I've exercised off and on my whole life. Throughout my life and my spells of regular exercise, I've learned that I'm always happier and feel my best when I exercise at least 4 days a week. I've worked out consistently for more than 6 years now! The first time I started I was 13 - I tried exercising by myself in my bedroom. Once I got out of high school I started going to a local gym to attend an aerobics class. I learned that I enjoy the group classes and that they motivated me more than working out alone. I have never gone to the gym just to use equipment. I have no interest in navigating the machines and weights independently, and I know that I wouldn't stay consistent if that was my only option. This is why I'm thankful there are group classes that help me keep my interest in my exercise regimen.
I believe exercise is important for everyone, so it's important to find a regimen that is best for you and your lifestyle. When I had children, going to the gym was no longer an option, so I exercised at home. As my children got older, they joined in! As they grew and their interests changed, our exercise changed. We started with biking, then got into hiking, which led to cross country skiing in the winter. Eventually we bought kayaks to use in the summertime too! There are many ways to stay active, even if the gym isn't your thing or you have kids to keep entertained.
Take time to figure out what type of exercise works best for you. Your body will communicate daily whether it wants something vigorous or something more gentle. Your regimen will evolve along with your life as long as you make it a priority in your lifestyle. If you are quiet and don't care for crowds, finding something to do at home or walking with a friend might suit you. If you like social environments, try going to group classes. Then, decide what time of day is best for you. Early morning workouts are not for everyone! Last, be sure to find a place that's convenient to you; this will help you stay committed and feel most successful.
Before you know it, regular exercise will be a part of your weekly routine and you'll be experiencing the many benefits - weight loss, increased energy, improved mood and better quality of sleep. And that's just scratching the surface of what you will experience from a regular fitness routine, so get off the couch or away from that desk and start exploring to find exercise that you enjoy!