When you hear the word exercise, many of us automatically think of going to the gym 5-7 days a week with 30 minutes on the treadmill and strength training at least 3 of those days. BORING! Gina DeMillo Wagner with Experience L!fe magazine just published an article suggesting that we branch out beyond our ho-hum exercise routine and “Find your Fitness Passion.” In order to stick to your exercise routine, you need to find something fun that you enjoy doing, gets your heart rate up, and your muscles moving! The article suggests asking yourself 5 questions to help you focus on what type of activities you might enjoy for exercise:
- What were you passionate about as a child?
- What obstacles have you encountered in the past?
- Where are you most happy?
- What’s your personality type?
- What are your fitness goals?
When you were a child and kicked outside on a nice sunny day, what did you do to have fun? Were you out riding your bike, kicking a soccer ball around, swimming at the local pool, going on a hike in the woods behind your house, or getting your friends together for a little game of football or baseball? These are still activities you can do today and yes, they would count as EXERCISE! Intramural sports teams looking for members are easily found by a quick search on the internet. If it’s baseball you love, then join a local league or visit the batting cages for an afternoon. Whatever activity you enjoyed as a child will still be fun for you as an adult.
What hindered you in the past from being successful with an exercise routine? If you had a bad experience in elementary school with running or doing pull-ups for gym, maybe starting out with those activities wouldn’t be a good start. Are you new to exercise completely? Utilize the free orientation session at your gym if it’s available to get accustomed to the machines or find a personal trainer for a personalized fitness program.
Are you an outdoorsy type person or like to stay inside? Hiking, biking, or rollerblading are good activities for those who enjoy being outside, while treadmills and workout DVDs are good for those who are not nature enthusiasts.
Your personality type can also help you choose what activity is right for you. Introverts are shown to like more individual routines like swimming, cycling, weight training, walking and tennis. Extroverts are more likely to enjoy team sports, group classes, and circuit training. Be careful here though, you might enjoy an activity that counterbalances your personality.
And finally, what are your fitness goals? The activity you choose should coincide with what you are trying to accomplish. For example, if you want to be able to do twenty push-ups, an activity like rollerblading would not help strengthen your arms to accomplish your goal. If you are just looking for overall health and stress relief, training for a triathlon may be a bit much.
Overall, the main point is finding an activity, or two or three, that makes physical fitness enjoyable to you. You may not find it right away, but give each activity at least 3 tries before giving it the axe all together. Don’t be afraid to change up your routine either. Group classes may have been your choice over the winter, but when it gets warmer outside, you may be ready to hit the trails and go hiking instead. Be open-minded as you try out new activities and choose what answers the five questions laid before you in order to ‘find your fitness passion!’