Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article.
Workouts are like people. Some are intense and serious, while others are light and fun. So why take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your fitness routine? If you’re looking to stay motivated and actually stick to an exercise regimen, your chances of success are much higher if you choose activities you find fun. (You’re also less likely to eat poorly following an enjoyable exercise routine.)
Here are some tips to help guide you to a fitness routine that best fits your personality. Once you pinpoint a handful of activities that pique your interest, don’t fret over having to choose one over the other. Organizations like MoveUSA can grant you access to multiple clubs via one inclusive membership.
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Let’s face it: extreme, butt-kicking workouts aren’t for all of us. In fact, the mere thought of 5 a.m. marathon training is enough to turn some people off of exercise altogether. Before throwing in the towel, try adopting a gentler workout routine that will still get your heart pumping.
Folks who fall into this camp should favor slower-paced workouts, like yoga and Pilates. The benefits of Pilates are well documented and include increased flexibility, improved balance, stronger core muscles, and better posture. Other low-intensity workout approaches involve using ballet barres and the principles of dance to foster strength and wellness.
If dancing isn’t your thing, brisk walking and nature hikes represent another great option. The good news is that, thanks to multi-studio memberships , the cold winter months don’t have to disrupt your routine. You can achieve an invigorating, quick-paced walk on an indoor treadmill that also allows you to tinker with the incline to give yourself even more control.
On the flip side, some of us aren’t happy with our workout routine unless it leaves us exhausted, sweating, and feeling the burn. For people who crave a serious workout, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is worth exploring. This type of workout is characterized by stints of hardcore activity, followed by lulls of rest. Bootcamp-style classes are ideal for this type of gym-goer.
Other high-intensity options include cardio-heavy workouts mixed with weight training. Like Barry’s Bootcamp and FitRxN, also available on multi-studio memberships like MoveUSA. Spending some time in a hot sauna following a workout is also great for people who love to “sweat it out.” In the end, don’t be afraid to mix up your habits with different activities on different days. In fact, creating some variety in your exercise routine will make you more likely to sustain it.
The only thing that jumpstarts some people to work out is an activity that doesn’t feel like work. If you naturally get bored easily and require some excitement to rev up your motivation, competitive sports may be the way to go. Indoor rowing studios, like Row House , are the perfect example. A low-impact alternative, indoor rowing is fast-paced and fun. It’s also a serious workout that engages your core, builds endurance, and increases overall strength.
People who crave a little more get-up-and-go will also benefit from activities like surfing, snowboarding and skiing. If you already have a membership to a local gym or sports studio , taking advantage of a basketball court, for example, is another simple way of making your workout more fun and engaging.
Making connections with other members of your gym also builds camaraderie and helps foster accountability. How much so? Research suggests that working out with others can boost motivation and double performance.