I am a firm believer that there is a sport or physical activity to suit everyone. Whether it be team sports, group exercise classes, endurance racing, lifting weights, hiking or even gardening, we all need to find the activity which gets our heart pumping and which we actually enjoy doing!
The physical benefits of exercise are often easy to see such as maintaining a healthy weight, having enough energy to see us through until bedtime and the ability to perform tasks such as lifting the children, the shopping or even just running up the stairs.
However the mental benefits of exercise are often underestimated. Just think about the difference in mental state you might feel, firstly before dragging yourself out on a cold night to go for a swim when you’d rather curl up on the sofa in front of the tv…versus that great feeling when you’ve finished your workout, you’ve showered, rested and you feel great!
But how do you know what’s right for you? Try asking yourself these questions and see what answers you get...
Do you prefer and find it easier:
a) To do longer less intense activity, or
b) To do short, intense bursts of activity?
If your answer is a) think about endurance racing such as a triathalon, running a 5 or 10k race, nordic walking or swimming.
If your answer is b) think about trying interval training, bootcamps or circuit classes, or lifting weights at the gym - BUT make sure you find an instructor, coach or trainer who teaches you correct form before lifting any weights, to avoid the risk of injury!
Do you find it easier:
a) To be motivated when you challenge yourself, or
b) Do you find it easier to be challenged when someone else is alongside you?
If your answer is a) perhaps think of running, swimming, cycling whilst giving yourself time or distance goals to aim for.
If your answer is b) maybe think about trying an indoor cycling class, personal training, a park run or a circuits class. Or even learn a new team sport such as badminton or netball.
Is exercise for you:
a) Something to be done socially with friends or
b) To achieve a goal such as to compete in a race or to achieve weight loss?
If your answer is a) there are so many types of classes you can choose from, from Zumba (aerobic dancing) to Legs, Bums and Tums that you will often find like-minded people attend, making it somewhere to meet new friends whilst getting fit.
If your answer is b) then any exercise you do more of tomorrow than you did today, regardless of what it is, will help you on your journey to reaching that goal.
As with all activities make sure you have the right instruction so that you don’t get injured.
If you still are unsure of what your sport is, let me know and I’d be happy to help you find it!
Good luck and happy exercising!