Building Exercise into your Life
What’s the best kind of workout? Is it swimming? Running? Organized sports? There is no one-size-fits all answer because the best kind of workout is one that you will stick with.
Some people love the “me time” from a workout. They want to plug in their air pods and go for a run outdoors to enjoy nature and maybe take pictures of sunsets and wildlife along the way. Or some prefer the comforts of running indoors on a treadmill at home or at a gym.
For others, they look forward to the social aspect of their physical activity time. Whether it’s a walking group, a local sports league, or a workout buddy, they like interacting with others while simultaneously getting exercise. Some even look at it as a form of accountability. After all, if someone is counting on you to show up, you feel more obligated to maintain your commitment.
Knowing your personality and habits, find a routine that fits your interests, budget, schedule, and social needs. A busy introvert may not want to join a walking group that meets at a set day and time. If they did, they may be signing themselves up for failure. This person may be better off doing their own workout on their own time while listening to music or an audiobook while going for a run after work. Meanwhile, an extroverted retiree with less time constraints may do well joining a gym and signing up for fitness classes at a set time and use it as a chance to meet others.
The bottom line, don’t commit to a workout that doesn’t seem like “you.” Don’t join an expensive gym if you are on a tight budget, or say you will run at 5am each day but you aren’t a morning person. Once you can identify how to make exercise easily fit into your lifestyle, you are more likely to stick with it (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017). If, overtime, you want a change, you can always step outside of your comfort zone, but when just starting out with an exercise routine, it’s best to start small and realistic.
Sticking with your exercise program (2017) Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/sticking-with-your-exercise-program