With all the information out there about what you should eat, what exercises you should do, what doctors you should go to, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. Most people will tell you that their way is the best way, but that’s not true. Everyone is a little different, so what works for your friend might not work for you.
As with all health-related matters, you need to know your own body and be your own advocate. That means you might have to try a few things before you find the right fit. Below is a list of various fitness plans that are out now. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a start to see what resonates with you. Just remember, when it comes to losing or gaining weight, getting a stronger body, or getting to the next level, there is no quick fix or magic pill. Like anything else in life, you are going to get out of it what you put into it. Whichever plan(s) you go with, make sure to check in with your physician first to see if you have any conditions that might conflict with your chosen fitness program.
Yoga: A discipline that originated in ancient India which includes breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. It is widely practiced for health and relaxation but is also great for gaining flexibility and stability in the body. Read more.
Bar Method: Is an interval training program that mixes isometric moves, dance conditioning and the science of physical therapy to create a strong, lean body. It is an hour-long, non-impact program that anyone can participate in. One potential drawback is the cost factor, so keep that in mind if your budget is tight. Read more.
Pilates: A body conditioning routine that helps build flexibility, long, lean muscles, and strength and endurance in the body. It focuses on the core muscles and the idea of stability. All exercises have modifications that can make a workout safe and challenging for a person at any level. Like the bar-method it is a non-impact practice with a higher ticket price. Read more.
CrossFit: This is a core strength and conditioning program that is not specialized per person. It attempts to optimize physical competence in ten fitness domains. Every participant is encouraged to do the same Workout Of the Day with adjusted weight loads and intensity depending on their fitness level. Results can be seen quickly, but injury risk is high if you are not aware of your limits. Read More
Boot Camp: Modeled after military boot camps, this is a form of group exercise that combines calisthenic and body weight exercises with cardiovascular, interval and strength training. One large component is the camaraderie that is built to motivate and push each other to higher levels of fitness. While this type of program is cost effective, you need to make sure to pay attention to your limits and not push to injury.
Beach Body: Is a suite of in home workout materials that are primarily aimed at burning fat, though some are for strength gains as well. This program does offer results, but a lifestyle change is needed. This may not be suitable for those who need someone to push them or are not good at following movements.
TRX: Utilizes a portable training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s bodyweight to execute exercises that can be scaled for anyone to reach their goals. It is based on the principle that the body is an interconnected chain of muscles and uses movements that challenge the entire body in every plane of motion. Read More.
After you have taken a look at these different work out methods, take a moment to think about your goals and your body type. Do you want a certain kind of body? Do you want more energy? Less sick days? Do you have past or current injuries? After you figure out your top goals, it will be easier to figure out which program mix is right for you.