When people want to improve their fitness, they often ask ‘What is the best exercise for me?’  There is no magic answer, but I say that your best exercise is doing activities you enjoy and will continue to do.  If you enjoy what you do, you are much more apt to stick with it!

We all know that exercise is good for our health.  Developing your cardiovascular endurance (strengthening your heart and lungs) can reduce several health issues, while strengthening and stretching your muscles can alleviate even more potential health threats.  Consider these questions-

  • Do you like being outside?
  • Do you like competition?
  • What do you enjoy doing?
  • Do you move better with instruction or others?
  • Would you rather get exercise on your own?

It is critical to get clear why is it important that you exercise?  Not just that it’s good for you, but why is it important to you that you exercise?  When you understand what makes it important to you, and you determine the activities you enjoy, you are well on your way!  Your chances of success increases, health risks decrease, you get fit, and you enjoy yourself along the way!  Win-Win!

Consider what you’ve done in the past, and the things you enjoy now-

  • Is there a particular sport you enjoy playing?
  • Do you like to dance? Do you enjoy walks with a loved one or pet?
  • Do you work in the yard or garden? Weeding becomes a rowing exercise, raking vigorously can be aerobic!  Hauling wood is definite exercise!
  • Do you like the spice that comes with a variety of activities?

Ways and places to get exercise-

  • Walking, running- neighborhood, roads, trails
  • Dancing
  • House cleaning- Vacuuming, scrubbing
  • Garden/Yard- Weeding, raking, moving soil & equipment, wood
  • Various sports- basketball, snowshoeing, biking
  • Exercise equipment- stability ball, bands, weights
  • Playground- act like a kid!
  • Errands and shopping- park a distance away for more benefit
  • Recreation centers/classes- so many options!

Now, how to start being active through the year?  Set a goal, make a plan, commit, and get the support you need!  Commit to being in action regardless of the circumstances (yes, they will come up!).  Be consistent, even small steps will keep you moving toward your goal. Find a friend or coach to help keep you on track, someone who believes in you when your own ambition lacks and your excuses come up.

It won’t be easy starting a new habit, but have faith in you!  Move your body, and move it often!  You can change for good and improve your health. This is ‘exercise’, and however you do it (just do it!) is the best way for you!