When starting a new fitness program, it is critical to balance the effectiveness of the exercise routine with the joy of working out. There is often the “feeling stupid factor”, when you attempt a new group class or try to use a new machine. Often there is a fear looking stupid or, worse, getting hurt, and then you never go back.
A recent study shows that, regardless of the effectiveness of a training program or regimen, if you’re not finding enjoyment in exercise, you are likely not going to continue. Which is why it is so important to find what you love in fitness. If running is what makes you look forward to exercise – then run! It doesn’t matter that someone tells you that their aerobics class is the best-ever,..if YOU don’t like group exercise classes, then you won’t stick with it.
I am often asked, “Which cardiovascular exercise is best”? Well, the simple answer is – the one you like to do. That’s it. Period. If you find no enjoyment in exercising on an indoor rower, but you really like swimming – then swim.
I’m a big believer in changing up routines – that’s how you achieve fitness gains. However, sticking with things you like to do will keep you coming back for more. So if the only cardiovascular equipment you like to use is a treadmill – that’s where you feel comfortable,…then change up your routine on the treadmill. Change your incline on the first day, and then change your speed on the second. Or try interval training programs, or pacing a friend. There are so many ways to utilize fitness equipment that you can continue to progress without having to do something you hate.
Most cardio fitness equipment comes with different training programs to keep you engaged, motivated, and are very effective in allowing you to change your routine. Use those programs. Use the personal training modes, goal settings and heart rate features. Utilize every tool in your arsenal. And for goodness sakes – keep at it – because if you love it,…you will stick with it!