Finding the Right Workout For You

We all have to do it; working out is a vital part of living a long, healthy life. But how do you figure out which exercises will suit your needs best, especially if this whole working out thing is new to you? Well don’t worry my friends, I am here to help!

My perfect workouts have evolved over the years as my body began to develop many joint problems. But one thing I learned about working out that will solve  your working out dilemma is this:

Do the workout that makes you feel happy, that you will stick with, and that makes you feel great on the outside and the inside!

Let’s face it, we all have tried those workout programs that just do not work for us. We force ourselves to do it, but then always stop halfway through or if we push through we feel awful afterwards. It’s those workouts that we dread doing that we need to steer clear of. Often times we feel that those workouts are our only option and then we make ourselves feel guilty if we do not workout, but truthfully who wants to do a workout that you can’t stand doing? I sure don’t.

I can tell you right off the bat that cardio is something I highly dislike and my body dislikes as well. The high impact cardio workouts, such as running or doing any jumps, is difficult on my joints. When I exert myself doing high intensity cardio, my joints hurt and I always end up feeling really nauseous, no matter what I ate or how much water intake I’ve had. Throughout the years I have learned that high impact cardio is just not for me and I am not going to push my body to perform those exercises.

So, what workouts are left then? Cardio workouts are THEE type of workouts everyone wants to do (or what they feel they have to do), especially to shed weight, but it’s not the only one out there that can help you to feel good inside and out while also helping to shed those extra pounds.

Finding exercises that suit you personally will take trial and error. First there are a few things that you should ask yourself to help determine what exercises you should try.

1. What type of exercise would I actually be able to stick with and be happy doing?
2. What am I looking to gain from exercising? Am I trying to lose weight, maintain my weight, gain muscle, increase endurance, or just to live an active, healthy life?
3. How much time can I commit daily and weekly?
4. What resources do I have available to workout? Is there a gym nearby, are there workout classes nearby, do I have money for a workout program and/or special gear?
5. Do I have any ailments that I have to keep in mind? (Joint problems, heart problems, asthma, etc.)

After answering these questions you should have a better idea about what types of exercises would suit you and your lifestyle the best. After I evaluated my life and health, I was able to find four exercises that I absolutely love doing and can happily do for the rest of my life.

Weight Lifting: Love love love! I have been lifting weights for as long as I can remember. I used to go out in the garage with my dad twice a week and lift weights up until I moved out. Still now, I continue it, at least twice a week. The feeling of weight lifting invigorates me and really awakens and pumps up my body. I feel so energized and refreshed after a good weight lifting session. It gets my heart rate up without making me feel nauseous like cardio.
If weight lifting scares you because you do not want to get bulky, please know that you can easily lift weights without gaining any size. I have been weight lifting for over 10 years and am not bulky at all. I have slight muscle definition and that is how I intend for it to stay. My strength however, has greatly increased. If you want to try weight lifting, but have no idea where to start, please email me and I can help you find a weight lifting regime that will suit you.
Yoga: This is something I literally do every day. I cannot go a day without doing some form of yoga. It has been a life saver for me and my achy joints. It has rejuvenated me and has helped strengthen my joints and muscles, increase my flexibility, detox my body aiding in digestion, calms my mind, and more! I could literally go on and on about the benefits of yoga. I have been practicing for almost 2 years now. This past year has been more consistent though and I have really seen a lot of improvement in my health overall from it. Yoga is that workout that can suit anyone. There are so many different types of yoga and the option to personalize to suit any need.
PiYo: This past year I was introduced to this awesome workout and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. A class was being taught at a local college so I decided to try it out and then loved it so much I had to buy the DVDs. It combines pilates and yoga which is literally my perfect workout. If you are unfamiliar with pilates, it is low impact movements that strengthen and improve flexibility. I first found out about pilates through Cassey Ho, founder of Blogilates. I really loved how the workouts were low impact (great for those people with bad joints) and it really gave my muscles a nice burn and I felt stronger each time. So the combination of pilates and yoga together is ingenious because they fit so well together. They both focus on strengthening muscles, improving flexibility and breathing, while enhancing mental focus and awareness. This workout is my form of cardio because it combines all of these low impact, strength building exercises into a high pace workout that gets my hear rate pumping.
Walking: This is the best and most underrated workout there is. This is possibly the easiest, but most important exercise there is. It is so beneficial to our health to walk at least 5,000-10,000 steps a day. Walking has recently become such a staple for me in my life. I take half of my lunch break now and go for a half hour walk and then even in the evenings after work I will take a walk to clear my head and wind down, possibly listen to a podcast. If you can’t do any other exercise, at least do walking.
If you would like personal help trying to determine which types of workouts would suit you the best and even which types of workouts there are to choose from, please contact me and I would be glad to help you get started and begin living a healthy life!

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  • Clare Cattano Speer

    I want and need to get back into walking for sure…. and also yoga! My back has been killing me – I sit long hours on my job – this was a very motivational and encouraging post for me! Thanks so much!

    • I definitely can relate to back pain! I also have a job where I sit all day long and my neck and back have been suffering because of it. Recently I have swapped my desk chair out for an exercise ball chair and have noticed a big change, I definitely recommend it 🙂 I’m glad this post has helped you out!

  • CouponDivaAndi

    right now, i’m doing a LOT of walking….. 😀

    • That’s great! I love walking, it’s such a great way to workout and also relax and clear your mind. How many miles do you do a day?

  • Brianna

    Ahhh I have fallen off the wagon in intentional exercise. I used to run 10-15 miles a week, trained for half marathons, yoga 2-3 times a week and weightlifting 2 times a week. Now, nothing. This is a huge area of weakness for me. 🙁 I need help. And a partner to keep me accountable…and kids to not be underfoot…*sigh*

    • Wow, seems like you were in great shape. It’s always a shame when life gets in the way of living a healthy lifestyle. I would love to help you get back on track if you would like 🙂 I am training to be a personal trainer and I am also going to be running a free clean eating and workout challenge on Facebook if that is something you would be interested in.

  • Rachel Kaly

    You’re a popster too!? Haha I love Blogilates! In fact I just did one of her ab videos before I headed over to the Peony Project to browse some blogs. 🙂 I like lifting too, and HATE running. We have a lot in common as far as workout habits! 🙂

    • Haha that’s awesome. I love how the Blogilates videos are quick and to the point, while giving me such a great workout. It seems like we definitely do have a lot in common with out workout habits. What other workouts do you enjoy doing? Have you tried PiYo or Yoga? Also I what is the name of your blog? I would love to check it out!

      • Rachel Kaly

        No I haven’t tried those! Other than pilates and bench press I don’t do much else! I use an ab roller, and I love that thing. Have you ever used one of those? I also ride my bike to and from work since its less than a mile away, but its a bit of a leg workout on the way home since its all uphill! 🙂 My blog is http://www.sweetsimpleliving.com

  • I’ve been meaning to really commit to trying yoga– it’s so hard at the beginning and I often give up. But I love how you’ve written about the other basic exercises we can do to keep our physical (and mental) health in check!

    • I definitely recommend trying to stick to yoga. At first I had a hard time with it, but day by day it grows easier and in the end it is so worth it! I watched yoga videos on YouTube a lot in the beginning and I still do. It helps to learn the foundations. “Yoga with Adriene” and “SarahBeth Yoga” are my top two favorite yoga channels on YouTube if you wanted to check them out 🙂