How to Choose Your Workout

By: David T.

We all know exercise is important, but how do you choose which workout is right for you? Here are some tips.

1. A good exercise program should challenge you. While easy exercise programs are excellent for those who are avid couch potatoes, those who are serious about getting in shape should look for a challenging workout. While many experts recommend that everyone should exercise at least 30 minutes a day, those who are serious should expect to work out twice that long, six days a week.

2. A good exercise program should be safe. If someone is starting a weight training routine, there should be plenty of instruction. Lifting light weights looks deceptively easy but it is important to have the correct stance and posture when doing so in order to avoid injury.

3. There are three important aspects to a fitness program: aerobic activity, strength training and stretching. Each part is very important and should be included in any workout routine. The aerobic and strength training portions can be rotated each day but stretching should be done every day to lengthen muscles and prevent soreness.

4. Healthy nutrition should be included. Exercise is only half of the fitness equation. Doing lots of crunches will do no good if someone continued to eat junk food. It is important to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water.

5. Supplements play an important part of a fitness program. Many people are out of shape because they have deprived their bodies of proper nutrients for too long. Supplements help to put back those nutrients so the body can get stronger and leaner.

6. A good exercise program should offer support. Meetings, newsletters, web blogs, member forums are just a few ways to get support when following a specific program. Each goes a long way toward helping program participants realize they are not alone in the effort to get fit.

7. A weight loss program should be reasonably priced with good-quality materials. To be effective, DVDs, books and other products should be well made and be able to stand up to daily use. DVDs should also be reasonably entertaining and motivating.

8. A workout should be easily adaptable. As people progress through a program, adaptations should be available to avoid boredom. More weight can be used and/or exercises modified to provide more of a challenge.

By looking for these important aspects, it is easy to choose a fitness program. The most important aspect, however, is to find a program that will be used. It is important to schedule time every day to exercise. Also schedule a weekly time to weigh in and measure progress. Even if the scale doesn't move, there is a lot of satisfaction in seeing that Body Mass Index (BMI) is decreasing or that clothes are fitting less snugly.

Before signing up for a program or buying materials, read the materials carefully. Make sure they clearly spell out what is being offered, with no pie-in-the sky promises. Achieving fitness goals takes commitment and hard work. By following a high-quality program faithfully, results will soon be seen.

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