It’s now a few weeks into the New Year, and many people are focusing on making their 2020 resolutions work, especially the fitness-related ones. Some decide to start running, others get a gym membership, and so on. But how do you decide which workout is going to be best for you?

A significant obstacle in your fitness journey is the number of activity options available out there. Asking friends and acquaintances for their opinions may not help, since their well-meaning advice is often based on their own personal experiences. Well, here’s some advice: choose a workout that is in sync with you! Instead of asking yourself, “Which workout should I be doing?”, ask instead, “What workout would be a match for the kind of person I am?”

The idea is to know your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and the characteristics that make you, You! You may be a loner, or someone who believes in variety, or someone who loves to take up challenges that require a lot of strength and endurance. If you look closely, you will be able to identify workouts that are in sync with your personality. Once a particular workout or set of workouts resonate with you, you will yearn to do them regularly, because that makes you happy, and you will become fitter as a consequence!

Here are three examples of people who have chosen workouts taking their routines, lifestyles and personalities into consideration.

1) Rakesh is a banker. He loves music and dancing, though he hardly has time to pursue his passions, owing to his hectic work schedule and family commitments. He is usually too busy to keep himself on track when it comes to fitness. Despite his sincere efforts, he often ends up overcommitting to his near and dear ones, and therefore struggles to make time for workouts. He identified this pattern, and chose to join a Zumba fitness class. He understood that a fixed class time will help him plan his schedule accordingly, and he will also be able to go back to music and dance in this manner.

2) Nikita is an extrovert; she loves being with people, and feels motivated to exercise in the company of like-minded people. She is an outdoor person, loves nature and is very fond of trekking and exploring places on foot. She is, therefore, part of two groups–one that is into running and related drills, and the other that plans treks. This helps her stay fit and be consistent with her fitness goals.

3) Sia is a self-employed lady, dynamic and fun-loving. While she is great in groups, she is an introvert by choice. She is someone who likes working out alone, enjoys her own company, is not finicky about processes and believes in being unconventional. ‘Whatever works for me is good’ is the motto she lives by. When it comes to exercises and fitness routines, she can’t plan her workout in advance because she has uncertain work timings. She knows that exercising is important, but she can’t commit a fixed time of the day for a workout. Therefore, at the start of every week, when she has a fair idea of what her week is going to look like, she draws up a rough plan which is predominantly home workouts–a combination of cardio, strength training and yoga. She follows YouTube Channels to get a good variety. The workouts serve her purpose, and she is happy!

The above three examples signify that once you know that fitness is important, and if you are aware of your personality, strengths and weaknesses, you can choose a workout/set of workouts that suit you. The intention of exercising is not to add to your stress; it is to release stress and keep you fit. So, if you engage in a fitness activity just because everyone else is doing it, you are signing up for another source of pressure in your already hectic life.

Also remember, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to exercise. Just make sure you choose something you like doing, and are able to do. (For example, If you have chronic bronchitis, it may not be advisable to start running or trekking right away. Low-intensity workouts or walks would be a better way to start, and running or trekking can be a long-term goal.) All you need to do is take the first step, and keep taking that step every day. Before you know it, you will be on the path to fitness! 

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  • Sushma is the Founder and CEO of ReFind You, a company that offers Coaching, Training and Counselling services to individuals and corporates. She started her career in digital marketing, working with renowned organizations such as Shemaroo Entertainment, Hinduja Interactive and eBrandz, but soon gave in to her inner calling and equipped  herself with a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology, along with specialized certifications, including training in Rational Emotive Cognitive Behaviour Therapy from Albert Ellis Institute, New York. She has been in the field of counselling, coaching, mentoring and training since the beginning of the year 2011, and has been successfully creating and delivering programs to reputed organizations.