How to Choose the Best Exercise for YOU!

by Dr. Kilcup | May 18, 2011 | Articles, Healthy Living, Home Therapy

how to choose the best exercise for you

Finding the right exercise is not always easy.  Often, I see people in my office who have quit exercising because they had a bad experience or were unable to stick with it for a variety of reasons.  Often my patients have a very narrow view of what exercise is.  My purpose in this article is to help you figure out how to choose the best exercise for you.  I know if you can do that, exercise will be a regular part of your life and you will experience many of the awesome benefits that exercise brings.

How to Choose the Best Exercise for YOU?

The purpose of exercise is to change the body into something better.  Sometimes exercise occurs when we are accomplishing a task like mowing the lawn. Many people do it intentionally for fitness. However, depending on the exercise, and how frequently it happens, the results will vary.  For example, weightlifting builds strength and muscle, cardio melts fat and builds cardiovascular strength, and bodyweight training helps with balance.  Unfortunately, not every exercise can be done by everyone.  If I wanted to get in shape by cross country skiing, I would be out of luck because I live in the desert.  Sometimes there are certain logistical factors that make great exercises relatively impossible.  Damaged joints, fitness levels, and previous injuries also limit what exercises can be achieved realistically.

The Three Main Factors: Choosing the BEST Exercise for YOU

Defining Your Goals:

Before diving into any exercise routine, clarify your objectives. Do you aim to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, or enhance flexibility? Understanding your goals will guide you in selecting exercises that align with your aspirations.

Assessing Physical Limitations:

Take stock of any existing physical limitations or health conditions that may impact your exercise choices. Consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert to ensure that your chosen activities are safe and appropriate for your individual needs.

Addressing Logistical Factors:

Consider logistical constraints such as time, access to facilities, and environmental factors. Choose exercises that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and surroundings to enhance adherence and sustainability.

What to Choose: Exploring Exercise Options

The best exercise could be p90x, rowing, walking, hiking, backpacking, basketball, swimming, bike riding, weight lifting, circuit training, jumping jacks, horseback riding, playing catch, golf (if you walk), cross training, yoga, badminton, racquetball, whiffle ball, mixing concrete, climbing a tree, rock climbing, tug of war, fencing, wrestling, being a Wipe Out contestant, shoveling, football, running after bad guys, archery elk hunting (rifle is too easy, therefore cannot be considered exercise), paddle boarding, skiing (water and snow), paintball or air-soft, martial arts, snowball fights, throwing things, moving big rocks, or planting a tree.

The point is, you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to work out. While traditional gym exercises like weightlifting and circuit training are excellent options for many individuals, there’s a vast array of activities beyond the gym walls that can provide equally effective workouts and perhaps even more enjoyment.

For those who prefer an Outdoor Adventure:

Activities like hiking, backpacking, biking, and skiing offer not only physical benefits but also the chance to connect with nature and explore new surroundings. Likewise, water-based activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, and rowing provide low-impact yet highly effective workouts that engage multiple muscle groups while keeping you cool on hot days.

Sports enthusiasts can take advantage of team sports like basketball, soccer, and rugby for a fun and challenging workout that also fosters camaraderie and teamwork. Individual sports such as tennis, badminton, and racquetball offer opportunities for intense cardio workouts while honing agility and coordination.

For those who enjoy Unconventional Forms of Exercise:

Activities like rock climbing, martial arts, and obstacle course racing provide full-body workouts that test both physical strength and mental resilience. Even everyday tasks like gardening, shoveling snow, or moving heavy objects can be turned into effective workouts that contribute to overall fitness and functional strength.

Ultimately, the best exercise for you is one that you enjoy and can sustainably incorporate into your lifestyle. Whether it’s a structured workout program or simply skipping on the beach while humming the theme song of “Chariots of Fire”, the key is to find activities that bring you joy and make you feel good physically and mentally. So, lace up those hiking boots, grab your bike or tennis racket, and explore the endless possibilities for staying active and healthy outside the confines of the gym.

What to think about before Choosing:

Safety First:

Prioritize safety to ensure a sustainable and injury-free exercise journey. Warm up before each workout, maintain proper form and technique, and listen to your body’s signals to avoid overexertion. Gradually progress the intensity and duration of your workouts to prevent injuries and promote long-term success.

If you do get injured, it’s essential to prioritize proper recovery to facilitate healing and prevent long-term complications. Recovery after injury involves a multifaceted approach, including rest, rehabilitation, and sometimes, advanced therapies to expedite the healing process.

One great option for injury recovery is Red Light Therapy, also known as photobiomodulation. This non-invasive treatment involves exposure to low-level red and near-infrared light, which penetrates the skin and stimulates cellular repair and regeneration. Red light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and promote tissue healing, making it a valuable therapy for various injuries. Read more about it HERE.

Another innovative therapy is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber. This increased oxygen delivery to tissues enhances the body’s natural healing processes, reduces swelling, and promotes the formation of new blood vessels, facilitating tissue repair. HBOT has shown promising results in accelerating recovery from sports injuries, fractures, and other musculoskeletal conditions. Read more about it HERE.

Setting SMART Goals:

Establishing Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART) goals provides a roadmap for success. Track your progress regularly and adjust your goals as needed to stay motivated and accountable.

Does it achieve your goals?

  • What good is an exercise if it doesn’t accomplish the physical changes a person needs?
  • What good is an exercise if it caused an injury, or aggravated an existing injury?
  • What good is an exercise if logistical issues prevent it?

Regardless of how good an exercise is physiologically, if it didn’t accomplish what was needed, it’s not worthwhile.  Right?  It is very frustrating to exercise regularly and not hit the goal.

Seeking Further Guidance:

For personalized guidance and support, consider consulting with a certified fitness professional or physical therapist. They can provide tailored recommendations based on your individual needs and goals.

Empowerment Through Exercise:

Ultimately, the best exercise regimen is one that you enjoy, aligns with your goals, and prioritizes your safety and well-being. By choosing exercises that resonate with you and integrating them into your lifestyle consistently, you can unlock the transformative power of physical activity and reap its myriad benefits.

the best exercise is...

The best exercise is:

The exercise you will DO, and that accomplishes your GOAL, and that does NOT HURT you.

Want More Help with Your Health?

I hope this gets you thinking about doing exercise!  There are so many benefits to exercise, and there are few things you can do for yourself that will give back as much. See my article about the top 25 proven benefits of exercise. If you need some motivation to get moving, and to find out how to choose the best exercise for you!

Darrell Kilcup, DC, CFMP

Hi there! I’m Dr. Kilcup. You know that health problem you’ve been dealing with – the one that doctors can’t seem to solve, that’s stealing way too much of your time, energy and joy? I can help you get to the bottom that. I am passionate about using the best of science and nutrition to find and fix root causes of health issues. Start your journey towards healing and relief today.

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I have been using the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for the last few weeks and It has helped me so much. I struggle quite a bit with work related stress. When I'm in the chamber I feel completely relaxed, so much so that I can bring my laptop inside and work without stressing. The calmness I feel in the chamber lasts for the remainder of the day as well. I have found too, the more consistent I am with sessions throughout the week the better I feel. The office staff seems well trained in running the tanks too, so I feel safe. I see Dr. Kilcup as well for my brain and gut health. Until now, I don't think I've ever known what "normal" or "healthy" feels like. Thank you all, sincerely!
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Dr. Kilcup is a pleasure to work with. His office is beautiful! I can’t wait to try his hyperbaric chambers!
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Darrell is highly knowledgeable and really gets to the root of the problem. Unlike a lot of doctors, Darrell doesn't just throw prescriptions at issues. He will test and test - digging for the cause and then working on fixing the issue. He and his staff are professional, courteous, and a joy to be around.
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