Sunday, January 21, 2018

Discovering Your Best Workout

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

New workouts are always being launched. The latest fitness craze hits, and everyone grabs the gear and goes. But, for how long …

As mentioned in “Back-to-Basics: Weight-Loss Fundamentals” (, there is not one best way of eating. With exercise, there is not one best workout. It’s another liberating fact. We have options, and they allow us to choose our favorites. When life tastes good, we are happy to enjoy the feasts. In other words, when exercise is appealing, we’re glad to do it.

Who doesn’t want this kind of workout!

Experts suggest we stop focusing on specific fitness criteria (at least while you find your niche). Six workouts per week of cardio, strengthening, and flexibility may be the ideal balanced program. However, it may not be right for every person, every week. Redefine “ideal” as a workout that gets accomplished. Let this mentality be your first exercise in flexibility. Then, note how many subsequent workouts you achieve.

Don’t get too caught up in the science of it all. Leave that to the personal trainers and fitness instructors. Determine what you enjoy and have fun doing it. Use your favorite activities as a foundation. Share this information, your skills, and fitness goals at your quarterly personal training evaluations. A customized workout includes crafting a routine you actually like. The more fun you have, both at the Center and with your daily physical activities, the more you will exercise.

Shining Brightly

Jill (left) and Megan. Fun on the Fitness Floor.

Members Jill and Megan were longtime friends prior to becoming Center members. Through the Easterseals program, they joined the Center to become more active and fit. The outcome: These lovely ladies have blossomed. The joy they discovered in fitness radiates to our community who has come to love them.

Weston, their personal trainer for the past 1.5 years, indicates Jill and Megan are exemplary in their accomplishments. “They have individual fitness goals. However, their main goal is to have fun—and it shows,” he shares. Their enthusiasm is contagious and appreciated by other members. Workouts become a social experience, solidified by random high-fives and shared fun.

By making fitness enjoyable, these young women make it a maintainable lifestyle. The focus is on fun, not the chore of executing a list of grunt exercises. (But, hey, if you thrive on grunt exercises, go for them!) For Megan and Jill, the fun-focus keeps them coming back for more and motivating others to do the same. Recently, they increased their training sessions from twice to three times weekly. (No one adds extra chores to their schedule!)

“Megan and Jill have come so far. They have lost weight and gained more self-confidence. And, they exude a positive attitude,” Weston states. He attributes their success to their ability to find joy in the time they spend exercising. Other members try to emulate their effort and dedication in hopes of similar results.

What’s Your Spark?

“I can’t wait to sweat out 50 crunches today!” said no one ever.

It’s time to make your workout more fun. Summer is approaching. Distractions will challenge even the avid exerciser’s commitment to a fitness routine. Change your perspective. Make your workout something you crave, along with those summertime temptations. Exercise in ways that can compete with lounging in the sun, margarita in hand.

Find your fun.

Fun fitness ideas:

  • Try something new. Barre workouts. Martial arts movements. Boxing. Salsa dancing. Keep trying until you find your favorites. Combine your best. (PiYo™, anyone?) If you don’t enjoy something, regardless of its popularity or belly-fat-busting abilities, skip it. You won’t bust a gut, if you aren’t motivated to move. Not everyone relieves stress in downward dog pose; some require kickboxing for that. You do you.
  • Train for an event. Walkathons. Triathlons. Cycling.
  • Think like a child. Run. Jump rope. Play tag. Chase the dog. Chase rabbits.

Only slightly more than one-fifth of Americans get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week, according to a published survey in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Perhaps by redefining fitness as an opportunity for healthy fun, we can be enticed by that which should be an appealing and enjoyable way to get healthier. It works for Megan and Jill.

Follow joy and your fitness journey will be on autopilot.



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