5 Ways To Choose The Right Exercise For Yourself

When it comes to exercise, most of us are already painfully aware that we should be doing more of it. However, going from sitting in an office chair all day to actually getting out there and moving your body is not always as easy as it seems.

5 Ways To Choose The Right Exercise For Yourself

The unfortunate truth is: not every exercise will be suitable for everybody. There’s nothing wrong with that – in fact, that’s a good thing! As humans, we are all different, and that is something that should be celebrated. 

However, it does mean that finding the right exercise for you isn’t always easy. There are a lot of things to take into consideration if you want to make it work long-term. So, that’s what we’re going to go through today: how to choose the right exercise (and routine) for you. 

Are There Exercises That You Shouldn’t Do?

To start off, you should be aware that there could be some exercises that you should not do. This could be for any number of reasons. Perhaps you have a medical condition that you need to consider when looking at exercises, or an injury that could prevent you from doing something.  

It is important to remember that not everything needs to be “pushed through”. While we would all like to overcome our obstacles, you need to make sure you do it the right way. 

If you have a shoulder injury, you should definitely avoid doing specific kinds of weight training. If you have a knee injury, refrain from doing things like kickboxing, jumping, or running. By not listening to your body and trying to “push through”, you will only hurt yourself more. 

In the case of some medical conditions like heart disease, you will also need to know which exercises you should not do. This will include things like isometric exercises (e.g. sit-ups and push-ups) or other exercises that will involve straining muscles against immovable objects or other muscles.

You should also avoid doing any exercise in extreme heat or cold with a condition like heart disease without checking in with your doctor. 

Never Try To Force Yourself To Like Something

Even then, choosing the right exercise for you will not only be based on any limitations you might have. Sure, they will play a key role largely due to safety and capability, but there is more to the exercise than that. You also need to enjoy the exercise. 

Working out should not feel like a chore. As soon as it does, you are already playing a losing game, and it will be a matter of time until you stop exercising. You need to find something that you can get behind, something that you enjoy doing. 

This could be hitting the gym, or doing at-home workouts. It might be a particular sport like football or soccer, or swimming. Maybe even walking will be a good place to start. 

While getting a variety of exercises into a routine will be beneficial so that you can train different parts of your body, it does depend on what your goals are. This alone can be notoriously difficult, but you are not alone.

5 Ways To Choose The Right Exercise For Yourself

To pick the rich exercise for yourself, there are a few things you need to consider. This includes things like limitations and preferences, but also your schedule and lifestyle. There is no point in choosing an extravagant routine if you will never be able to stick to it. 

Let’s go through some key things you need to bear in mind when you are thinking about choosing different exercises. 

Think Of What You Actually Enjoy

We mentioned this before, but picking something that you enjoy is going to be key. Do not force yourself to run 20 miles every day if you can’t stand running! While it is great to incorporate cardio into a routine, you don’t need to make it hell for you to do it. 

This is especially true if you are beginning your exercise journey. Instead of running, try walking, or something else entirely. You might dislike swimming, but perhaps boxing works well for you. 

The moment you begin to force something on yourself, it won’t stick. 

Consider Your Limitations

We also mentioned this before, but your limitations should always be in the back of your mind. Having limitations is not a weakness – everyone does. Especially when injuries happen (or get worse) because you decided to ignore your body. 

If you want to get healthy or stay healthy, you need to know what you do without a problem, and what you cannot. Injuries and medical issues will have an impact on your ability to carry out some forms of exercise, but that’s okay! Find ways to work around these issues, or slowly work on them.

5 Ways To Choose The Right Exercise For Yourself

If you have bad knees, avoid jarring exercises like running. If you are visually impaired, exercises like yoga might be a good place to start! Someone with heart disease should avoid isometric exercises. 

NOTE: disabilities and impairments should never stop you from taking part in an activity or exercise you enjoy. In many cases, some adaptations will need to be made, but if you are still physically able to enjoy the activity, you absolutely should.

What Are Your Goals?

Goals are likely going to be incredibly important if you are just starting your exercise journey. You might have a weight loss goal or any other kind of goal. These can be for everyone, no matter how much experience you have or how long you have been exercising.

There might be specific parts of the body that you would like to target in order to reach your goal. Maybe you want to grow your calves or increase muscle mass in your arms. The goal you have will play a part in picking out the right exercises for you. 

However, it should be noted that it is never recommended to only do one kind of exercise or target one area. You should always take a holistic approach to exercise and target all parts of the body. This might happen on different days or at different times. If you’re an arm person, that doesn’t mean you should skip leg day!

Be Sure To Mix It Up

This goes hand-in-hand with the above. There will be no “one” exercise that you can pick, particularly at places like the gym. You can’t only do weights, or only do crunches – it simply will not do you any good. 

However, if you wanted to pick a specific sport, you could get somewhere. Most sports involve a variety of activities and will work out your whole body. Things like boxing, rowing, hockey, soccer, and much more are excellent forms of exercise that will give you a great workout. 

If you would like to do your workouts at the gym, make sure that you include a range of things to get a full-body workout. Do weights, jump on the treadmill, cycle, you name it. 

Make Sure It Is Sustainable

We don’t mean environmentally friendly (though that would be great, too) – we mean you need to be able to do it long-term. You must be able to keep it up for the foreseeable future, and not get tired (or bored) of doing it. 

Not only that, but the exercise you choose should not be so hard on your body that it never makes you want to attempt it again. 

If you throw yourself into the deep end of sports or an exercise without prior experience or knowledge, it will not go well. Don’t dry deadlift 200 lbs right off the bat. Learn the technique, and work your way up. Not doing this will almost guarantee failure, and those kinds of failures can be very painful. 

Sustainability also means that you need to find something that works for your life and your routine. If you have an office job where you work long hours, you might need to find an exercise that you can do at your desk. If you work at all hours of the day, there might not be a 24-hour gym around to make things easier for you. 

Final Thoughts

Finding the right exercise for you is not an easy thing to do. We all live such different lives, and knowing what works and what does not can be challenging. Even then, finding the time to fit everything in is a monumental task of its own. 

However, when you take into account preferences and any limitations, you should be left with a much smaller pool of possibilities to choose from.

This is a good thing! Consider what your goals are, but do not let that dictate the exercise you need to do completely. Jogging is not the “best” way to lose weight, but it might be something you enjoy, and therefore it could be the right exercise for you. 

Whatever you do, take it slow. And work your way up. Listen to your body and know when to take a break.

Laura Simmons
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