Finding your perfect fitness match

Springing into action will be a breeze with these expert tips on how to discover the best exercise for you

What is the best exercise you can do? According to award-winning fitness professional Bevan James Eyles, the ideal exercise, especially if you are trying to create a workout habit that will last a lifetime,
is the one you love doing.
"Even if we could determine the best exercise for physical results, you'd never get any results if you didn't like it, because you wouldn't do it," says Bevan. "When people fall in love with a type of exercise, they remove one of the biggest barriers to success. They shift from telling themselves that they should exercise to a place where they want to be doing that movement because they love doing it."
Here's how to find the perfect exercise for you...

1. Treat yourself as a beginner

For many beginners, going into an exercise environment can be scary; you can feel lost, insecure, feel like you stand out and worry that you will be judged. While this mindset can absolutely be real for you, it means it can push you away from trying. When you step into these environments, you have to tell yourself that you are a beginner and your only job is to try the exercise at a level that feels comfortable and safe for you. This beginner mindset allows you to be open to the experience and gives you permission to do it in the way that works for you.

2. Focus on your objective

Focus on what you are trying to gain from the experience, not why you don't fit into the environment. The best perspective to take into new exercise experiences is, "The purpose of me being here is to see if I enjoy this type of exercise. I'm a beginner who's here to give it a try, so be kind and easy on myself, and aim to be open to the workout I'm experiencing."

3. It’s okay to leave if it’s not for you

But don't make this the norm! You might find that in one of your experiences, you just aren't enjoying it or it's just not happening for you. In this moment, try to continue through to the timeframe you gave yourself and not quit. While you may ultimately decide that this experience isn't going to be one that you want to do long term, there will be some lessons that you will learn from it. If you definitely feel you need to leave, then do. In situations where you don't feel safe, if you feel extremely vulnerable or you feel you may get injured, of course put yourself first, but if you are sitting on the fence about leaving early, try to stay until the end.

4. Be open to all types of exercise

There'll be some exercise that you'll walk away from thinking, "That wasn't for me," and that's okay. To give yourself the best chance of finding an exercise that you are attracted to, have as many experiences as possible. It's the "I'll give it a try" attitude you want to bring to this experience. Who knows? You may fall in love with an exercise you would never have thought possible.

5. Keep exploring other options

Even if you find the movement you love, keep exploring other alternatives. You may go along, try your first exercise and you may think to yourself, "I've found the one. There's no need to continue with trying anything else as I love this!" This may be the case. But even so, keep exploring the other exercises you wanted to give a go. If you find the one in that first experience, the other experiences will just reinforce this, so there'll be great value in seeing them all through.

6. Accept a cost may be involved

See it as an investment. While you may be able to get a free trial at most places you exercise, at some stage there could be a cost involved. By seeing this as an investment in your health and wellbeing, you'll be removing a barrier that could otherwise hold you back.

7. Work around your limits

It could be that you have an injury or excess weight that limits certain types of movement. It's important to acknowledge that this is real and if you find yourself in this situation, certain types of movement may be out of the question. Look to see if there is an option that could work for you. That's the great thing about movement – there are options that can work for all types of people. Allow yourself to do what's right for you, but be open to working with options that will provide more experiences.

8. Reflect upon every session

It's really important to do some reflection after each experience you have. Great questions include: Did I enjoy the movement? Where did I struggle? How do I feel now that I've done it? You can write them down if that helps, but you want to have a clear understanding of where the experience sits within your overall scale of enjoyment.

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