Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Best Exercise

I often have clients ask me what the "best" type of exercise is and I just heard it again the other day. My answer is always the same:

The "best" exercise for you is the type you enjoy doing! If you do not enjoy running the treadmill or yoga or dance, it is not something you will stick with long-term. If it feels like a chore, you will most likely do it less frequently for less time and ultimately, you will feel like a failure if you just flat out quit.

I love yoga, Pilates, and dance (coincidentally, our studio offers all 3 ;) and I also love any outdoor activity in the sunshine (hiking, swimming, water skiing, etc.). It never feels like work to me when I exercise. Of course, I get tired after any sustained period of time, but I never stop having fun! It is because of this that I never dread exercise; in fact, I look forward to it!

Here's the deal...if you're not really sure what your particular cup of tea is, sign up to try as many things as you need to before you find something you enjoy. Heck, if you have trouble deciding, at least you'll get in shape while trying to figure it out! There are 3 main categories of exercise: cardiovascular, flexibility, and strength training. Start by trying at least one in each of these categories. Strive to incorporate all 3 of these in whatever you choose, but don't obsess over it. Many gym-type classes will incorporate them for you. (Think: Cardio dance class with weights and stretch cool down or power yoga using resistance bands and straps.)

Once you find something you enjoy, find friends who enjoy the same types of activities and I promise, you will never dread exercise again. Friends or family members are excellent motivators. Just ask my husband...I don't know that I would have done that crazy hike today if not for his enthusiasm!

"Do what you love and love what you do!" is a great motto for exercise and for life in general. Get out there and move your body and have fun doing it!

Love and Gratitude~

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