals cannot be separated, you should take a trip to question number one.
Forcing your workout to “burn off calories” is unrealistic. One pound is 3,500 calories which will mean jogging for six hours. The science here is clear -- burning off calories may be causing you to do the wrong kind of exercise.
If you don’t see progress you might quit, so make sure your goals are realistic.
4.) How Does Your Workout Schedule Fit Your Life Schedule?
If your life makes scheduling a workout difficult, plan accordingly. If you don’t have time to make it to a gym, then workout at home. Get a buddy to keep you responsible for your workout.
Your exercise program should be a source of stress reduction, not stress creation. So, try to make your training program easily fit into your regular lifestyle. A 20-minute workout in your living room is better than no workout at all.
5.) Is Your Exercise Program One-Sided?
We tend to separate exercise into different disciplines -- strength, stretch, cardio, meditation -- but it's important to keep your exercise program balanced. With a multi-faceted program, you’ll see better results in your whole person rather than one particular area.
6.) How Does Your Program Carry Over Into Your Daily Life?
You don’t need a heavy weight training program (unless you like that) or an excessive endurance program unless your goals are pertaining to that kind of program. Decide what is important to you and your goals and avoid adhering to a “typical” workout program.
The more you like your training program, the more you’ll want to stick with it. The more it fits with your daily life, the more likely you are to stick with it.
Spend some time discovering the perfect exercise program for you, and you’ll be making a terrific investment in your future and your health.