What is the Best type of Exercise?

Several times recently this question has come up. People have asked me if they had to choose between cardio, resistance training, pilates, yoga, aerobics classes, or simply walking, which one would be the best one to do. Typically this is asked in the context of , “I really would rather not exercise but if I had to choose, which one should I do?”. Occasionally though I will get someone who is asking because they want to do what is going to be the most effective way for them to exercise.

The true answer is whichever one works for you. To often I see people who end up being unsuccessful in their workout regimens because they choose to force themselves to do something they really do not enjoy. The best type of exercise is the one that you are willing to do. Better yet the one you would look forward to doing. I also often see people who get stressed out because they feel they have to do more than is really necessary. Clients will come in for their initial visit and often they say, “Well I used to work out six days a week for 2 hours a day but I got really burnt out.”.

Something to remember is that all exercise is good exercise. This is a very general statement and I understand that based on various situations an individual may have like injuries and other physical limitations, there would be some exercises that would not be appropriate. Someone with a herniated disk in their back would not be wise to do some barbell squats. But in general terms it is better to exercise than to not. Understanding your current ability levels simply helps determine some things you should not do.

If you are someone who is struggling to exercise because you simply do not feel motivated to go for a run or get out the old universal gym to do some resistance training, start by picking something you are interested in. There are so many options to chose from these days there has to be something for everyone. I get that some people simply do not like to exercise but have they tried many different forms of exercise? Training Modalities such as Yoga, Pilates, Spin classes, and even recent innovations like the Wii Fit for the Nintendo are all great. They each have their own plusses and honestly there is something for everyone out there.

DSCN0596If you are currently struggling with boredom in your current routine, try something completely new. Working in this industry for almost two decades I have had a chance to try it all. There are so many great possibilities, I challenge you to go out and try them. You never know you might find what you have been searching for all along.

So what is your best type of exercise. If you had to choose just one style of exercise what would it be? I had to give this quite a bit of thought but I ended up going with Integration training. Doing obstacle course style workouts are my favorite and if I had to only chose one I’ll go with this.

4 Comments on this post


  1. coach S. said:

    I would have to say that the crossfit style training covers a wide base of different aspects of training. So I guess that may not count. Each type of exercise has both positives and negatives, so its hard to just choose one. I think I would have to go with the obstacle style training because of the numerous ways in which it challenges the body. I like that its not as one-dimensional like some other types of exercise.

    October 28th, 2009 at 9:03 pm
  2. JC said:

    Yes I would have to agree that some type of cross training like the obstacle courses that are shown would be my favorite too. Its always challenging and different. To often I talk to people that are bored with their workouts. Yet they don’t know how to change it up to ignite some excitement back into their routine. I ask them what are they doing and the answer is usually the same, “O some treadmill work with some machine wieghts and a little bit of stretching.” Well of course running on the tread and watching Judge Judy would get boring. There are always ways to spice up your workout even at your local gym. You just can’t be afraid to look a little different while you are doing it.

    October 30th, 2009 at 9:29 am
  3. Coach Cory said:

    I just like doing anything that involves competition. It is very difficult to enjoy running or lifting and then going home. I love the immediate results and an always present reason to push yourself to your limits. I find myself getting amazing exercise when I play pick-up football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and wrestling.

    The competition keeps my mind off of the monotonous training and difficulty of the exercise and let’s me focus on the fun of beating my opponent.

    It doesn’t have to be these specific sports, but any exercise that includes competition will certainly be my favorite type of exercise.

    November 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 pm
  4. Scott said:

    Coach Cory, I really like that response. I completely agree that the competition helps out immensely. Make anything into a game and you can typically see the effort go up instantly.

    November 10th, 2009 at 9:01 am


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