Everyone wants to be in shape but it can be difficult to find the right kind of exercise that fits your lifestyle and preferences. If you are new to working out, it is important to explore your options and try new things. You may find you like lifting weights but not running, that you like to swim but can’t stand biking. Perhaps you need an element of competition to keep you interested, or maybe you prefer something more solitary and contemplative like yoga. The thing to remember is that you have many options and there is something for everyone.
Just like designing a diet for yourself, figuring out a good workout routine is all about balance. Your diet shouldn’t have too much of one thing so neither should your workout. You don’t want to end up like one of those gym rats with big shoulders and spindly legs.
The Elements of a Workout
The perfect routine has three elements: weight training, cardio, and yoga.
Lifting weights can seem like an imposition if you don’t have a gym membership or weight lifting equipment in your home. Of course, it’s easier to go to a gym that has everything you need, and possibly even a personal trainer to teach and walk you through your workouts. But this is unnecessary. Even in the smallest space in your home with little to no equipment you can get a good strength-training workout. There are countless body weight exercises you can do. There are the obvious ones such as pushups, sit-ups, and squats, and many more you can find online. All you need is a yoga mat to cushion yourself and you’re ready to go.
The cardio part of your workout can be a challenge. Running typically gets a bad rap but don’t knock it until you try it. If it’s not your thing and you have access to a gym, try the elliptical. But just like weight lifting, if you’re not a gym-goer, you can still get a great cardio workout right in your home. Again, all you need is a yoga mat and a small open space. There are countless personal trainers online that will coach you through plyometric workouts involving jumping, kicking, and lunging. These workouts are designed to be fun and engaging and typically only take 20 to 30 minutes. You’d be surprised by the results you see in a couple weeks of doing these workouts for just 20 minutes a day. There’s a wide variety to choose from. If dancing is your thing, you’ll be happy to know that there are a ton of online instructors doing dance workouts.
Now, on to yoga. Many people don’t consider yoga a serious part of working out. They couldn’t be more wrong. Yoga is a full body activity that also engages your mind while combining stretching, strength training, and endurance. All of us could become more flexible, and the better you get at yoga, the more it becomes about strength and the more you can build your muscles. Because yoga involves deep breathing, it has a meditative quality that is also good for the mind. Just like the workout videos, there are a plethora of online yoga tutorials. If one doesn’t suit you, no worries, try another. There is everything from five-minute morning routines to full-blown two-hour yoga marathons that you can try out. Of course, anything getting close to two hours will take weeks to build up to.
Remember that building your workout from nothing will take time. It’s okay to start simply with cardio. After a month you can add an element of strength training and finally some yoga. There is no rush because once you have an established workout you can continue it indefinitely. It may grow and change over the years just as you do and that’s good. Your body needs different things as it ages and your workouts should reflect this.