What is the best workout?
You have decided that this year will be THE year you get in shape. Yes! I hope you find inspiration and support in my New Year’s Resolutions Series. Now, if part of your plan is to become more active (it's often a good idea!), you might wonder what workout will guarantee the best results.
There is so much to choose from! Some people tell you to do cardio, others only swear by strength training. New trendy workouts are popping up everywhere, such as HIIT, the High-Intensity Interval Training.
So, which workout is best for you?
Let me give you the 4 most important characteristics of your ideal workout.
You can keep reading this article, or you can learn what workout is best for you by watching the video below. Your choice, enjoy!
1. Best workout = a workout you enjoy
Ideally, the workout you choose makes you happy while you do it. It seems pretty obvious, but actually, if you look at what most people do for exercise, this is a criterion that doesn’t very often come into the equation. Yet, it is probably the most important!
Think about it: if exercising makes you happy, just like laying down on the beach, meeting your friends for happy hour, or going to the movies, there is a good chance you will stick with it for the rest of your life. But if you dread it, the more you’ll work out, the more miserable you’ll be, and eventually, you will quit.
2. A workout with measurable outcomes
Sometimes, the workout itself is not highly enjoyable but there is something about it that you truly appreciate. Maybe it’s the way you feel when you are done. Maybe it’s the image it gives of yourself. Maybe it’s the people you are doing it with, whom you otherwise never get to see. Maybe it’s your only chance to be outdoors, or alone, or to listen to music… Whatever it is for you, there MUST be something specific you look forward to or gain from your workout, otherwise, this workout is definitely not the best for you.
3. A low-maintenance workout
By low-maintenance, I mean a workout that does not require too much of the resources you don’t have.
Let’s say you are super busy and time is your most scarce resource. You have to make sure that your workout is not time-consuming. Otherwise, you will always find reasons not to fit it in your busy schedule, and even when you make room for exercise, you will always feel that maybe you should be using your time for something else, something “more important”.
If money is the thing you are lacking and you pick a workout that’s not free or super cheap, there will be times when you won’t be able to afford exercising. And when you can afford it, you will feel guilty that you are not spending your money elsewhere.
Time and money are often the things we struggle the most with, but maybe your case is different. Whatever it is that you don’t have much of, just make sure that you pick a workout that doesn’t make you resentful, and doesn’t make you second guess yourself every time you exercise.
4. A workout that you don’t call “workout”
Ideally, you will want to workout without knowing you are working out. Whether you call it “commute”, or “fun with friends”, or “playing with the kids”, or “walking the dog”, if you do the things that you have to do in life or that you WANT to do in life, and those things are actually a good workout, bingo! You will end up living an active life naturally. Physical activity will be a given, you won’t have to worry about carving time for the gym or for a run. You will become “unconsciously” active, which, research has shown, is the best way to live a healthy life.
Your next step to be more active
Now go for a walk and start thinking about the ideal workout plan for yourself. Try to find many different ways to be active. Make sure your plan looks like your investment portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. This way, when your gym closes, or your financial situation changes, or you lose a workout buddy, your whole plan will not fall apart. You will just have to patch one area.
And of course, make sure you ease into it and don’t injure yourself. The goal is to stick with it, remember 🙂