When we are looking for the answer to the part of the weight loss puzzle that requires us to move or workout we have to consider a few things. First know yourself well enough to know what you need to succeed and sustain a new fitness or workout regime.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
Do you need it to be a social environment or are you shy and prefer to workout alone in your basement?
Many people love to workout in a gym or club, they enjoy the energy of the fitness community and get inspired by being with others. Then there are those who would rather keep their fitness journey private and are fine getting inspiration working out at home alone. Some may start working out alone and later transition to a gym or club after they’ve lost a few pounds and have a bit more self confidence to be in a public fitness arena.
Are you just starting to workout again after being sedentary or do you need something to shake up your routine?
If you are just getting started after a long break you may consider trying a personal trainer. Personal trainers are experienced in exercise and fitness “progressions” to prevent injuries while you are growing in strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance. Or you may want a fitness advisor at a gym to guide you to the classes that are specifically designed for beginners. Honestly, it’s become very difficult to find a gym that has any beginner classes so be discerning in your search to find a gym with the right fit in classes.
If you’ve been working out consistently for months even a year and have had zero weight loss progress consider stepping it up. Most often weight loss stagnates because there hasn’t been enough variation in heart rate. This can go both ways. If for example you take a spin class 5 days a week and chart your heart rate between 155-180 bpm on average you may need to drop your heart rate and walk on alternate days. But if you’ve only been walking for months and never see your heart rate get above 120 bpm, then you should consider challenging yourself to get your heart rate above 140 or 150 bpm.
What kind of funds can you commit to your workout?
If you can devote a portion of your monthly budget to your exercise needs then it shouldn’t be difficult to start but if you are strapped consider getting exercise programs from youtube.com or popsugar.com and invest in a pair of hand weights. You might also consider purchasing a weight loss program you can follow online. I launched Lose Weight with Mind Body Mastery on teachable.com for all the clients I can no longer train in person or for those who need a comprehensive weight loss program that includes: menu plan, neurofeedback meditations, 30-50 minute total body workouts, mantras, mind body, personality and behavior questionnaires for one low price. All lessons are available to you forever.
Do you want a feedback loop of instructors and peers or do you want to be in competition only with yourself?
Some clubs or gyms have great member support and will give you a free assessment if you need further assistance. Many have small group training classes with screens displaying your heart rate in relation to everyone else in your class. This can either be a great motivator or a total downer because you may not be at the fitness level that the rest of the group is. This type of “competition” style can be a negative and promote a sort of competitive dysmorphia. If you know yourself well and could care less about all the other numbers on the board you are all good but this is why I often say you have to know yourself very well before entering into a new program.
Once you have narrowed down your list, ask yourself if this is something you can sustain, does it work with your schedule long term?
Gyms tend to repeat the same schedules at popular times however I have witnessed certain changes to schedules that members became dependent on and then were disappointed by the new changes. If you find yourself in an exercise program that you love stick with it, just make sure you have alternatives should that particular class or instructor have to change.
Do you have to be conscious of past injuries?
This question alone can dictate exactly what you can and can’t do. In the case of lower body injuries you might be better off purchasing a stationary bike or getting a membership at an indoor pool with appropriate swim times.
If you have a lot of upper body injuries I would not recommend you join a “Body pump” or other type of weight lifting class as personal attention is not the instructor’s first priority.
What if any, requirements does your doctor want you to include?
Again this question could dictate any and or all of your allowed options. Just be mindful that your current enthusiasm for working out be tempered with the wisdom of your doctor. More often than not doctors want their patients to workout and build stamina and strength. In some cases though they may restrict very intense workouts or request you hire a professional trainer for proper heart rate supervision.
Including these questions in your search for the perfect workout or venue can help you keep a new routine longer, giving you a greater chance of success.
If you’ve found a unique workout that solved a problem for you please email me at nicole@MindBodyMastery.og and Good Luck!