Every person is unique, so it stands to reason that there is no one-size-fits-all workout. Countless exercise programs, classes and other fitness options are available, but with so many choices it can be tough to figure out which you’d enjoy. Since getting regular exercise is key to maintaining good health and staving off illness, you don’t want to enroll in a class that you’ll wind up despising and skipping. If you find something you enjoy, you’re far more likely to stick with it, whether you want to start running, take up kickboxing or join a team sporting league.
Narrow down your options
Before you can start sifting through viable options, it’s a good idea to eliminate activities that you already know you have zero interest in. Having a physical list of your options can make this much easier. Write down the available classes, groups, training sessions and fitness clubs in your area. Then, grab a red pen and start to cross off those that you aren’t drawn to. Don’t cross off anything that seems even the least bit interesting.
Research your options
Take your whittled-down list and highlight those activities that you aren’t quite familiar with. Say you’re curious about spin classes or tai chi – go online and watch a few videos that demonstrate these activities. Take note of what you do and do not like about each one. You can also look up whether an activity is more cardio- or strength-oriented, as well as the health benefits and risks of each exercise.
Determine what you want
To pare down your choices, you’ll need to know what your own goals are. Are you looking to get stronger? Do you want to be able to run a marathon? Is weight loss the end game? Knowing these factors can help you figure out which exercises would benefit you most. A running program can still be good for you, but if you want to gain muscle mass, a workout that incorporates weight lifting will help you reach your goals faster.
Take a test drive
When you are down to just a handful of options, it’s time to climb into the driver’s seat and find out firsthand which workout is best for you. You may be able to sign up for a complimentary class or pay for just one training session so you can make up your mind before making a commitment. Take your experiences with a grain of salt, though. You might not be familiar with the exercise yet, and the first class may not be the perfect example of what’s to come, so take other factors into consideration. How is the instructor or trainer? Do you like the environment? Are the class times good for your schedule?
Don’t limit yourself
If you really can’t decide between two or three different options, there’s nothing stopping you from pursuing both or all of them! If it’s a matter of money or scheduling, you could always consider starting with one and then moving to another. You can always cycle through them if you don’t have the time or money to take multiple classes at once. Find what works best for you and go for it. You might discover that the krav maga class you were so excited about really isn’t your speed after a month or two.
Invite friends to join you
Working out is always easier when you have someone to do it with. You’re bound to have at least one friend who would be interested in signing up for one of the classes you want to try, so why not ask him or her to join you? You can keep one another motivated, carpool to classes and talk about the experience. If you don’t have someone to bring with you, strike up conversations with your fellow classmates and make new friends!