What’s the Best Workout for You?
Here’s a workout for every personality type.
If You’re Constantly on the Go: High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
What it is: Bursts of intense exercise like sprinting or jumping jacks, done for about 20 to 60 seconds, followed by short intervals of easy exercise like slow walking. HIIT is No. 1 on this year’s trends survey from the American College of Sports Medicine, which polled thousands of fitness experts worldwide, including Canadians. Why? This challenging workout usually only lasts 20 to 30 minutes, making it ideal for people who don’t have tons of time. The quick interval changes also banish boredom. And it’s great for burning calories-as many as 15 a minute, according to one recent study from the American Council on Exercise.
Try it: Breathless Body 3: HIIT It Big from Los Angeles-based trainer Amy Dixon.
If You’re the No-nonsense Type: Bodyweight Training
What it is: A back-to-basics approach to strength training that’s great for beginners, where you use your body weight to strengthen muscles-no equipment required. This workout can be done in the gym or your living room, and eliminates the time and hassle of set-up. Finally, no extra gear means zero expenses for getting in shape-one less excuse for putting off exercise.
Try it: Push-ups, squats, lunges and sit-ups are all bodyweight staples, as found in the FitDeck Bodyweight app, available on iTunes.ca
Illustrations: Remie Geoffroi
If You Think You Can Dance: Bellyfit
What it is: Since the rise of Zumba, fitness studios and recreation centres have loaded up on dance-inspired classes. Try low-impact Bellyfit, a Canadian holistic program that borrows from mind-body trends like yoga and Pilates, plus dance forms like Bollywood, belly dancing and African dance. One-hour classes include cardio, core training and meditation.
Try it: For Bellyfit locations near you.
If You’re Adventurous: Obstacle Runs
What it is: Intense team-based obstacle courses and running events usually held in the mud. Popular events include Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and Nova Scotia’s own MudCraft. While some runs have a reputation for being downright gruelling-obstacles that require you to scale and jump off a three-metre wall into icy water-others have more of a playground feel. “Many obstacle course races require you to do things that you probably did as a child but got away from-crawling, climbing, running and getting muddy,” says Rod Macdonald, vice-president of Canfitpro in Toronto. There’s also an appealing social aspect to these events-participants often work in teams, and many races serve beer at the finish line.
Try it: To find a mud run in your area, check out mudrunguide.com