Written by Jack Boardman
Choosing The Right Exercise For You
Whether you’re looking to get into an exercise regimen or you’ve hit a wall with the one you’re currently feeling somewhat lackadaisical about, the issue might be how you’re getting your exercise.
There are a million ways to exercise and yours might not be the same as others’. Some enjoy outdoor activities, others the gym. Then again, gym routines may be divisive, with some opting to set their own goals and work to the beat of their own drum.
Putting together your own gym routine allows you the freedom to, one, workout to your own schedule, and, two, put together a plan that works for you. This is advantageous to people with a specific goal in mind, and most certainly beneficial to body builders, given the opportunity to focus on specific muscle groups.
Then again, you wouldn’t be the first person who found themselves lying on their back straining under a bench press and feeling they’re not only not enjoying it but they have no idea what they’re doing there. But if you’re not interested in mass muscle gains, or have no functional use for an improved bench press technique, do you even need to be there?
Sticking with the example of bench pressing, this exercise has many advantages for muscle strengthening and development and is a staple in many fitness-minded folks’ routine. It works the pectoralis major as well as supporting chest, arm, and shoulder muscles such as the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, scapulae fixers, trapezii, and the triceps. But when defining what exercise you need to do, and then again what your goals are, there are other ways to exercise these muscles that don’t involve a bench press and don’t involve a gym.
Let’s still be honest, if you’re a little out of shape and out of touch with any kind of exercise, then you’ll likely, at first, feel uncomfortable. Your muscles will feel sore and you’ll likely be a bit nauseous, but these are very temporary side effects of beginning any fitness routine that increases your heart rate and works your muscles.
If you’re sticking with the idea of a gym membership, classes are perfect for anyone lacking the motivation or seeking a little structure to their week. It also offers diversity, so if the idea of treadmills and curling iron day in day out is too boring for you, a variety of classes is probably a good way to go.
Routine is important. This doesn’t necessarily mean robotically plugging into a treadmill every single day or being at the same session at the same time each evening for fear of your physique or fitness taking a hit. What routine means is achieving certain things – or rather, seeing that your body gets what it needs – in a way that you can stick to.
What do we mean by this? Well, exercise doesn’t solely mean weightlifting or running marathons. It also doesn’t have to mean gym memberships. When it comes to improving your general overall health, sports arguably put the fun element first. If there’s a game you like, make that your reason for attending and the fitness will follow. Who knows, it might lead to a desire to further develop your fitness off the pitch too.
Essentially, knowing the basics of what cardiovascular and resistance training does for you in terms of weight loss, improving your endurance, metabolism and strength, will allow you to decide what you hope to achieve. From there the answer may be anything from taking regular long walks, to rock climbing.
Think outside the box – think outside the gym, as there might be other fitness solutions that better suit your needs.