What Exercise Should I Do?

Often folks ask me what type of exercise they should do. They want to know what is the “best type” of exercise, they want to know the “best time of day” to exercise, and they want me to tell them the what and when.

The thing is, I don’t think there is a best type or time to exercise. It is not as simple as a “one exercise fits all”.” I know there are articles about the exercises that may change your body composition, or the best time of day for “fat burning” or “muscle building” or “calorie consuming.” But the reality is, there are no guarantees on any of these claims. No reputable personal trainer or exercise physiologist makes these unfair and unrealistic claims.

What it truly boils down to is this-what do you like to do? When do you have time to do it? If you see an advertisement stating you must run for an hours six times a week to lose weight, but you despise running-do you honestly think you will stay with this exercise? Do you really want to punish yourself by making your body run, when you hate running?

Perhaps some magazine said that the best time of day to exercise is between 7 and 9 in the morning. But what if you have to be at work? Or you just cannot get out of bed on a weekend to jog (when truthfully, you hate jogging to begin with?).

My advice? Decide what activity best suits you, and do it when you can make the time. Most importantly, you need is pick something you enjoy, so you don’t feel like you are being tortured while you do it. I mean, how many times do you want to feel tortured?

Look for a time during the day for that activity. Maybe you only have time during your lunch at work or perhaps you can find three ten-minute slots in your day to walk. Whatever it is, as long as you are doing something you like, and you have time to do it-you are on the right track.

When I was in graduate school, I actually used to jog 4 times a week around the golf course. I am fairly sure I was feeling the peer pressure from all my healthy nutrition colleagues. Now I am older, my knees hurt, and I have learned I love walking. I bought a wonderful pedometer that I wear every day, and I walk. Guess what? I am now one of those people who walks around the parking lot, up the extra flight of stairs, and sometimes (please don’t tell my husband), I’ll walk back and forth across the floor to make those extra 100 steps before I go to bed.

Luckily for me, I like walking. I have a wonderful little toy (a pedometer that actually works!) that gives me the immediate response I want. And, I just do it.

And so should you!

Good luck.

Copyright (c) 2008 At Peace With Food