Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore; it can actually be something you look forward to each day. Or is that just something Halle Berry says as she does pull-ups next to her hot trainer in a trendy New York loft? Even if the gym isn’t your happy place, the options for workouts in this day and age provide something for everyone. Yes, even for you haters who silently mock the Soul Cycle crew while sipping a Caramel Macchiato in the Starbucks next door. There’s a workout for you too! All it takes is research into yourself and your habits, and which exercise options are available in your area. This guide describes why exercise is good for you (sometimes ya need to hear it again) as well as how to find the right workout to fit your needs and lifestyle.
It’s okay to despise working out right now. You probably just haven’t clicked with the right one yet. But, committing to movement will likely change your vehement opposition. Once you get a tiny peek into how movement makes you feel, you may crave just a little bit more. Then, once that happens, you might just become the green-juice sipping gal with her cycle shoes over her shoulder breezing into that trendy spin class.
Obviously exercise is good for things like weight loss and building muscle, but it’s also good for you mentally. I love working out because it helps me feel normal and find balance in my life. My daily workout allows me to stay creative and excited about things, as well as reminds me that I’m alive. I finish every workout feeling good about my body and myself because I accomplished the movements of the day. It helps reduce stress because when I’m working out I can’t think about anything else but the task in front of me. I sleep better and cope with daily tasks easier because I got my sweat on.
Just for Health
Aside from the anecdotal evidence above, research everywhere concludes that exercise fights disease, improves blood sugar and cholesterol and can be more effective than antidepressants. It also improves bone density and helps maintain/build muscle mass, which directly affects metabolism.
Finding Movement That Feels Good
Remember when you were a little kid and exercise was really just playing? You know, running around playing with balls, making up games, and playing Marco Polo for hours in the pool? Think back to an activity you used to do as a kid that made you the happiest. That’s where you’re going to find an exercise you’ll stick with. I loved cheering and dancing, so I created a workout that had aspects of all those things.
Thinking about movement as a kid will help you understand the root of activities that had you moving and enjoying your time. Maybe you played soccer or swam at the neighborhood pool? Maybe you thrived on competition and speed? Think about if it was a team sport or individual activity. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to apply it to your adult life now.
Maybe you never owned a trampoline growing up but think it just looks fun! Guess what?! They exist (and you don’t need an acre of backyard to try it out). Check out classes in your area, or, buy a mini-tramp and find some videos online.
Investigate for Yourself
Now that you know what types of movement you enjoyed as a kid, do some research into things that may be the adult version. If you played a sport, why not look into adult leagues or meetups. If you were a dancer try dance, even if it’s in your living room. If you liked to climb and jump and run maybe CrossFit or F-45 are your speed. If you just liked twirling in a tutu, try a barre class, or maybe aerial yoga.
For the person who just likes music and doesn’t feel coordinated, try a class where the moves are basic, but the music is HOT and uplifting. Rise Nation blast great tunes as an instructor takes you on a to-the-beat climb using a Versaclimber.
Former boxers (or people who just love to hit stuff) have plenty of options these days. Rumble clubs are opening up all across the U.S. The nightclub vibe and music, plus powerful punching moves make for an all-out-sweat-fest. And don’t worry! The lights are dim, so no one can see if your hook looks more like a jab.
Whatever you liked to do there’s an adult version out there for you, even if you have to make it up yourself! Wanna know the best hack? Class Pass. It’s a paid pass card that gets you into try boutique and big box gyms alike. Perfect for the non-committal divas, and for those on a quest to find their soulmate workout.
If the gym isn’t the place for you, think of solitary options that make you happy. But don’t be so solitary that you never leave the house. Fresh air and public spaces are good for the soul too.
Peleton bikes give you a heart pounding workout in the comfort of your own home. Choose from dozens of inspiring instructors with endless playlists, from hip hop, to country, to live DJs. Join a live class, or catch them on demand.
Maybe roller skating or kangoos on the boardwalk or in your neighborhood suit you best? Or, nab a friend or find a hiking group in your area.
If you like variety, check out all the free options on YouTube. You could get a different free workout every day for months with little to no equipment needed. If you find one you like that requires a kettle bell, resistance tube or light hand weights, you’ll know you like it before you invest.
Body weight exercises, or calisthenics workouts can be found all over the web, but also in printed form on Pinterest. Start a Pinterest board for exercise and watch the ideas flow!
Remember to focus on the movement and activity, not calories burned or weight lost. And, don’t forget to cross-train, even when you do find something you love. The goal for a healthy body is balance, and that won’t come from seven days per week of just running or only Pilates.
Look up any activity you want and see what those people are doing, what they’re wearing, how they approach the whole thing. Knowing all this beforehand eases beginner jitters, which will make sticking to your workout even easier.
After your research, all that’s left is to ink your workout into your calendar. Try it out a few times, similar to how people date. After a few sessions you’ll know if it’s something you’ll stick with or not. There’s no harm in dating a few workouts before one sticks.