People are constantly looking for the best workout routine. For some, this means one that burns the most calories. For another it means the one that builds the most muscle. The way they define the ‘best workout routine’ varies greatly.
The problem is, most people fail to recognize the most important part of a workout routine. Instead, they are focused solely on the health benefits, the physical changes it can cause, the amount of sweat it produces, and on and on. All of these are fine and important things, and some people are very motivated by them, so much so that this is the only motivation they need to stick with their workouts. For the rest of us, we will eventually slow down or stop because we don’t enjoy what we are doing.
So, what is the best workout routine?
Simple. It’s one that you enjoy. Let me explain.
If you are among the majority of people who don’t truly enjoy running down the street, you will not jump on your feet to get out there and hit the pavement, so why should you be required to run down the street to lose weight or stay fit? The answer, of course, is that you shouldn’t. Pick something you enjoy doing and you will be much more likely to stick with it. There are the magic words. Stick with it.
Think about it this way. What is more valuable to your health, a textbook gym workout that you don’t do regularly because you hate it and can’t seem to get to the gym for, or a form of exercise that you truly love and enjoy and look forward to? Don’t believe that you need to pump iron and use the elliptical to get into shape. You don’t. They are great things if you like them, and I recommend them for almost anyone, but if you hate these devices I wouldn’t suggest them for you.
Let’s take an example. Suppose you have two choices of a cardiovascular workout to do 3 times per week that burns about 500 calories – about the amount you’d need to cut from your daily calories to lose a pound per week without losing weight too fast. One choice is to jog on a treadmill. Another is to play basketball with some friends. If you are a 200 pound guy, you could jog on the treadmill for about 40 minutes at a slow jogging pace, or you could shoot baskets for about an hour. A calorie burned is a calorie burned, so you should pick the form of exercise that is right for you. Some things as simple as playing basketball in the driveway can be a valid workout if you keep your heart rate up.
By doing something that you really enjoy, you will have figured out the best workout routine for you. Finding something that you are already motivated to do or something that is fun or social for you is a great idea so that you can stick with your workout over the long term. That’s what you need to get into shape and stay in shape – a long term workout routine that you can stick with.
Are you looking for other ideas outside of the gym? Anything that can get you into your target heart rate zone will work when it comes to cardiovascular exercise. How about rollerblading, hiking, shoeshoeing, cross country skiing, or riding a bike? The ideas are unlimited only by your imagination.