Hint, There Isn’t Just One
Every single day people start an exercise routine.
For the same reason people start a routine, there are also quite a few who are also quitting theirs.
Why do people start and quit?
People want results. If they don’t see them, they quit, and if they know they need to see them, they start.
So what’s the deal? What should you be looking for in an exercise routine?
There’s a long and short of it.
So get ready for a novel.
But the short of it is this. You want a routine that just works. Just like you want a toaster that works or a teenage son that works, you want an exercise routine that works.
And, to make sure you get something that works, you must first outline your goals.
Now your goals are as unique as you are.
It’s cliche, but it’s true.
Maybe you just want to be able to move comfortably again.
Or perhaps you finally want to lose that spare tire you’ve been carrying since college.
Could it be you want to run your first 10k or get back into shape for skiing?
At the end of the day, you’re going to need to define your goals. Once you’ve made that determination, you’ll be able to pick the perfect exercise routine.
So, think about it, what is it you really want to do?
I can help you out here if you’d like.
Selecting An Exercise Routine That Works For You
In my personal and professional opinion, I think everyone should select an exercise routine that helps them live both better and longer.
I mean, if you’re looking to be on the cover of a body-building magazine and fancy seeing yourself in spandex all the time, then more power to you. But I don’t think that should be everyone’s primary motivation.
People who work out for vanity’s sake might not actually be the healthiest people in the world. I’ll tell you more about that in a bit, but the fact is, there’s solid medical science that says certain kinds of exercise are what help you get healthier.
I believe you should exercise in such a way that you’re able to move about with ease and can live well into your eighties, nineties, and beyond.
That should be the point of working out: to live and experience “Health As It Ought To Be.”
And the good news is there’s a substantial amount of data supporting the idea that moving your body will help you live longer and better.
JAMA Oncology only recently published an article that shows how important exercise is in fighting cancer and extending life. Their findings showed middle-aged men who participated in cardiovascular exercise showed a much lower rate of both colorectal and lung cancers.
The study followed 13,949 men from 1971 all the way through 2009. All they had them do is run on a treadmill and then followed them at intervals of every six and a half years.
The men they followed had an incredibly low rate of either colorectal, prostate, and lung cancers at only 12%.
That’s an outstanding reason to exercise.
And for women, those who exercise see a reduction in the rates of breast cancer over those who don’t.
In a 2012 study it was found postmenopausal women who were able to exercise anywhere from 10 to 19 hours per week were 30% less likely to develop breast cancer.
Even small amounts of exercise helped women reduce their risk.
I could go on and on about the innumerable benefits of exercise, they’re out there and it doesn’t take a lot of work to catalog them. That’s not what I wanted to talk to you about today. People (yourself included) know exercise is good for them, but they don’t do it.
Any idea why?
Because most people just don’t where to start.
That’s why part of success in working out is finding an activity that works for you.
That’s what makes the perfect exercise routine.
Crazy it’s that simple, right?
Perfect is What You Are Willing To Do Because You Love (or Like) It
I believe this is the most important thing to consider when you’re thinking about exercise.
Why would you ever do something if you hate it?
Don’t misunderstand me, there could be times during exercise where you might not enjoy what you’re doing. That’s pretty common when you’re making your body work harder than it wants to.
But if you despise something then there is no reason to continue with that exercise program.
Wouldn’t you agree?
Now, you could offer the counter argument and say you don’t enjoy moving, where I would only respond, “Don’t be a jerk, you need to exercise, doctor’s orders.”
In all actuality, if you find a program you enjoy, science kicks in again (how convenient) and says your new activity can actually release feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which will actually make you like working out.
Let me offer you an example.
You might have heard of Crossfit. It’s a workout program that is taking the nation by storm.
Perhaps you’ve heard people talking about it, they drank the Kool-aid and they joined a box and now that’s all they can talk about.
Crossfit combines a series of highly demanding cardiovascular intensive exercises (like running, burpees, rowing) with weightlifting.
The workouts are grueling. People often end up writhing around on the ground upon completion…and yet people LOVE Crossfit.
Many Crossfitters have chosen Crossfit because they couldn’t stand traditional exercise routines.
Things like long distance running, cycling, swimming, etc. just don’t appeal to them, and so they chose something they really enjoy.
Then there are people who would never want to do that kind of exercise, and so they do yoga, pilates, walking, etc.
Point is, if something doesn’t appeal to you, find something that does.
Now I say this with my fingers crossed.
There are some kinds of exercise that actually aren’t all that good for you. Some type of exercise is actually oxidative and causes free-radical formation. For instance, the extreme body-building people do doesn’t necessarily have the best health benefits. It’s the same with with ultra-long distance running.
You can over-do it and make it so exercise actually isn’t good for you.
I detail that a bit in an article I wrote here.
But, I’ll put it this way.
If you can find an exercise routine that gets your heart rate up and doesn’t put severe strain on your body (joints, heart, tissue) etc., then you’ve found something worth investing your time in.
There is No Such Thing As a Perfect Work Out:
Only what you like and what works.
If you treat your body well then it will respond in kind, for the most part.
One other thing I must say is, if you’re looking for total body transformation, then you absolutely must focus on diet as well.
Without proper nutrition, a lot of exercise can go to waste.
Think about getting the best vacuum cleaner in the world and then vacuuming up screws, nails, and oil all day.
Doesn’t matter how good the vacuum cleaner is, it’ll eventually fall apart at the seams if you treat it like garbage.
If you want to know what kind of diet I recommend, check out this post by Dr. Mark Hyman. I think it does a good job of summing up the right kinds of food to eat.
To Your Health.