What is your favourite kind of exercise?
The answers are wonderfully diverse, from kick-boxing to walking, from yoga to “hiking in the great outdoors.”
This question is hugely important, because there’s only one good kind of exercise, only one that actually works.
And that is any exercise you carry on doing year after year, because you like it.
And so, for you, the ideal exercise might not involve dumbbells or running shoes. It might involve coaching 6-year-old swimmers or pruning roses.
Sure, we have guidelines. Most are similar to the UK NHS guidelines:
do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week (More, much more here.)
That’s important, but for most humans this description not a natural starting point for a good exercise programme. The process, I venture to suggest, goes more like this:
- I know I have to exercise more and I actually want to.
- What’s available and affordable at home or in my neighbourhood?
- What do I actually like doing? Can I do the same or something similar?
- What are my friends doing?
- OK, I’ll do a little bit of that…
So you get started, just a little, just now and then. And you enjoy it and feel the benefits. So you do a little more, a little more often, until this new exercise becomes a habit.
One day you read the guidelines for a good exercise programme for your age. And maybe you realise that you’re almost there, almost doing the recommended level of activity. So you might do just a little bit more. More of the good stuff. Why not?
And when for some reason you cannot exercise, you feel frustrated.
Like I do right now, nursing my delicate eyeballs for a few more weeks.
What’s your favourite kind of exercise?
Please tell us (in a comment). I’m really interested and I bet I’m not the only one.
But first it’s only polite of me to tell you my own favourite kinds of exercise. There are quite a few. I love weekly dancing, Pilates class, and Pump class: moving in a group improves my brain, happiness, and fitness. Solitary favourites: a walk on Mt Victoria, a dip in the ocean, and Tai Chi.
So how about you? One’s enough!