Ready to start a workout habit or looking for something new? Luckily there are a huge number of options available on the market these days. Whether you’re planning to work out at home, outdoors, in a gym, or a studio, you’re sure to find a routine that suits your lifestyle, your fitness goals, your preferences, and your budget. However, with the many options available these days, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here, we give you the lowdown on some of the common exercise options available out there.
Prefer doing it on your own and becoming your own personal trainer and motivator? Following a good program is key. Consider investing in a set of videos or a good fitness app that you can follow at home and helps you progress.
Looking for fun cardio options to do regularly so you get your fill of exercise? Get some Zumba or hiphop video workouts. You can pop it into your DVD player when it’s time to workout, and you don’t have to worry about looking silly—after all, you’ll be in the comfort of home! Try: HipHop Abs, Focus T25, or even YouTube for free workout videos.
When working out by yourself, a big factor for success is a good program that’s easy to follow and progresses as you go along. Following a video where you have a virtual trainer and have virtual classmates to follow helps you push yourself to finish a workout. There are many options out there that integrate strength, resistance, and cardio training into one program, and the beauty of this is that they don’t require much equipment. Videos like Insanity make use of your body weight and incorporate plyometrics, cardio, and resistance training, while videos like P90x are more intense and require basic weight-lifting equipment. Want something to lean and tone? Try videos like Windsor Pilates and Jillian Michaels’ 30-day Shred.
If you like the outdoors or hate getting cooped up in a gym, take up running. All you need is a good pair of running shoes and you’re good to go. It’s an exercise that anyone can do, no matter what your fitness level is. Ease into it by going for a brisk walk for 30 minutes thrice a week, and increase speed as your endurance level goes up. Sign up for a run a few months in advice for motivation, and follow running training programs to prepare. Check out coolrunning.com or runnersworld.com for free programs.
Joining a gym requires a lot of consideration and weighing of options, so check out our guide on choosing the right gym. When you do find a gym of your liking, take advantage of the three workout sessions with a trainer to give you a crash course. Before you start working out, research on the best program that suits your goals (ask the trainer about this!), and make sure you learn the proper exercises and the correct form. Check out fitness apps like Nike Training Club or SworkIt for circuits you can follow, or if you’re ready for weight lifting, check out bodybuilding.com for detailed programs you can follow, complete with instructional videos.
If you’d rather workout with a group, join classes, and follow a coach, enroll in gyms that offer a specific type of workout class. Most gyms like these offer varieties of circuit workouts and bootcamp-style exercises. If you’re more advanced and are used to weightlifting, enroll in CrossFit to take your fitness to a new level. If you’re looking to burn fat in a short amount of time, try circuit style gyms and boot camp classes that use small weights and body weights.
If you have a competitive side and want to release stress, a self-defense class would be perfect—you get a bonus of learning new skills, too. Boxing and muay thai training are some of the most effective cardio exercises, and enrolling means having a one-on-one session with a trainer.
Although it may cost you a little more than a traditional gym, consider joining studio classes like indoor cycling and rowing. If you have a hard time getting yourself to the gym and working up a sweat, classes like these are perfect for you. Most come with fun soundtracks, lights, and lots of high energy, and will make you feel like you’re partying instead of working out.
Looking for something to create long, lean muscles, while allowing you to have a calm space and me-time? Take one of these studio classes that are lower intensity than other studio classes. The movements incorporate stretching and lengthening muscles while building strength, and in the case of yoga, incorporates meditation that will encourage mental strength as well.