Many people want a great body and to achieve a higher degree of physical fitness. The bad news is crash diets and yo-yo habits don’t work. The good news is a wide range of sports help people feel younger, stay in shape, and increase overall health. However, you must choose a sport that is right for you in addition to one or more that is appropriate for your age and profile.
Idle Exercise or Group Activity?
First, decide whether you prefer to engage in a sport performed alone or an activity that requires a number of members. For example, martial arts, while often done in group settings, is an idle sport; it doesn’t require a team to train. Conversely, a sport such as volleyball requires multiple people to play a game. Moreover, a number of activities, depending on your personality, can be done alone or in a group, such as cycling or weight lifting.
Decide what you prefer, and remember that your success and discipline may depend on working in isolation or in a group.
What Are Your Expectations and Goals?
As mentioned, many seek a better body and a greater level of health, yet those things are subjective. A good body to some may mean having a lot of muscle, while others may want to be tone and have a slim waist. Moreover, some would like to increase their cardiovascular health, while others want to achieve a higher level of flexibility. Create goals for yourself, and ensure they are attainable in order to form short and long-term expectations. For example, a person with a smaller frame may never become a professional football player or achieve that level of muscular stature; yet, it doesn’t mean they cannot be equally as healthy.
A realistic level of expectation can help you create attainable goals regardless of the exercise routine you choose.
What Exercise Matches Your Lifestyle?
People find ongoing success when choosing a form of exercise that becomes an interest or ongoing hobby, ingrained with their lifestyle. For example, those who love to travel and adore the ocean may find success with surfing. Such a personality will want to visit several areas around the globe that feature good surf. However, others may not have as much freedom to travel or may dislike getting wet. A mom with a busy schedule and multiple children may decide to run in the mornings before work. Since, you don’t have to travel far, or at all, to jog on the street or on a treadmill, such an activity is befitting for those with limited funds and time. Also, be realistic regarding your level of health and age. For example, you won’t find too many grandfathers in a jiu-jitsu class. That doesn’t mean that an elderly person can’t take jiu-jitsu classes, yet it’s likely that those who are older may be safer in choosing a sport that is low impact.
Since being healthy is a lifestyle and not a fad, choose an exercise that matches your personality.
Will Your Doctor Approve and Should You Modify Your Diet?
Of course, those with medical conditions or in their elder years should check with a doctor first before engaging in mid to high-impact activities. Also, be sure to discuss your diet to help facilitate your long-term goals. For example, jogging can help you lose weight but not if you begin eating more often; the calories burned while jogging will be countered by the intake of greater calories. Alternatively, depending on the intensity of chosen exercise, a dietician or doctor may suggest modifying your diet to include food thickeners, carbohydrates, iron, etc.
Single Sport or Crosstrain?
As mentioned, a medley of sports and exercise awaits, and you can choose one or several to keep you motivated and in shape. Some like to devote their energy toward one while others who get bored too quickly choose a range of activities. The decision may depend on your overall goals. For example, if you want to lose weight and gain muscle, you may decide to couple swimming with weight lifting. The former is great for burning calories and the latter will help gain muscle.
In some instances, choosing several activities may be conducive to exercising all year. For example, if you live in Rhode Island, surfing is great for the spring, summer, and fall months, but will be extremely difficult if not impossible in the winter. So, a person living in the Ocean State may want to choose an indoor activity for the colder months until it’s warm enough to get in the water.
Amy Fleming is fitness instructor. She is passionate about sharing her love of sport and ideas for an active lifestyle with an online audience. You can find her insights across a variety of different websites.