Your friends might love ice hiking, but if you hate the cold, don’t count on their exercise regimen working for you.
Answer these few questions to try to find what you will be likely to like and therefore do!
- How fit are you? If you haven’t exercised in a really long time or are dealing with a recent injury or illness, you need to start off slowly and build up your endurance.
- Do you have issues with knee, back or hip pain? If so, you should consult with your health care team as to what exercises will alleviate your pain and which ones should be avoided.
- Familiarity breeds contentment or contempt? If you prefer to develop a predictable routine, then by all means find an exercise you like and don’t worry about doing the same thing every day. Maybe you can alternate two exercises. On the other hand, if you are easily bored by exercise, find ways to mix up your exercise routine. Pick from among several possibilities. Make it totally unpredictable and choose a number from a hat to see what you’re doing that day. If you exercise to TV programs or DVD’s, select a different one each day or choose something you have never done before. Go gym shopping and try out all kinds of fitness classes, even ones that are completely foreign to you.
- Have your incorporated both cardiovascular exercises (the kind that make you breathe more heavily and increase your heartrate) and strengthening exercises? You need both.
- What exercises do you know how to do already? Stumped? You know how to walk, so that’s one you can do, indoors or outdoors, weather-permitting. Add others to the list if you enjoy swimming, hiking, bicycling, dancing and stair climbing.
- Do you like your social life and your exercise routine to be together or apart? Some people can only be motivated to work out if they feel their presence would be missed by others. They need classmates or workout buddies. Others find running alone to be a time to unwind and don’t want to be hampered by a running buddy, no matter how well-intentioned. You may be one of those in the middle of the spectrum: you can do you sit-ups and bicep curls at home, but a walk with friends sounds pretty enticing.
Really think about the answers to these questions and begin to craft a plan for regular exercise. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise per day as a starting point.