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How to find the workout that works for you

We all know about the physical benefits of exercise, but how about the psychological benefits?

  • Improves self image and self esteem
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces symptoms associated with depression
  • Reduces chances of postpartum depression for moms

But what if you don’t know what works for you? There are several ways to find out.

  1. What kind of person are you? Social or an introvert?
  2. Do you shy away from crowds or do you thrive in an active environment?
  3. What do you like to do for fun? Do you love the outdoors? Dancing? Water?

Research shows that just starting to move i.e. walking for 10 minutes a day can begin to help improve your mood almost immediately. That feeling can begin to domino making you want more.

  1. If you are in good shape but have fallen off the wagon due to boredom, there are great new trends to get your juices growing: Bootcamps, DVD’s such as P90X, Insanity. Cool apps that track reps and allow you to create workouts so you always have new varieties.
  2. If you are in “ok” shape but can’t stand traditional “work outs”?, find out what you love. If you are an extrovert and like being around people, you can try something different in a class format. Zumba, pole dancing and piloxing are all fun ways to get a good workout without feeling like you are doing it.
  3. If you are just starting out and have no idea where to start? Start small. Start with daily walks for 20-30 minutes at least 3 times a week to create the habit. Habits are much easier to create when it doesn’t seem like “work”. For support and motivation, pair up with a friend so you have a partner in crime and you can actually enjoy the time you are exercising.

Finances also play a role. Although many would like to be able to afford a personal trainer, not everyone can. Fitness classes apply a group rate that is significantly lower than a private one on one. Using the gym and pool at your local community center also offer great deals. And if you are motivated enough, investing in a small variety of DVD’s to do at home can keep you healthy while keeping the wallet happy.

But you can’t forget food!!! If you are filling up with foods that don’t offer health benefits, how are you supposed to feel good and motivated to even try? Just like exercise, food provides energy as well so the next time you eat, ask yourself what kind of energy you want. Do you want quick bouts with heavy crashes or long term to keep you going?

Traditional exercise is not for everyone and unfortunately Canada sits at a 60% over weight and obesity rate. Digging deep, creating a support team and finding where your strengths (and weaknesses) lie are you first steps to finding out what works.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

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