If you want to stay healthy, make exercise a regular part of your life. As the couch potato in you would agree, this is not always easy. In fact, you find plenty of excuses everyday that make it "valid" for you to skip your exercise routine. The key to sticking to your fitness program is to determine your likes and dislikes so you can find the right activity that you'll enjoy doing for a long time. Avoid choosing an activity because it's popular or because it's what your friends are doing. When the hype fades, so would your interest for it.
In order for you to choose the right activity, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you love the beauty of the outdoors or prefer the safety and comfort of indoors?
If you love spending time outside, go for outdoor activities that will stretch your muscles and improve your strength. Biking, hiking, brisk walking, speed walking, jogging, and basketball are just few examples. But if you prefer the safety and comforts of the indoor setting, go for yoga, Pilates, and aerobics.
Are you a loner who prefer doing activities alone or are you a people-person?
Some people prefer to be active by themselves while others are only motivated if they are doing the physical activity with another person or with a group of people. If you are the latter, you can join a group or class or find an exercise partner.
Do contact sports appeal to you or are they a major no-no?
Physical activities like basketball, ice hockey, martial arts, wrestling, and football involve contact. If you enjoy that, you can engage in these types of sports. If not, go for non-contact sports like swimming, baseball, volleyball, and tennis. Of course, physical contact doesn't always have to be the combative type. There are exercises such as ballroom dancing that would require contact but the non-grueling kind.
Does competition spark you up or makes you lose interest?
There are people who do better when they compete with others. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as the competitiveness comes with a good sport attitude. These people would fare better in sports like tennis, volleyball and hockey, among others. If you like competition but not with other people and just with yourself, then go for running and swimming in which you can always try to break your own record. If you prefer zero competition, choose activities like gardening and dancing.
Do you prefer activities that have mental challenge or do you like those that you can do without stretching a brain muscle or two?
Some exercises need your full attention as well as mental strategizing. Most sports are like that. But if you'd rather give your brain a rest and let the body do all the work, household chores are a wonderful choice. Going for a walk around the neighborhood also doesn't require too much work on your brain.
When do you like to exercise? Morning, midday or evening?
Since people come with varied body clocks, everyone has that certain part of the day when he/she is most energetic. It can be a good idea to choose activities that you can do at a time that you prefer.