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Which Workout Do You Choose?

By: Sensei Dave Hanson

With all the many options available in today’s health conscious society how do you choose the right workout for you?  You can make it as complicated as you want, but I think simple is a better approach.  It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “To be simple is to be great.” Lets face it.  Simple works.  Why? Because it is easy to get started and stay in a routine.  In other words, make your workout a habit.  If your workouts are too complicated you are less likely to stick with them.  So how do you choose the best workout for you.  Are you ready for this revelation. Choose the one you enjoy.  That’s right.  Choose the workout that you enjoy doing the most and you are more likely to stick with it over time.

I understand that there are a lot of different things to consider when choosing a workout that you want to stay committed to and that is key reason why it should be simple.  If it is something you are really not in to doing on a regular weekly basis and is very complicated, you will not stay committed and commitment is a secret ingredient to success in any workout regimen.  So what should your workout include?  I would suggest in any workout routine you consider, make sure it is something that covers the basic three elements of cardiovascular conditioning, strength training and flexibility.  Many times people pursue a workout that just covers one, or two of these elements, but for the best results and long term fitness benefits you really need all three in a balanced workout routine. Another consideration when choosing your workout is intensity.

There are many options depending on your current needs for intensity in a workout. Higher intensity workouts may include running, circuit training, kickboxing and many more.  Some less intense workout options include exercise routines like Tai Chi and walking.  Choosing the right intensity workout really depends upon what your goals are in starting your new workout routine. If you just want to stay active something of a less intense workout may be just what you need.  If you want to build lean tone muscle and lose weight then you’ll definitely want to choose a more intense workout.  Perhaps your goal is to get into great shape but you are really not ready for an intense workout.  Then it is perfectly okay to start with a less intense workout routine and work your way up into a higher intensity workout.  In the big scheme of things you want your workout to bring you results so you need to educate yourself on what is effective and what it not for your workout objectives.  Good news is that recent studies have shown that the duration of your workout doesn’t matter as much as intensity.  Your level of effectiveness in your workout usually peaks out at about the thirty minute time frame and then your body begins to plateau and your results start to decline for the rest of your workout.  So bring the intensity and make those first thirty minutes count. Whatever your workout is try to sprint to the finish line.  When you finish your workout feeling tired you are really finishing strong.   You may be wondering what are some other workout alternatives that you can make part of your lifestyle?

Naturally I teach karate and I strongly believe in the fitness and health benefits of training in the martial arts, so I would be remiss not to include them as a viable workout option. You’ll also benefit from the confidence you’ll develop as you strengthen your mind, body and spirit and learn effective self-defense skills.  In the martial art of karate, or my Kickboxing Fitness program we include a total body workout that anyone can do at any age.  The great thing about the martial arts is that you make your workout your own.  It is an individual journey, that includes the support of your classmates and friends around you.  Having the right motivation with a good instructor and peer group to support you is also a key consideration in choosing your workout too.  You want to surround yourself with positive people who will motivate you and encourage you along the way.  The martial arts contains all three elements that I mentioned above including cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training to help promote a long a healthy life.

No matter what workout you choose make sure it contains the three key elements for a total body workout of cardiovascular, strength and flexibility.  You also want to bring the intensity and always train with a goal in mind.  After all as Zig Ziglar once said, “You can’t hit a target that you cannot see.” Make sure your workout is something that is simple enough that you can stick with and be committed to for a long time, because it takes time to see results.  And lastly make sure your workout is something you enjoy.  You will not stay committed if you dread doing your workout.  If you love your workout routine that is great and you want it to become habit forming and addicting to the point that you got to have it.  A good workout routine will keep your mind sharp and your body and spirit strong.  I encourage you to make these serious considerations when choosing your next workout and if you are in doubt on which to choose please feel free to contact me.  I would be happy to sit down together with you and go over the options available at our school and explain more on how the martial arts is a great alternative to traditional workouts that can keep you healthy and fit for life.

Check out our adult workout program options here at http://www.gatewaykarate.com 

Enjoy more of Sensei Dave's articles @ http://www.senseidave.com

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