5 Questions That'll Help You Find the Best Workout for You

Find your ideal form of fitness by taking this quick quiz.

January 3, 2017
zumba workout

Adapted from BodyWise

Looking for a new workout for the new year? The ideal workout plan includes some activity from each of these three categories: aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility. For example, combining cycling, weight lifting, and yoga classes, in a schedule that works for you. And, sometimes, an activity has elements of all of these. When I play volleyball, I have repetitive sprints (aerobic), jumping, squatting, hitting (strength-building), and balance training (jumping and turning in the air or reaching for the ball). 

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More: 50 Healthy New Year's Resolutions You Won't Regret Making

If you are new to exercise, start with one activity, and add to it as you feel able. Follow your gut intuition to an activity that you feel drawn to. Remember that doing something you love, especially with people you enjoy, is more likely to last long-term. 

Here are the questions I ask when trying to help one of my patients come up with a movement schedule:

What do you like to do?
You are far more likely to continue to do it if it's fun. Love your friends? Invite them on a walk or run. Love music and dance? Take a Zumba class. Have fantasies of becoming Serena Williams? Take a tennis class or sign up for doubles at the local courts.

What are your current limitations?
Remember that injury is the biggest impediment to your activity. If you have a bad shoulder, consider walking or cycling. If you have painful knees, swimming or water aerobics may be a better choice.

More: How to Start Running

How can activity be part of your everyday life?
Can you walk or bike to work? Can you organize a lunch walk with the people you work with? When you are dropping off your kids for lessons or practice, can you walk in that same area? Could you bike to the grocery store or farmers' market?

What is a doable starting point?
Begin with reasonable expectations. You'll feel better if you say, "I'll walk once a week" and actually do it, rather than have goals that are challenging to meet in the beginning. Remember that exercise gets easier with time.

What are your fitness goals?
If you have specific health issues, you want to design an exercise program that helps: moderate aerobic exercise for 40 minutes three or four times weekly for diabetes prevention, jumping and weight-training for improving bone density, balance training to prevent falls, etc.

More: 6 Ways to Ring In the New Year With Body Intelligence

No matter who you are, you can find aerobic, strength, and balance and flexibility training that fits your body, your budget, and your schedule. Movement is the celebration of life. Find your own bodywise expression that feeds your body and soul.