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How to find the right exercise for YOU!

We all know how important exercise is, but how many of us actually reach our daily exercise targets?


To mark Exercise Right Week, we're sharing our tips to help you find the right exercise for YOU. When you find the right exercise, you're much more likely to do it!


To find the perfect activity for you, ask yourself these questions...



1. Do I love this exercise?


Yoga might be incredibly healthy, but it's not for everyone! The same can be said for pilates, running, Zumba and Tai Chi! You need to try a whole bunch of different exercises to see what you actually enjoy. When you find one that fits (or hopefully 2 or three) sign up! If you enjoy the exercise, you're far more likely to do it.


2. Is this exercise suitable for my ability, mobility and fitness level?


Skill, ability and fitness levels change often, improve with practice and are essential considerations when choosing your exercise. If you choose an activity that's too challenging, too hard on your joints or too cardio-active for your heart, you probably won't like it or worse, could end up injured. Either way you probably won't do it for long. Likewise, if your exercise is too easy and doesn't challenge you're likely to get bored and move on.


Most types of exercises have options. Using yoga as the example again, you could do Bikram, the hot, sweaty super strong style, hatha, yoga, a more moderate class, or chair yoga - often practiced in nursing homes.


The key is to start where you are. Injuries, sprains, joint inflammation or lack of mobility might rule out some activities but not all. If you have inflamed knee joints, you probably can't run, but you can still walk or swim. Even if it's slow.


Find activities you love. Do them within your abilities.


3. What is my ultimate benefit or goal from this exercise?


Do you want to increase your strength, build muscle or improve cardiac health? Are you going for distance, speed or just maintaining movement? Maybe you just want to have fun and socialise. The reasons you exercise influence the exercise you choose. To build muscle and strength, you'll need weight bearing. That could be free weights, pilates or yoga (see Q1 - what do you like?). To improve cardiac health, you might run, or add staircases to your walk, or simply add a daily walk. (see Q. 2 - what are your abilities?). Maybe you just want to dance and have fun. Try Zumba.


Hopefully you're starting to gather a bit of a list of exercises that suit you already....



4. Do I feel energised or depleted afterwards?


When you finish doing this activity, do you feel energised, uplifted and revitalised? Or are you exhausted, gagging for breath and wish you stayed home? The answer to those questions is very telling. If it's the first one, stick with it - you're going to get so much more from it. If it's the second one, ask yourself why you continue. It may be doing more harm than good.


5. Finally, consider practical aspects like access, location, safety, personal preference and financial resources.

Whatever exercise you choose if its easy to get to, you're more likely be consistent. Being close to work, home, public transport or easy driving distance is important. Sometimes you need to consider the safety aspects of your exercise too - is road riding or solo hiking right for you right now? Then there's personal preference; do you like to exercise indoors, outdoors, by yourself or in a group? These questions deliver a bunch of different options. And of course, cost is a concern. Budget for what is sustainable. Even with no budget, walking, jogging, hiking, ocean swimming - these are all free!


The important thing about exercise is simply that you do it!


Every day. For at least half an hour. Within you ability.


Hopefully these tips help you find the perfect exercise for you!





Does joint pain affect your ability to exercise? Check out Cararthron...



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