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Discover Your Exercise IQ

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When it comes to staying fit, half the battle is discovering which exercise best fits your lifestyle and temperament. By considering the following questions you can hone in on what’s going to get you excited about moving your body—on a consistent basis!

Do You Need to Lose a Lot of Weight?
If so, you want to start out small and simple. Begin by walking, increasing distance and pace a little bit each week. Look for opportunities throughout the day to be more active, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking far from wherever you’re going; that way, you reap the benefits of being active by taking small, consistent steps that build the foundation of fitness. Also, look for fun ways to workout, whether it’s playing with your kiddos or plugging in the Wii Fit!

Do You Prefer Being Social?
If so, solo outings will make you unhappy and unmotivated to stick to a workout routine. Seek out group classes like Zumba, spinning, yoga, or dance to help you find a tribe of automatic fitness friends. Or, create a cycling group or a swimming group that gathers in the evenings or on weekends for outings. Forcing yourself to go on a solitary swim will only get you so far.

Do You Hate the Gym?
You’re not alone! Many folks feel that way! Fortunately, you have the great outdoors at your disposal and it’s a fitness playground. You can treat your backyard as your personal gym and do all the calisthenics you’d do inside (for much less money). You can lace up your trail runners and hit the pavement or head to the nearest hill for a hike. If you’re social and hate the gym, see the suggestions above for other ways to keep active without having to change in a locker room.

Do You Need a Challenge?
If so, enter a race. That way, you know you have something to work towards and a goal to meet, which should motivate you to keep at it. On the other hand, if the kind of challenge you need is associated with a feeling of having plateaued with your workouts, you may want to invest in a personal trainer who can push you to the next level.

Are You Strapped for Time?
If so you need to try to make even the most mundane activities a little bit more strenuous. For example, when you need to take a bathroom break during the day, walk extra fast to get there, and take the longest route. You can also maximize office time by doing squats while waiting for the next conference call. Try doing some pushups on the side of your desk or hopping in place for five-ten minutes during your lunch hour.

Resources
Find a race — http://www.active.com/

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