If you’ve ever tried to start a new exercise program you will know that there are many different types of physical activity out there. So how do you know which one will suit you best and bring the most benefit and enjoyment.
To break it down simply (and let you in on our best kept secret), the best type of physical activity is, the only you’re actually going to engage in regularly! If you are trying to complete an activity that you hate doing on a regular basis, the likelihood that you will continue this long term is very slim. Alternatively, if you have a form of physical activity that you are passionate and excited about that brings you joy, we are much more likely to keep participating long term.
But how do you find which activity gets you pumped to jump out of bed in the morning? There can be a few different things to take into consideration, for example; do you prefer indoor or outdoor activities? To spend time by yourself or with other people in social situations? What time frame do you have available to complete physical activity? Having a think about each of these things can help form a picture about what type of physical activity may suit you best!
Finding your style
When first starting out it can be a good idea to think about what types of physical activity you have enjoyed most in the past and what type of personality traits you possess.
Some things to consider include;
When trying to find which type of activity is going to suit best it is important to think about your health, fitness and wellness goals and why you are wanting to start a regular physical activity program. This will help in both, learning which types of physical activity are going to best help you achieve your goals and reminding you throughout your program why it is important for you to continue. A few examples to help you get started are;
By Aleisha Michael
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
The weather and change of seasons affect many things in our lives from our social calendars, mood, motivation levels and exercise routines. It’s no secret that going for a walk on a nice warm, sunny day is much more inviting than heading out into the cold and wet to get your movement in for the day. Although it is just as important to keep your regular exercise routine from summer continuing throughout the cooler months too. Consistency is the key to exercise and is crucial to maintain and promote all of the positive health benefits we gain from keeping our bodies moving.
Where to exercise
Everyone has their own preference about where and when they like to exercise. Some people prefer the gym while others prefer fresh air and getting outside to be active. Regardless of the space you feel more comfortable in there is still ways to stay active in all environments during winter.
Studies have found that regular gym goers are more likely to stay consistent with their exercise routine in the cooler months as they are inside and unaffected by the weather.
If you are more the outdoorsy type? Fear not, as there are still many ways to stay moving outdoors too! As most of us know when we get moving our body warms up, so when exercising outside in the cooler air you will soon become toasty warm! There are a few tips to remember when exercising in cooler conditions though. Longer warmups are often required to get our body warm and limber before getting into the main section of your session in cooler temps. It is also important to be aware of the conditions and avoid extended exposure to extreme conditions and dress appropriately too.
How to stay motivated
1. Make a plan: Schedule in your physical activity just as you would any other appointment, to give them more importance. If you do prefer to be outdoors take a look at the weather for the next day the night before and determine when will be the nicest part of the day for you to get your movement in outside.
2. Dress appropriately: Cooler temperatures mean more clothes need to be layered on, it makes training outside in the cold much more comfortable and also reduces your chances of catching a chill. This also applies to indoor gym goers too! Why not get a new set of activewear or some new sneakers to motivate you more to get to the gym to show it off.
3. Have an alternative: When the weather is just too much to handle outside it is important to have an alternative up our sleeve. This could be anything from swapping your run outdoors to inside on a treadmill, or simply following along to a no equipment workout from YouTube. The possibilities are endless so find something that you enjoy and that will keep you just as excited to complete indoors.
4. Set a Goal: Regardless of the season it is always important to set ourselves goals. They keep us accountable and motivated to be consistent. Adding rewards to your goals can also be a great way to keep you on track, maybe a new dress, a dinner date or even a holiday!
5. Remember why it’s important to you: When snuggled up in bed on those cold winters morning’s trying to force yourself out of bed it can be important to remind ourselves why keeping our bodies moving is so important to us and how it makes us feel. Whatever your ‘why’ may be, keep it in the forefront of your mind this winter to keep you going.
By Aleisha Michael