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What’s The Best Exercise?

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Why Give a Damn:

What’s the best exercise? The exercise that burns the most calories, the fat-burning, booty-kicking, 8-pack ab-giving workout that will change your life? Read on to find out. It may not be what you expect.


The author of this post, Ann Garvin is an author, speaker and professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy.

We get caught up in the best way to do things when sometimes just getting started is enough.  Tweet This Quote

As an exercise physiologist, I often get the question from people who want to start exercising, “What’s the best exercise?” I know where this question is coming from. People want to use their time wisely, they want to maximize their exercise time – get a good workout and do it in the least amount of time.

So let’s make this simple people. What’s the best exercise? The exercise that burns the most calories, the fat-burning, booty-kicking, Beyonce-shimmying, 8-pack ab-giving workout that will change your life?

The best exercise?

Simple.

The one you will actually do, and do on a regular basis.

The best exercise is the one you have time and energy for today. The best exercise is the one you can sustain for 30 years. The one or, in fact, the several kinds of physical activity that keep you stimulated, building muscle, get your heart pumping, increasing your flexibility over a week, a month, several years.

Moving past the road blocks, our perfectionist tendencies, the inertia that sometimes gets in our way is an exercise that both the body and the mind can benefit from.

We get caught up in the best way to do things when sometimes just getting started, any way, is enough.

Compare this to your start-up. Days, weeks, or months of being told “no” – be it from the mouths of investors, customers, partners, etc. – is exhausting. There are several times when, because Plan A didn’t work, we begin to wonder if it is even worth bothering with Plan B? However, exercising the ability to open your mind to other possibilities, push past the exhaustion and continue toward your mission of solving the world’s biggest problems will take you, and your business, further than you can imagine. Maybe there isn’t a “best way”, and instead, we should embrace the many ways to save the world and your body today.

Exercise the ability to open your mind to other possibilities, push past the exhaustion and continue toward your mission of solving the world’s biggest problems.

Ann Garvin

About the author

Ann Garvin is an author, speaker and educator. As professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she has worked...

Ann Garvin has written 16 articles for UNREASONABLE.is

  • Evan Hibbs

    Ann, thank you for the article. I’ve heard you say this many times in class and I totally agree. For me, I love basketball and running. If someone were to ask me what I prefer for exercise it would be playing basketball or going for a run. When I’m 40 years old I still plan on running and playing basketball. Those are the best exercises and the most enjoyable exercises for myself. Once a person knows what they love, it isn’t hard for them to choose their “best exercise.” Thank you for the article.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    When I was a personal trainer, I would tell people the same thing. The “best” IMO is HIIT, but people tend not to stick with that. I’d just tell them whichever cardio they would enjoy the most is the best.

  • Jake Eckhardt

    Exactly, one of my favorite forms of cardio is just playing catch with a football with my friends, running routes. It doesn’t even feel like I’m doing cardio because it’s fun.

  • pinsolera

    Yesterday, a club I’m in and I played several games of capture the flag. And it was so much fun that it did not seem like we were working as hard as we truly were. It was just great to get out there and have fun.

  • pinsolera

    Hello Ann, thank you for
    posting this article. I’ve done intense track and field training for a while
    and I’ll be honest, I will not be able to sustain that the rest of my life and
    I won’t. My body at that age would crumble. I personally though love martial
    arts, running around, frisbee, golf, and the list goes on. I think that we
    should all do exercise that we love, but that also will help keep us healthy so
    we can help others. I think if we do exercise outside of our realm and puts us
    in danger of burning out, obviously that is not good for you. But everyone has
    their “best” workout. For me personally, it can be lifting and
    running around. For others, it’s whatever they prefer. What are some forms of exercise that you do?

  • Evan Hibbs

    Yeah, that’s awesome and that’s something you’ll be able to do for a long time! One of the 45-year old men I work with always talks about how if there’s one thing he could go back and do it would be to play baseball with all of his best friend’s. The sports/exercise that we enjoy will be with us forever.

  • Evan Hibbs

    Yeah when you’re enjoying what you do, everything is that way. When you’re doing something you love it doesn’t seem like work, or if you’re working with people you like being around it makes work more enjoyable. Sports are the same way, if you’re playing with people you really get along with, sports are even more fun.

  • Palecekb

    Ann,
    Great article, I find that when I tried out insanity it kicked my ass so hard I stopped doing it after 3 days. I think this is a great outlook for people who feel the same as me as “that was hard and I never want to do it again” in that you dont have to do the exercise that nearly kills you and leaves you panting on the floor like a dog, you just do the one you enjoy. How do you stay motivated to exercise on a regular basis when things get hectic?

  • Jake Eckhardt

    Everyone always wants the exercise that is going to kick their ass the most because they start out with such a high level of motivation. It’s like their “bingeing” on exercise, and it’s not going to be sustainable, just like bingeing on anything.

  • Palecekb

    Yes, I see what your saying. I do see people get ready for a work out routine after a long time off and are excited to snap into shape and want to be dead at the end, but then they realize after a couple times they would rather not be panting. How do we get a happy medium so they continue kicking ass for years rather then days?

  • http://parisinmadison.blogspot.com/ Amanda O.

    From your lecture, the best exercise is the exercise that fits your lifestyle and most importantly, the exercise that you love and would do every single day without dreading. Thank you for sharing, Ann! :)

  • Logan Dohmeier

    Perfectly said Ann. If there is one thing I have taken away from your classes (there is a lot) it is the fact that most people do not like/want to exercise. Just getting people to get up and do something that will burn some calories and get their heart pumping can be a marathon in itself for us health promoters. There is no reason that anyone should limit everyone’s exercise to “the one perfect workout” because there really is no such thing. Some exercises are better than others, but if you have individuals who do not want to do that “perfect” workout then you are screwed. We are taught to advocate anything that will contribute positively to one’s health and then work our way up from there. Even if it is a simple exercise that and individual is beginning to habitually complete, it is all about the reps. This is great advice that can be applied to a myriad of situations; in the end we share one common goal, good health.

  • Drew

    Nice Ann, great article! Listening to all of your lectures I laugh knowing that that used to be me asking such questions. I would avoid exercising without knowing what the best option was. It wasn’t until recently that i figured out that just getting into the gym was all i really needed! I saw gains on just doing a couple small lifts. It also made me feel so much better day in and out! Its not just a hobby but a lifestyle now! Really has increase my mood, energy, and stress reliever!

  • Drew

    Hey you have to try new things before you give up on them. Like we have always been taught you have to try it before you give up on it. I love that you gave it a chance and it just so happens it wasn’t for you. People should read your post inspiring them to at least try new things. But i do agree, the best exercise is one that someone will actually stick to.

  • GraceFelion

    I had a feeling that would be the answer simply from attending your class! I appreciate it because I never really thought like that before your class and now it’s a bit easier to be healthy. I still haven’t found one thing that I really enjoy doing for exercise but I’m still looking and I’m still trying to get exercise. Thank you for your post :)

  • Josh Pritchard

    Drew, I know how you feel. I was the exact same way. Just getting in the gym now makes me feel good every day. I’ve started noticing more and more gains as the weeks progress. I think working out for me is my life. Lately, I’ve been in a great mood.
    Good article Ann! Favorite teacher!

  • Joseph

    Both of you hit the nail right on the head. It was a struggle for me to start working out. However once i did start to work out it became contagious for me. I feel as if my day is incomplete if i don’t get a little workout in.

  • Alyssa Borgrud

    I love how this article is not pushing for you to do something that you don’t wanna do. I like how you put it so simply, do something that you will actually do, and do it regularly. Too often I think that we as humans try to take part in the newest diet and exercise trends, but do not end up following it because it is either not something that we enjoy or it is not something that we are not physically fit enough to do. Great post!

  • Keeli Gilbert

    Great article!
    I have recently learned that exercise isn’t just about your body. It is also about exercising your mind and your thoughts. It is important to not get so caught up in exercising your body and being physically healthy. It is important to exercise your brain and your thoughts and being emotionally healthy, meaning being confident in yourself and the things that you do. I know for myself I find it hard to make sure that I am emotionally healthy, but one way I try to stay on top of it is by putting one positive thing in a jar every day for the whole year. It is hard to stay on top of it every single day, but when I find myself beating myself up or putting myself down I take maybe 6-8 minutes to just and listen to some music, any kind, take a walk and even just colour just to let my mind settle and not let every little thing get to me. Thank you for helping remind myself that I need to put a couple of positives things in my jar. What are ways you exercise emotionally?

  • Palecekb

    Drew, I bet both Ann and I know exactly how you feel about gains. i love seeing gains, its what gets me back into the gym after a hard day. Do you think proof of improvement such as gains will be able to prove to people that getting in the gym is all they need to do in order to stay active?

  • Drew

    Right its crazy how the first week or two the struggle to get up and get motivated to make it to the gym with how sore we get and the aches that come. Its not until around week 3 that we become hooked and everything starts to feel good when it comes to working out! Gains are amazing! They keep us wanting more! Im glad your mood is so high! I agree Ann is an amazing teacher!

  • Tkachukme11

    Thank you for sharing this article and reassuring us that there is no best way of exercising. Working in the weight room on campus always makes me feel like I should be working out more or doing certain lifts. However, I do not always have time in the day to go to the gym for a couple hours. Other ways that I make up for this is by walking or biking everywhere around campus, using the stairs when needed, or sitting and stretching while watching television before bed. I think these simple additions to my day help me out when i don’t go and do my best exercise. What are other simple changes I can make in my day if I do not have time to get to the gym?

  • Cory Zaeske

    This is a very simple, and yet very effective post. This is a question that I often get from my family as well and for the longest time I really didn’t know how to answer it because there isn’t a “best exercise.” The problem we often face is that people want results fast and that just doesn’t happen. People realize in late January that they are 30 pounds too heavy and want the beach body for Florida in March. There isn’t an exercise that can achieve those results for most people. If you can find something that you love to do and will continue to do for the rest of your life then congratulations because that’s the ticket to living a healthy life.

  • Tim Rutkowski

    Ann another wonderful article, this really hits home with more than one failed attempt to get back in shape like I was in High School. What I really want to know is why couldn’t you have posted this blog a month ago when I preparing my health fair project? This information could have been very helpful to add onto my presentation.

  • PKroening

    Thanks for sharing! this article is great because it gives us readers something to think about. I sat here and thought what exercise will I actually do everyday. As of right now i’m on a workout every other day basis. This makes me think that maybe I should do something on my “off-days”. Anything really would be better than doing nothing. This article has made me think of different things I could do on my off-days.

  • PKroening

    Great point. Everyone is trying to get into all these infomercial exercise tryouts but in all reality these are the people that just sit at home instead of going to the gym . All these people need to do is just get off their butt and go to the gym.

  • PKroening

    I bet it worked wonders for those people too. If someone actually enjoyed doing a cardio that’s great for them but by you actually telling them that whatever they like will help them is a big part to their success.

  • PKroening

    Best advice I could give for this is just keep trying! Eventually you will find something you really love and you’ll want to do it all the time. You’ll see gains in no time!

  • Jen McKiernan

    This is really great advice. I have been trying to get my mom to exercising and she just will not start because she says it never helps anyway. I think in her mind she thinks of exercise as a super intense workout that she can’t handle. If I can find something she enjoys to do then she will be more willing to start and continue long enough to see results. Thanks for the article Ann, I’ll be sure to send this one to my mom!

  • tjbaumeister08

    Thank you for sharing this article. I feel like this happens quite often. People want to get in shape and be healthy so they start whatever the latest exercise trend is but then realize it doesn’t really work for them. They end up quitting it and instead of trying to find a new one that suits them better they give up. Did you ever give up after one method didn’t work or did you keep trying different ones until you found the one that works best for you?

  • Danyang Wang

    Thanks for sharing this article. it is very inspiring that you say “The one you will actually do, and do on a regular basis.” I think one of the reasons people often ask the question of the best exercise is that people all love the shortcuts. People always think that there are shortcuts, but there may not. The best exercise is the one you can sustain for many years and it has become a part of your life.

  • Hien

    Thank you for sharing this article! I like how you put it so simply, do something that you will actually do, and do it regularly. Exercise or being healthy is like a huge process that you need to commit! Sometimes people keep themselves thinking that its really hard to keep up with exercising because there are tons of things that more interesting than go to gym and eat salad plus its not helping anyway! However, I think its not true! Do something that you enjoy daily rather than practice hard for only 1 time!

  • Daniel John

    I love this article because I have been in your class and I have learned the importance of overall well being. My mom and sister have been talking about losing weight and looking better; I encouraged the fact that you have to start somewhere. Because of your teaching, I have inspired my mom and sister to walk daily. It has also pushed my sister to become more active in the form of more intense exercises, and I am proud to be a motivator. I believe it is important to incorporate exercise into children’s lives, even if it is just walking home from the bus stop. Exercise is important and undervalued in today’s society and it is sad.

  • aulm92

    I knew it! As soon as I saw the title of the article and that you wrote it, I guessed that would be your answer for the best exercise! A lot of my friends often times ask me what program to use or what workouts they should do and this is exactly what I tell them ever since I heard it in your classes. Whatever you can sustain and enjoy doing! The best part is, this mentality can be applied to so many more things than just exercise. Thank you for this article!

  • aulm92

    That is so true, people don’t realize that something as simple as walking every day for 30 minutes can make a huge difference in the long run. A lot of people don’t understand exercise outside of what mass media provides, but some simple real advice can make all the difference!

  • TSpeals

    As an athlete, I love this article. Very true about the power of having the right mentality to overcome the exhaustion and push through to your goal. Like many have said before me, this can easily be applied to any situation that proves mentally taxing. Great article, thank you!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Athletes are really good at this part. Sometimes athletes don’t do so well when life changes and they can’t exercise the way they are used to they tend to stop. Isn’t that interesting? They stop more than people who just exercise for health or as a hobby. People gotta change and not all of them do. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Thanks! Yea, I’ve been pushing this ever since I went from my athlete days to my non-athlete days trying to figure out how to keep exercising and get my friends to move. Glad you are on board!!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    I wish we had class room treadmills. Ones that were powered by our walking only. That makes me sound crazy doesn’t it?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Ha! You’re right! My bad.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    So true. Some people don’t love any exercise and that makes it really hard. Then we have to sell vacuuming and and dog walking!

  • Austin Dorman

    I love this idea for exercise. Being a health minor means a lot of my family members approach me and ask me what the best exercise for them is. I have always told them the best workout for them is the one that they are going to do on a regular basis and that they will enjoy. For my grandma we planned out a walking and biking plan through the park by her house. I told her anyway to stay active and excited to workout is the best for her. Overall great article. Thank you Ann!

  • Austin Dorman

    That’s not crazy at all! I read an article about a gym in China that has treadmills powered by people walking on them, and the static electricity generated is enough to power most of the lights in the building. They are looking to incorporate it into some work settings to first save electricity, and also to get their workers healthier. It seems like a good idea for our classroom, that is until everyone is dripping in sweat and the room smells worse than a sweaty gym.

  • Austin Dorman

    I feel the same way! I always see the same people coming into the weight room to work out and it makes me feel guilty when I don’t get in there as often as I should. But like you, I don’t have all the time in the world to dedicate to working out. But I like to hike and ride my bike around so I try to do that whenever possible as a supplement for heading to the gym.

  • Anthony Urbanski

    Thanks for the article! Agree that the best exercise is the one you can sustain for thirty years. Exercising the ability to open your mind is an awesome idea. We need to practice this ability! Any exercise is better than no excerise, so get up and start moving.

  • laurenkraft

    I can definitely relate Austin, I am a phy ed major health promotion minor and my friends and family are constantly asking me what exercise is best what will get them abs what will help make their butt look better all I can tell them is as long as they are active regularly it will help. The answer is really simple. You don’t have to be a phy ed major or studying health to answer this question. Thanks for the article Ann!

  • Daniel John

    I also agree that the best exercise is one that you can practice for life. As a track superstar, what is your favorite exercise? I like using the elliptical but I can’t wait to exercise outside more.

  • Daniel John

    Drew, I agree with you on a lot of your points. When you start to see gains or progress towards your goal it definitely pushes a person to continue exercise. A person will never see gains if they do not start somewhere. I also agree that Ann is a great teacher, I have learned do much that has changed my perspective on wellness. With starting a daily exercise, did you change your diet too?

  • Willie

    Thanks for sharing this article with us. I never thought about it like that and maybe people should try to cause sometimes, just the thought of all the work you have to do is what deters people from going to the gym. So if people just find something they enjoy doing and don’t see as work they’ll be more inclined to go, and once they are there they have the opportunity to maybe find something else that interests them.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Also, just getting started can start you feeling better and keep you going!
    Thanks Willie.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Is Anthony a track superstar? Wow, is that why you fall asleep in class? Thanks you guys!

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Austin, I love that you are working wit your grandma. Grandma’s really need it especially for the bones. Thanks Austin.

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Your welcome Lauren :).

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    You should feel so good about helping your mom and family. It makes me feel good too, even though family can be the hardest to motivate!

  • Angela Hoch

    Yes!! That’s seriously one of the biggest issues in the fitness world… trying to find a workout that is maintainable and something that one enjoys. If you’re not into running, chances are that creating a workout plan that involves running 10 miles a day, probably isn’t going to last long. If people would stick to things that they enjoy doing, I feel that it would be a lot more maintainable. One can even explore and live on the edge a little bit when researching a new activity that could potentially be right up their alley as well. :)

  • Andersonjc16

    Really liked this article, I love that fact that we should focus more on and be happy with just doing something than worry about how much or how long. For many the battle is just getting to the gym. I have been trying for the longest time to help my father and brother to exercise more and they always ask what should i do or how much for how long and I just tell them do something. I tell them as long as your doing something and engaging in some type of exercise your working towards a healthier version of yourself.

  • Leahrebout

    Love this article, you had me at Beyonce shimmying! I am always trying to think of new ways to workout but I hate having to find different ones every time. When I am able to switch it up and get in the gym I still get annoyed after a couple sessions. My one constant is running. I will always resort back to it and it is a major stress reliever for me. The way I look at it, even if I’m not switching it up all of the time at least running is getting me ahead of those sitting on the couch! :)Now that I can apply this article to my own life I know that just keeping moving is the most important.

  • Brittney Glende

    Thank you Ann for sharing this with us! The best exercise for me does go by a daily basis. Some days I simply am just warn out but I know that I still need to get some what of a work out in, on those days its mainly just cardio and abs so that way I feel that I did something :) On the days where I am feeling really motivated and do not have much going on those are the days I will get a great work out in more so then just cardio and abs. Thanks Ann

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    It’s like pennies in the bank. A little, consistently goes a really long way. Thanks Hein.

  • Drew

    It really does dan! What motives you to go to the gym so much?! Like Ann always states its not which is the best workout its which one will you actually stick to?! I did change my diet, i switched to zero junk food, and no soda. I eat chicken, lettuce, and oatmeal so the gains I’ve seen have really been promising!

  • Ryan R

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments, Ann Garvin. For those who don’t consider themselves fans of running, swimming, or biking, there are many different sports and active hobbies that individuals can incorporate into their daily lives. I found a 29.5 inch orange sphere when I was four years old, and it has and always will be the one thing that keeps me active. Now it’s up to you to find what will keep you active. Hoorah. If I had the pleasure of meeting Ann Garvin in person, I would ask her if she’s ever seen Beyonce shimmy.

  • vitalecm03

    I agree Ann! The best workouts for myself would have to be cardio, abs, buns and thighs, these work especially well on me as a workout dvd. Preferably Jillian Michaels. Staying motivated to keep going has been my issue, but I feel it’s easier with workouts like hers. Besides who wants a thigh gap? ;)

  • Drew

    Thats great! Your finding workouts that you enjoy and keep you going! I know a lot of people who use DVD’s and love that type of cardio workout. Some say its just a quick 15 minutes, but that 15 minutes is torture!! Have you ver tried P90X

  • Daniel John

    My friends have made an impact on the amount I exercise. For example I would not have been able to finish the indoor ironman alone. I have also walked to classes more instead of using man car. Your diet sounds good but are you switching it up, or are you just eating chicken salads every day?

  • Kobajr18

    Thank you for the article. I agree completely with you in that the best exercise is the one that you will continue to do. Not many people have the discipline to go to the gym everyday and stick to a workout plan. Finding an activity you enjoy doing that is active is extremely beneficial as it avoids a burnout. Awesome post.

  • vitalecm03

    No I’ve been wanting to get my hands on it for awhile though! I recently tried Insanity and that is crazy hard, especially when you have been out of shape for a long time and just jump right into it! But I would keep doing just because I know it will help me in the long run.

  • Drew

    Yeah thats a great self motivator. Surrounding yourself with others who enjoy your passions or hobbies is a great motivator! I switch it up occasionally but do you have anything in mind that i should do! I know that the same diet will just lack certain nutrients my body needs!

  • Daniel John

    Yea switching your diet up is important. I personally like tuna, you can mix it with olive oil instead of mayo to make it healthier. Tuna has a lot of protein, low fat and you can substitute it for your chicken. You also mentioned “gains” in regards to working out. Tuna will help you build more muscle and if you eat my spinach leaves in your salad that might help too.

  • Drew

    Yeah insanity is really tough. A lot of people drop out of exercising when they jump right into the deep end. Be careful not to overdue it from the start. Once you overdue it, getting back at it is nearly impossible! How often and how long do you generally workout for during your day or week!

  • vitalecm03

    I try to workout 3-5 times a week for and hour but it always varies if I have to put my school priorities first

  • Drew

    Yeah, I never really got into tuna. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but you know that we only need 15% of our diet to be protein the rest we excrete in urine. I really look forward to trying the substitutes you have mentioned here any information helps! What else do you eat besides tuna and chicken? How many cheat days do you allow yourself during the week!

  • Daniel John

    Yea I learned that in Ann’s class, that is why I stopped taking protein shakes. I have started to eat these zero carb noodles and I think they are a great substitute to regular noddles because they still taste good. What is your overall goal with your diet/workouts? I try to workout everyday and I don’t really have a cheat day. I eat how I want as long as I stay near my daily caloric intake. I suggest figuring out your daily intake to better your results.

  • Drew

    Thats really good! Do you switch up your workouts? Its suppose to e really beneficial to not workout the same parts day after day. Variety is good, did you change your diet up also or just start working out?

  • Drew

    Thats really smart. I had no idea that taking protein shakes weren’t necessary until her class. What else have you learned from taking Ann’s class that you either used to believe or you see people do now?!

  • vitalecm03

    Everything is still a work in progress and I know I want to make this change it can just be so hard sometimes. I started just working out and then tried to change my diet. Im still trying to adjust to everything. Hopefully this summer will help since I won’t have school to worry about

  • ghilonipt09

    Thank you for this article Ann. I agree that the best exercise is one that you will continue to do on a daily routine. It is the hardest to get over that two week hump and make it in your daily routine, but it must be done in order to keep on exercising. Motivation is the key to keeping your daily routine the same. Again thanks for the article! What do you think even 30 minutes of workouts would do to someone who does not workout at all?

  • ghilonipt09

    I exercise when a big test is coming up or I am just frustrated with people around me. I feel like it is not always good to rely on exercise to be an emotional breaker, but its almost the only way you can get away from the world and just enjoy yourself and your music. Just remember to always push your hardest.

  • ghilonipt09

    Well I think the key is setting a goal for your day and eventually plan out what your going to work out to improve yourself and exercising is suppose to kick your ass. It is almost stressful but in the end it does kick your ass and you end up less stressed overall.

  • ghilonipt09

    Ann, I think it would be interesting in a lecture class to have students walk on a treadmill and pay attention instead of sitting down all day. Like in high school that is all we did is sit all day. By the end of the day your more exhausted from sitting down to long. I think it would be a great research idea…!

  • ghilonipt09

    Drew, do you think those 15 minute workouts really work though? Like instead of p90x they made the T25 which is suppose to be the same workout in 25 minutes? How can that be?

  • Drew

    I totally know where your coming from! Change is extremely difficult. The struggle is real lol. The start is the hardest part! After the first couple of weeks you become hooked and working out just makes you feel better! The diet only helps too

  • Jcoppa

    Since I graduated, I’ve been searching for that thing that makes me excited to work out again. In high school, it was swimming. I’d actually be excited to wake up at 5am to jump into the pool. I haven’t been able to find that since. But I cam to UW-Whitewater and joined a Yoga class. And that got me excited to work out again. Its so different from swimming, much slower paced but it still works somehow. I tried strength training, jogging, cycling classes, but none of it was fun for me.

    My mom is losing weight by changing her diet, and she’s been walking around the neighborhood as well. I’ll have to do some soul searching with her and send her this article so she realizes she should find something she loves, just to get her heart racing for something. The scary dogs barking at her from behind the fence, I’m sure get her heart racing, but not in the right way.

  • Drew

    I really do! I now that it doesn’t sound ethical and may be doubts in many minds but i really think that that 15-18 minutes or what ever it may be does work. The work out is extremely strenuous and challenging. Variety is key but to through that workout in occasionally is extremely important ill stick to that point!

  • vitalecm03

    I’m thinking about getting a personal trainer to help with building the best workouts and diet plans!

  • Ryan R

    Oh, Daniel John Cates, your inspiration makes me smile. I have forever tried to get my father to become an active and more healthy individual for the sake of his possible future medical issues. However, these attempts have been to no avail. If only you could share with me your secrets, oh wise one. I would be ever so grateful.

  • Ryan R

    Amanda Ong, I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. There are so many people who go to the gym, frown-face on, and go do what they consider strenuous work. Exercise should be a fun, stress relieving activity, not some chore. Those who don’t enjoy what they’re doing will simply burn out or quit eventually. It’s all about finding something to do that we all love that will save our lives at the same time. So let’s get out there and do it, Amanda Ong!

  • Daniel John

    Getting involved with them is an easy way to start a habit. After dinner make it a regular routine to walk to the end of the road. As the routine counties you can lengthen the distance. That is how I got my mom and sister to be more active. Hope it helps Ryan, glad my inspiration makes you smile.

  • paleskij

    I admittedly clicked on this article because I thought it would tell me the answer to this question: which form of exercise really is the most effective? But of course this is “Unreasonable” and these posts are going to make you think more than your average article. I’m still satisfied with the answer given, however, because it really is true, and it changes based on your stage in life. I used to abhor running–as a swimmer, running was “punishment” for poor times and misbehavior at practice. But last summer I ran a 10k at the request of a roommate and loved training for it. Then I ran a 5K with my mom over break and actually placed in my age group. Now it’s an activity I love to do, and I can be consistent with it. I love the way this transfers over to the business world–don’t push too hard to try to do something that isn’t truly that effective; it’ll only backfire on you. Open your mind to other posibilities, and know that in business especially nothing is ever set in stone.

  • jack lomax

    If you struggle to find the motivation to workout, simply put – you won’t work out. You need a target. If not a target, you need to be doing something you enjoy doing.
    Starting is the struggle. Results aren’t coming right away and you feel like they never will! If you have a target, you are more likely to keep going instead of working out aimlessly – “because you know its good for you.”

    Aslong as the motivation/drive/passion is there to do what you do, you’ll continue. As soon as the above factors begin to waiver, it might be time for a change/or a slight tweaking of the structure/ to ensure the effort/exercise is unwaivered.

  • Ryan R

    Thank you for the advice, Dan Cates. I actually think I may try this. Because although my personal health is very important to me, just as important is the health of those around me. I want to be able to share my life with those that I love for as long as I can, and if starting to walk to the end of the road and back can be the start to a new lifestyle, I’m definitely up for it!

  • MeierKM23

    Thank you for sharing this article Ann. I agree that the best exercise is one that you will continue to do on a daily basis. Sometimes, as I am going to the gym, I have it in my head what kinds of things I should do for the workout (thinking I should do another kind of workout) but when I get there, I do the same things I usually do instead of trying something new because I am so comfortable. It can be hard to make it a daily routine, but doing the exercises you actually enjoy and that your good at can motivate you, as it works for me. Being motivated also helps me, because at the end of a good workout, I feel good and know if I keep it up everyday, it will be beneficial in the long run. Thanks again for sharing this!

  • TeamGarvin

    This is awesome. People always tell me workouts that worked best for them, or a pill that they took which helped them look like they look. In the end I look at their workouts and the reason why they work is because the amount of effort they put forth and the intensity of the workout is why they look the way they look. I try telling them their bodies would look the same without all the crap they take and with their diet, because of the intensity of their workout. They sit their and tell me no it’s the crap they put in and try to make me take it, but because of your classes I know it’s all crap. It is true though most Americans hate working out so they don’t. If you like playing catch or lifting certain lifts then do that because it’s better than nothing and better than taking a pill that will never work.

  • MeierKM23

    I would have to agree with you on this! I don’t take any of those pills or other stuff, and have learned a lot just by taking your class Ann! After I hear of what some of the people I know take just to look the way they look, I tell them how bad it is for them and that it isn’t even FDA approved. They keep doing what they believe though. Yes, Americans hate working out, but if people just find the activities they enjoy doing, and know they will continue to participate in them, that is what they should do, and it is more beneficial than taking all of those weight loss pills or some of the protein powder.

  • MeierKM23

    I agree with you on this, and do admit to not going to the gym everyday because missing one day “can’t hurt”, but sometimes that one day can turn into a couple more days. Then I will get back to it, and sometimes feel like I am behind. Finding something that you like to do (for me it is shooting hoops or taking a good jog) makes you want to do it everyday, because 1) you enjoy the activity and 2) it puts you in a good mood knowing you got a good workout in and that you enjoyed doing it!

  • TeamGarvin

    Thank you It’s nice to know I am not the only one to think that. I also just thought how you put it is more beneficial than taking all those weight loss pills or some protein powder, it’s true. Working out and eating healthy give you energy through out your day. Does a diet pill do that? The answer is probably no.

  • MeierKM23

    Exactly! Thank you! I have learned a lot in Ann’s class and that eating healthy and working out are very important not just for your health now but down the road as well!

  • Tkachukme11

    And i feel there are definitely more people like us around campus that feel the guilt of not working out every day. Being in college though, it is hard to balance classes, jobs, working out, studying, and a social life. When I constantly see the same people in the gym who spend hours there, I do have a judgement that they must not have a very busy schedule.

  • Tyler Steinmetz

    What a great way to put it, Ann! A lot of people get all hyped up with P90X or some other high volume workout and they burn themselves out after one or two days and never pick it up again! Know what level of fitness you are in and then go from there! Someone who is totally out of shape and hasn’t exercised in years should not have their first day of rehabbing be P90X. They need to do partake in a workout that is easy, yet challenging for them. They must also have the ability to do it before they start it. Do what is best for you!

  • Tyler Steinmetz

    Everyone needs a target!! Once you get there, the feeling is amazing! The struggle is always the hard part, but in the end it is completely worth it! Motivation is a hard thing to give to someone that doesn’t want it and a lot of people don’t.

  • Tkachukme11

    I also think that people continue to do the same exercise routine because they get nervous or feel judged if they do an exercise out of the ordinary. I am guilty of this too because I don’t want people watching me. That’s when we just do the regular exercises quick and then call it a day.

  • Tkachukme11

    I bet your grandma just absolutely loves that she is working out but also working out because you told her what to do! If one doesn’t enjoy working out, then that is because they are doing a workout that isn’t right for them. Since I am a group fitnesss instructor, working out by myself is just boring now and I feel weird not talking while working out.

  • Jcoppa

    Exactly, as an aspiring personal trainer I do a lot of work with my friends just to help out and they always burn out quickly because they want to try the new fad and realize it’s not what they want. It’s hard to maintain a regimen when you’re not doing what is right for yourself. Everyone is different and people should take the time to realize that what’s right for one isn’t right for all. Health isn’t an “one size fits all”…

  • lepkowskjj29

    I totally agree people don’t like doing things out of the norm and that includes exercise routine.

  • Tyler Steinmetz

    The new fad isn’t always the best fad! People need to realize that they need to know their limits and not overextend too much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to test your limits but some people push it much too far! Know what is best for you!

  • Junhan Shi

    Great post. I totally agree with your idea that the best exercise is the one you will actually do and do on a regular basis. Sometimes we just want to spend less time in working out and get a quick and good performance on our body; however, we ignore that it is not going well if we do not insist on doing it. Some people will begin for seven days a week, and then four days a week, and then one day a week. This is not a good way for us to do exercise, and I believe only if we insist on doing it, we can get a good result. It does not matter how long you do exercise every single day, but how many days you can do it. Therefore, I think that finding the best way to exercise and insisting on doing it are very important for us.

  • Jack Delabar

    Totally agree,Tyler. Another important part of this is to not just start excercising super hard right away if you are new to the weight room or treadmill. You must ease into it if you are planning on sticking to it. I know this from first hand experience.

  • Jack Delabar

    Personally, I like to find activities to do that accomplish something in order to get my exercise. In my mind, going to the gym and running in place with a bunch of people seems like a waste to me. If you’re going to run, go down to the lake and run around and look at the scenery. If you want to ride a bike, ride your bike around town, not in a room with a bunch of others wearing headphones. I do things like building, raking leaves or even just push-ups to get my exercise because those are things that I enjoy! Kill 2 birds with one healthy stone.

  • LevenhagAL14

    This is such a great article. As someone who is hesitant to go to the gym and be surrounded by the regular attendees who all seem to know what they’re doing, it has been hard to find the motivation to go in there and get work done. I find myself seeking out alternatives, for example going for a jog outside and doing sit ups in my apartment, instead of heading to the crowded gym. It’s so reassuring to read that it’s okay to do what I’m comfortable with, rather than push myself out of my comfort zone.
    My question to other readers, is what are your favorite alternative exercise methods?

  • LevenhagAL14

    Oh my gosh, I totally agree with you! I tried doing Insanity with my mom and we both ended up giving up after a few days, it was so hard to keep up with the video. Instead, my mom decided to start dieting and exercising in her own way and now she has lost over 100 pounds in the last year.

  • ZakFritz

    This makes a lot of sense. I told someone this before but they never listen. Instead of just starting out easy they always have the goal to complete marathons. This is great and all but the problem is they never have completed one yet, they always quit exercising and go back to square one shortly after starting.

  • aulm92

    Oh I can totally relate, a lot of my friends will just jump into Insanity or bootcamp type workouts expecting the crazy results they see in the infomercials. Then, they end up quitting after a couple of weeks and make up a ton of excuses why they can’t do it anymore and find themselves back at square one just like you said.

  • aulm92

    Oh for sure, I feel like everyone in the gym is always so worried about what everyone around them is doing instead of themselves. Then they end up hurting themselves or becoming discouraged, when in reality they should just be worried about whats heavy for themselves and improving themselves.

  • Finella Yudoprawiro

    This is such an awesome article. I do not exercise in a daily basis however if I exercise, my goal is to have a better figure. My friends who went to the gym, exercise hard and I can’t follow their exercise. However this article opened my eyes as simple exercise that we can do daily is the best exercise for us. It is hard to get motivated when the exercise are too hard ,however this is making me motivated as there are many exercise that we can do daily in order to keep our health and get fit.

  • aulm92

    I couldn’t agree more, it really annoys me when people claim that they are going to do some kind of fad workout to get in shape and just end up back at square one. If more people just did what they enjoyed they would overall be happier with themselves.

  • aulm92

    I’m kinda just jumping into this conversation, but there is a ton of great information on youtube fitness channels that could really help you without spending all the money on a personal trainer! But if that’s what you want to do, then more power to you! Do what will work best for you!

  • aulm92

    Its honestly crazy how big of a difference daily workouts can make over the course of a year even if it is just walking or light biking. Being healthy and fit doesn’t mean having an 8 pack and being ripped, it means feeling good and being active. Too many people overlook that aspect of health.

  • aulm92

    I’m curious, what is it about an elliptical that appeals to you so much? For me it’s so hard to do cardio inside because i find it to just be an absolute bore fest. I’m like you in the sense that I would much prefer to be outside and get my cardio in.

  • aulm92

    I think that is my favorite part about that mentality, that it can be applied so many other things than just athletics or working out. I feel like if more people took that mentality toward other things they would be much more successful.

  • pinsolera

    Absolutely. It doesn’t even feel like you’re working at all. What’s your favorite sport to play with your friends?

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Great advice, Ann! Thank you for this! Realizing that the best exercise is the one you will actually do, and do on a regular basis is great advice for me. It is also fabulous advice for people I will be advising to become healthier in the future. Most people think running is the best exercise but many people don’t like running. If they feel running is the best but don’t like it then it is more likely that they won’t do it. By advising them that the best exercise is the the one you actually do this is more reasonable will have better odds they will actually do it. Whether it’s walking the dog, playing volleyball or sitting on a yoga ball at work, as long as they do it, that’s what matters! Thank you again for this advice!

  • aulm92

    That’s an excellent point! I totally agree with your view toward workout, whatever you can sustain would is honestly the best exercise for you!

  • aulm92

    Yes i find this to be completely true with a lot of my friends and family that ask me about working out. They want the fad program that will claim to get them in shape in X amount of days and just end up back at square one when they don’t finish the program. Just stick to what you like and what you can sustain and it’ll make you happier in the long run.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    I agree! I used to go to the gym a lot but definitely not anymore. I agree that it’s great advice for people like us. I feel a majority of the population can relate to this as well. If we can share this advice as much as possible, more of the population can then be healthier and exercise in their own way!

  • Daniel John

    I enjoying the elliptical because it is easier on my knees than any other machine. I feel like I get a better full body workout on the elliptical. I understand you think working on cardio inside is boring but what machine would you use for cardio in a weight room?

  • Caitlin Donohue

    P90X is such a great example! That was such a fad for a while. Everyone was trying that, myself included. It’s so hard to do on a regular basis without being extremely disciplined every.single.day. That’s a lot for people who have more to do in their every day lives than simply exercise. Another reason the advice Ann gave us is so great!

  • Caitlin Donohue

    I agree, Jack. When you can accomplish something AND get an exercise that is a perfect activity, to me. This winter our snow blower chose the days it wanted to work so shoveling snow definitely toned my arms a bit! So I cleared the driveway of snow and got a nice workout in.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    I also like the perspective you put it in for your example of riding a bike around town vs. in a room with others wearing headphones. It was much nicer for me to shovel snow outside vs. lifting heavy weights at the gym. Kind of silly the things humans have invented to exercise and only exercise.

  • LevenhagAL14

    Yup, I’ve definitely been in that position before! It’s super embarrassing to admit that you over did it, but ultimately finding a better way to exercise is the best alternative. Doing what feels best for you is the most reasonable advice to give someone.

  • LevenhagAL14

    Right! It’s all about informing people and caring enough to help people better themselves. I just wish people were more accepting. For example, I’ve heard people laugh at the bigger person at the gym because of their body type. But really, we should all be encouraging each other to keep it up, because making the effort to better yourself is not an easy decision to make!

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Maybe just the act of trying new things is a good way to keep working out. Another way is even by looking forward to season changes. One example of season change exercises is by getting excited for it to get warm out so you can roller blade or kayak outside. Being excited to do some physical activity is great!

  • Kevin Weber

    Great point! People want things done quickly. They don’t want to take the time to accomplish something. By jumping in to things quickly, you can become injury prone much quicker. Things take time to achieve.

  • Steven Bichler

    Great article Ann. It’s so simple too. Why would you force someone to do an activity they aren’t fully committed too and will probably stop doing after 6 weeks. When if you spent those 6 weeks experimenting with different exercises you could have found one to last you a lifetime.

  • Steven Bichler

    I agree 100 percent Jack. Even when things don’t go your way wether its injury, life problems, etc. if you have that motivation/drive/passion you will end up working through those issues to workout. Also as you said, starting is the toughest part.

  • schrammjm26

    Thanks for posting this it’s something my generation definitely needs to hear! So many people just see advertisements for supplements and think they that can throw a bunch of chemicals in their body and they will have that perfect body they want. Truth be told there is no replacement for water, sleep, and drive. With those three elements you can get the body you want as long as you stick to your routine like you mentioned. Half of those supplements out there are just a boat load of caffeine mixed with little amounts of chemicals that will get peoples attention but don’t actually do anything, its all mental.

  • Trang Ho

    This is really cool,
    Ann! I like the way that you define “the best exercise” simply as
    “the one you will actually do, and do on a regular basis.” Even
    though this definition/idea is simple, it takes a long time for many people,
    including me, to recognize it. Here is my little story, or my so-called
    adventure to find my best exercise. When I went to college and started living
    apart from my family, study pressure and home-sickness put a lot of pressure on
    me. The more stressed I felt, the more motivated I was to turn to food for
    emotional relief. Due to this, I gained 7 lbs just within 2 weeks. Later on, I
    lost my pear-shaped body and became a big apple (T.T) I could even feel that my
    body was very heavy in every single step I took. Thus, I tried many super harsh
    diet plans and heavy exercises to lose weight as fast as possible. All of them
    did not work out for me because I just felt hungrier and ate more right after
    these restrictive plans. Clearly, diet plans and heavy exercises were not my
    best exercise. I talked to my mom for her advice. This conversation was 4-hour
    long, but its result was fantastic and unbelievable: I found my best exercise
    and lost 5lbs in the second week of new exercise practice. I call this exercise
    “smiley exercise.” It’s very simple: Just do whatever makes you smile
    and happy. I watched comedy shows, talked to new people, hung out with friends,
    took dancing class, etc. I guess the point here is that I do not have enough
    time to think about food, thereby stopping craving for it, when I devote my
    time for fun (remember smiling is also a way to burn calories!). Another rule
    for this exercise is that I never try to refrain myself from eating, but only
    eat when there is someone eating with me. The reason is that you can also burn
    calories when talking to someone. The last but most wonderful exercise is to go
    shopping. Shopping makes girls happy, and you can walk tirelessly store by
    store (perfect exercise). Just buy whatever you want. If you worry about your
    budget, just buy at the stores that accept returns ^^ However, in my situation,
    I actually did not want to buy anything because I could not fit in it. Despite
    this problem, another good aspect of shopping is that you can also burn
    calories when trying clothes on. When you try things on, you have another
    chance to look at your body, thereby having more motivation to get back to “pear”
    shape. Due to this motivation, I bought several slim fit dresses and put them
    right next to my mirror at home. This encouraged me to take care of my body
    better so that I could wear these dresses one day. I think that happiness and
    smiling are the most popular things that each of us desires and wants to do on
    a regular basis. Therefore, I guess “smiley exercise” would work with everyone.

  • jkailing

    I can relate to this article a lot. There are days that I go to workout and I just don’t have it, I don’t have the energy, or the mindset to work as hard as I know that I can or I should. But I also have those days where I go into a workout and surprise myself because I feel like I could go all day long. I think that those days even out and now I’m ok with that, before I would try to push myself during the bad days and just be miserable while working out, now I just work out as much as I can that day and if I feel like I need to stop early I do and just come back the next day refreshed and ready to get back at it.

  • jkailing

    I agree that the first 2 weeks of starting to work out is the hardest because you feel like you have to go and have to make time for it, but after the first 2 weeks it just becomes natural and you just start doing it out of routine. I think the best way to go about starting is to just do as much as your comfortable to start and then work up from there.

  • AndreaBehling

    Ever since you’ve said this in class, it’s helped me stay focused and motivated to do something rather than nothing. Instead of bargaining with myself and saying, “Well, 20 mins isn’t even enough to do the “right” stuff to actually workout. Ever since I’ve stopped looking at it that way, my motivation has skyrocketed. Thanks for your words!

  • AndreaBehling

    I’m with you on that! I often feel like I’m not going hard enough and I need to make up for it somehow…then I just end up not doing it. Better to just keep my comfortable pace instead of sitting on my butt!

  • AndreaBehling

    I can definitely relate! I’d take sit ups in my apt. and a jog outside over a crowded gym any day!

  • ZakFritz

    I have also had problems with this in the past. In high school athletics I did not know the proper way to train so I went out and went as hard as I could almost everyday. I made half the season and had a season ending injury because of this.

  • Frank_Stanek

    It’s incredibly easy to get frustrated or discouraged for an insane amount of reasons when exercising. For me a lot of the time it seems like I am solar powered since I have a hard time getting my lazy butt off the couch on days when it is rainy and gloomy (like right now actually). Still while I do agree that it would be totally awesome if I could workout for 2 hours and keep that up consistently I am not yet that deluded so I try and keep in mind that all I really need to do is find that activity that will get me started and go from there.

  • Austin Dorman

    Oh of course! Can’t turn down Grandma. Only problem is she is now a health nut and is in tremendous shape for her age, it’s tough because she’s in better shape than me now…at 85 it’s pretty impressive.

  • Austin Dorman

    “What’s gonna get me abs the fastest?” That’s the most common question. People are always looking for the fastest results, so they’re not very pleased when I tell them there is no fast way.

  • Austin Dorman

    I fully agree. I don’t know how those people can balance school, social life, a job, and working out for 2 hours everyday. I will admit that I do tend to spend more time in my social life than I should, but I still manage to balance my school work in there. If I were to throw in working out for 2 hours every single day then I would have to either eliminate school work or social life…I think I’ll just stick to my hiking and biking for most of my exercise.

  • Austin Dorman

    Oh yeah! My grandma is a health nut now. And at 84 years old, she is in better shape than I am. And I fully agree, I’m not a huge fan of just running on a treadmill for and hour, but I have no problem hiking all day. It’s all about finding an exercise that you love and sticking with it.

  • laurenkraft

    haha I get the same reaction, Its like just do something active that you enjoy. Don’t expect to get abs just by doing a boat load of sit ups and ab exercises. I also really hate the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen” because I am not gonna lie I eat extremely healthy but that alone still isn’t gonna get me abs ha! I still think its about 50% exercise 50%eating right. But I guess for some doing one or the other is a start.

  • laurenkraft

    I am so with you guys! Everyone I feel has days like this, where they just are not feeling it! I know that if I am not feeling it during a work out I dont stress about it I just will do what I can and then stop because if I keep going like you said I will just be miserable.

  • laurenkraft

    I agree, Its hard sometimes though to ignore those advertisements because you want to be better. They are so convincing sometimes! But then you take the supplements and realize you wasted your money because nothing changed!

  • laurenkraft

    So many of my friends have done this exact same thing, It is kind of funny to me because I exercise on a regular basis and they don’t yet they think that they are better because they are going to attempt insanity and expect a 6 pack in 8 weeks or however long that is. But eventually they miss a day or week or two weeks and give up.

  • laurenkraft

    I agree, I know of many people who think they can’t work out because they don’t have a gym membership. There are sooo many ways to exercise without a gym membership its uncountable!

  • jkailing

    I agree with this. I think that experimentation, and trial and error are very important when it comes to exercise. there are going to be some exercises that you don’t like and there are going to be some that you love and the only way to figure it out is by trial and error, and not getting discouraged when you don’t like some.

  • Drew

    Thats a great idea, if you have the extra cash for it! A lot of great free workouts you can find online! If its the motivator your looking for you should bring a friend who is excited about working out also!

  • Brandon

    Thanks for the article! This is so true there are times when you go to the gym you may not the energy as you do other days. I agree the best exercise you could do is have energy and motivation and if create goals for yourself you achieve them as you workout. It will help you stay motivated about working out each day.

  • jkailing

    I agree that there are so many fad workout videos that are marketed to burn fat instantly but the people that usually try and do them can’t keep up with the daily intensity and just stop after a while because it was too much. I think that people need to realize that it is ok to start slow and only do what you can do comfortably and go from there.

  • Drew

    Hey Brandon motivation is key. Do you believe in the energy drinks to get motivation. I mean we all know you have to have that drive to workout. Without that drive you are essentially wasting your time. So how do you get your energy?!

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Definitely! You can work out by just looking up a youtube video. That’s a great way to try something new as well. AND in the privacy of your own home if that’s what some people want.

  • jkailing

    I agree with this I think that people should just worry about being happy with themselves after finishing a workout, I don’t think that if they didn’t meet the required time it should be a failure. I think that if people just realize that any sort of time spent on exercising is better than none they wouldn’t be as discouraged to start off at a lower amount.

  • Caitlin Donohue

    Absolutely! If you can get people to better themselves then you’ve helped. I could not agree more about people being accepting of bigger people. To make fun of someone because they are larger WHILE they are riding a bike, going for a walk or at the gym is ridiculous because it couldn’t be more obvious that they are doing something about it!

  • Austin Dorman

    I definitely agree that it’s about 50/50. I have a family friend who tries to eat healthy but complains to me when he doesn’t see results. I explain that he has to start exercising. And when he exercises he tends to eat less healthy. So then again he complains to me that he’s not seeing results. People have to find a good balance of healthy eating and working out to achieve their goals.

  • Daniel John

    I agree with you Tyler, although p90x and the insanity workouts are effective, not many will actually sick out the recommended days. For example, I consider myself active and I enjoy working out but I practiced the insanity workout for no more than 2weeks. The videos made me burn out and that is not a good workout. You make some great points on an effective stout, what do you topically do in the weight room?

  • lex_alwaysMIA

    I believe the best exercise is knowing that you are giving it your best effort. There are days when I do not feel like going to the gym because I am tired. Yet I still find the strength to substitute a different work out instead. Being realistic with yourself and knowing the type of person you are helps. Then you are not comparing yourself to others and are truly committed to helping yourself with exercise.

  • Tkachukme11

    I am right there with you when we say that social life is very important. But that shows that we both enjoy being around people and that in a sense is exercise and well-being. Half of the time when I am with my friends we will be outside playing frisbee or going on random adventures that keep us moving.

  • Tkachukme11

    That’s not good that your workout was making you feel worse. Usually after one works out they feel accomplished and ready to get the day going. It is almost like you were forcing yourself to do p90x. Working out should be enjoyable for whichever kind of workout one chooses,

  • Tkachukme11

    Easing in is a huge part. When people exercise, I feel they expect to see results right away. Like you aren’t going to have awesome abs after just doing 10 minutes of core! That’s another reason why people give up.

  • Tkachukme11

    I was laughing at the beginning of your post because it is so true. One day turns into weeks, and there is nothing worse than trying to come back and get in shape. So find an activity or multiple that you know will keep you active. People just never think they are exercising when they don’t go to the gym. It is like when people don’t think others are practicing their faith because they don’t go to church, when really they believe in their own faith.

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    I agree, what you put in, is what you get out. Why do something and just go through the motions..you wont see results that way!

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    I cant stand people who go to the gym and half ass things. I know they are there and doing something, but cmon people if youre gonna go to the gym, do something when you are there, do not just go on your phone!

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    Supplements dont supplement for hard work!!

  • Palecekb

    and less stressed is always better then more stressed. I think if I planned my day out more, it would be better if I exercised in the morning, but I know that it is near impossible to wake up early and have enough time to get everything done. I wish I was a morning person.

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    Our whole country is that way, no matter what it is. People want money, food, lose weight, etc everything way too fast. It is a process! People cant forget that!

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    I agree, workout wherever you feel comfortable, and wherever you are going to push yourself without having to worry that somebody is judging you for working hard.

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    I agree completely! Youtube is a great way for people to learn new exercises that they can do right in their own home.

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    If working out isnt fun, why do it? Make it fun! (collect the benefits of good health)

  • Kyle Schiedemeyer

    Thats awesome!! Exercise is an amazing thing!

  • Logan Dohmeier

    It seems like there are a lot of people who use energy drinks to try and “get pumped’ to workout but there are healthy alternatives that will give you a longer lasting energy “boost effect”. Caffeine always helps but not without the proper sugar levels in your body so try it with some fruit like apples or bananas. Those are pretty good to eat a little bit before workouts because the natural sugar is metabolized efficiently and it is effective in helping give your muscles the energy they need for any workout.

  • John Darrow

    I really like what this is about so thank you for sharing it. I agree with Ann’s approach here in that sometimes the best “exercises” are to be done specially for where we are and the circumstances we are facing. Because everything happens so fast these days its easy to forget that to be great at something you need to start and step 1 and progress. It’s easy to want to skip everything and hope to be great, it’s actually maybe even human nature because of it’s easier path. AS I said I agree with everything stated here and would like to add that I think the best exercise daily is being loyal to your friends, family, and those who mean the world to you.

  • 2lvinC

    Thank you very much for this article. I loved the comparison
    between a start-up and exercising. After a certain point, exercising is a mind
    game. Being able to push pass the exhaustion towards a new record. Getting told
    “no” is very discouraging; one must be able to push past the negativity and
    open oneself to vulnerability once again. I was wondering if there are any
    articles or any suggestions you might have to aid people in opening their minds
    up to other possibilities. Thank you again for this amazing article.

  • chi shaolong

    I agree with this author, so around me, there are so much people ask about how to lost weight or how to workout. In fact, the reason why we have never lost our weight is sustained, we can workout today, tomorrow or even a month, but sometimes we cannot do day by day. Sometimes other thing interrupt the schedule, we would be lazy at that time. this is why we cannot get the perfect body.

  • Austin Dorman

    I’ve never really thought of that. My friends and I are usually golfing, playing frisbee, or throwing a ball around. I’ve never really thought of that as exercise. I guess that makes that the best kind of exercise haha

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    This is such a great article, Ann. I remember when you and I discussed how we feel a lot of people take exercise too seriously. In my opinion, if exercise is thought of in a less serious manner, then people are more likely to commit. Personally, I like to change up my exercises. Now that it’s getting warmer, I’m pretty excited to hike and ride my bike while during the winter, I enjoy swimming (indoors of course).

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    I’ve always thought that the hardest part about exercise is walking out the door. I tend to feel lazy until I begin my workout, which naturally boosts my energy levels. Otherwise, you could try to eat some good carbs beforehand. In the morning, eating an apple helps prepare my energy levels.

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    Kyle, how many times have you seen someone go to the gym JUST to take selfies? That always kills me.

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    I like to change it up! I’m so thankful that it’s finally getting nice outside so I can hike and jog. I don’t mind the gym when the weather is bad though.

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    Do you feel that people exercise more so to achieve the body look they desire instead of total wellness?

  • Jcoppa

    Absolutely! That’s a really good way of looking at exercise! In the summer, I loooooove to rollerblade. In the winter, I swim and do yoga. The fall is my favorite time to run outside because the weather is perfect. It definitely keeps things fresh and exciting, instead of the same monotonous routine you do everyday.

  • Eric F Jacob

    I have always been involved different kinds of activities that require physical abilities since my early childhood. However, since college I have not been able to set up a time where i could train and exercise for my body. Since then, i gained a lot of weight and then i started to get really lazy to take care of my body.
    Moving on…. I have tried to dedicate some of my time of the week (3times / week) to go to the gym and to regain my physical condition. I really need to gather myself and start a routine where I could see some result from what i have put into. In addition, i believe that motivation and determination to achieve a goal for your physical ability can be rewarding! Thanks for the post! :)

  • Janna Bartels

    I love this! Thank you Ann. Exercise is a personal choice that we have to make to do and I think people should choice something they ENJOY doing. We are more likely to continue doing something we enjoy! As a future PE teacher, I feel like my goal is to help students see that physical activity can be fun as well as rewarding for their health.

  • Jessica Walker

    It is funny that you put this in your article because I remember this from your class last year. Being a personal trainer, my mom came to me this past summer and goes “Jessica, what is the best exercise?” and thinking back to you I responded with “the exercise that you will actually do.” Calling me a smart ass and not happy with my response she rolled her eyes and said “you’re never going to keep your clients like that.” Although I would never say it this harsh to one of my clients it is very true. Especially starting out –you need to find something you are interested in and excited about… something you will actually want to do! The hardest part about exercising is not what to do or what not to do, but to get you in the right mindset and to really want it for yourself. After a little bit of conversation after, my mom realized I was right, but still pretended to be upset with me.

  • ander106

    I have to admit that I totally fell for the title of this article! I completely agree with what you’re saying. It’s interesting to think of exercise in terms of a business, but they both take extremely hard work, dedication and pain/failure. They both consist of trial after trial, figuring out what works and what doesn’t work for your specific body/business. But at the end of all the struggles, you feel so much stronger and more successful than ever before.

  • licynthia

    Thank you posting this great article! I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes it’s not about the best exercise or the one that would make you work the hardest but it’s the one that you would actually do consistently. I believe that as long as you’re willing to put in the effort, it can be considered as the “best” exercise.

  • Felicia

    Good article! I think we can apply this not only for exercising, but also for work. How long we can do is more important and efficient than what we do. Thanks for sharing this!

  • MeierKM23

    Definitely sounds like something I do. Don’t get me wrong I love working out but, I am the same way!

  • MeierKM23

    Exactly! I do this and it sucks but feels good knowing you got a good workout in and that is a good way of putting it!

  • beekmane

    My baseball coach always used to preach “the best pitch is strike one.” I like your idea of finding something small that gets you started and then growing from there to find more, larger things that keep you going.

  • Palecekb

    I love that more people including me know more about protein shakes and are able to spread the knowledge! I think one of the most useful things that will stick with me is the drawing she made of the heart, you know the one that should be made into a tattoo, I think that is an easy way of describing the main points of health in a reader, fun friendly way!

  • Palecekb

    Dan, I never thought of putting olive oil in instead of tuna! I usually just watch the amount of tuna I put in but alternatives are great! thanks for the idea.

  • Palecekb

    I agree when you say your friends impact your exercise. Mine do the same but in both ways, there are times when they convince me not to work out and spend more time with them, and then there are times when they ask if I want to go to the gym with them, so it works both ways!

  • Palecekb

    Yes I too think that seeing improvements or gains could lead you to wanting more and encouraging the person to work harder and longer then they had previously.

  • Palecekb

    yes, I agree with you. I have now learned to stop saying “well I worked out today so I can eat this” as much as it hurts to not do it anymore, I still have to remind myself of why I stopped doing it in the first place.

  • Palecekb

    and not need any special equipment! I know in the past I used cans of soup for dumbbells!

  • Palecekb

    I know that you don’t get rewarded with hottest women of 2014 for being healthy, so there are a lot of pressures and rewards for those only going to achieve a certain body look. While the women in the magazine may be healthy, thats not the point the magazine is trying to sell, sadly.

  • PKroening

    A little crazy, and a little logical. I wouldn’t mind that at all. In your lectures, I think it just might keep some of those people off their phones. Except you can exclude me from that list, I would never be caught on my phone in one of THE Ann Garvin’s lectures.

  • Josh Pritchard

    Thanks Drew! At least someone knows what I’m talking about! It’s amazing the things we can accomplish when we workout and keep focused.

  • BartuchGR11

    Thank you for posting this blog. I found it very helpful to me because I have often wondered what is the best exercise workout that burns the most calories and will get me toned the quickest? At the end of the day I want to burn calories and be in shape and do it the fastest way possible. I do agree though the best workout is one you enjoy and will continue doing over the next 30 years because that end up being the most beneficial.

  • Alexandra Helena Marie Nicolof

    They may be healthy, but none of us know how they achieved the ‘look.’ Another thing to keep in mind is that most of those women are fitness models with photographs that have gone under some heavy editing.

  • Keeli Gilbert

    Jess,
    I agree with you that the best exercise is something that you will do and FINISH!! Starting is one thing and props to those who even start, but it is the finishing what you started thing that really knocks people off their rockers.
    I feel this goes not only with clients and other people, but ourselves. I know I find myself searching for hours on pinterest to figure out what exercise I want to do that is the best for me. Now, after this article I will be finding myself an exercise that I will actually do, not just write down on a note card and stash it away in my folder “to do later.”
    How do you keep yourself motivated to keep your clients motivated to reach the finish line?

  • Austin Dorman

    My baseball coach used to say the exact same thing. And it’s so true. If you start out by just walking for exercise every night, well that has the ability to grow into hiking, which could lead to biking and so on. The biggest step and the hardest step to exercising is starting. It’s all about starting and starting with something you enjoy.

  • Austin Dorman

    Jessica’s mom has got it going on! It’s funny because when my grandma found out that I was a health minor she approached me with the same exact question, “Austin, what’s a good exercise for a woman like me?” And I simply replied with, “What do you enjoy?” My grandma loves watching birds, so we came up with a walking route at the park by her house where she can watch birds and also go for a walk. She now walks every day and is tremendous shape! It’s sad to say that she is in better shape than me now haha

  • Austin Dorman

    Exactly! The best exercise isn’t that hardest exercise, the best exercise is the one that you will do every day. I really like this idea because everyone has the ability to exercise, it’s just different for everyone. Some people walk while others run, and it’s great because their both getting out there and exercising.

  • byrnesbk24

    I have one word…CROSSFIT!!! Its for sure my opinion but I’ve done many different types of exercise and belong to many gyms and so far it the one thing that has kept me coming back for more. If you haven’t tried it, do it. I know there is a lot of controversy out there but that’s only because its getting so popular so quickly and just like anything out there, there is good Crossfit trainers/ gyms and bad ones. Don’t knock it til you try it I always say. It may not be for everyone, but its should be;-)

  • giorgiogmr

    Thanks for posting this great article. In my opinion, motivation is also a key component to get a great exercise. Without motivation, our exercise is just simply a daily routine that we do repeatedly. If we include motivation while doing the exercise, we will feel that we have a goal that we have to achieve. For instance, I did the P90X program, and my motivation was to lose some weight. That way, I have the drive to keep me motivated while doing the exercise.

  • justin bowers

    thank you for this article! I definitely agree that we need to find the exercise routine that is the most simple and that we can see ourselves continuing to do. The problem nowadays is that people are trying all kinds of different workouts and they aren’t sticking to them. We must be able to find what works best for us and modify it to our needs, not somebody elses. How can we get everybody to realize that the best exercise is the one that lasts forever?

  • justin bowers

    I agree. I think motivation is an important part for exercise and staying healthy. But I think peoples motivation should be focused more on long term success rather than short term. Of course I want people to be motivated to lose weight and be healthy NOW, but I want them to find a way to want that forever.

  • justin bowers

    I like this idea of exercise because I’ve never really thought about it this way. Start small and from that something big will grow. Which is very true. You mustn’t burn yourself out too quickly otherwise youll never want to exercise for more than a couple weeks. If you make it a routine first and something that you enjoy, youll only want to do more.

  • justin bowers

    I really like this article because it definitely can be applied to other aspects of life, like work. We must be able to find a job that we are able to do efficiently and for a long period of time.

  • justin bowers

    I’m with you on this on and definitely prefer working out alone and away from everybody else. Some alternative methods to exercising are yoga and biking, which can be fun and adventurous if you make it that way!

  • Max Rude

    you have just described what most people cannot even grasp this. Everyone is looking for the fast act now like insanity or p90x ,but many of those people do not even get threw 3 weeks of it. I know i didn’t but i was able to go for a 30 minuet walk everyday though.

  • Trevor Boyle

    Thanks for the post Ann. I believe this to be very true. You will always do something that you like more then something you feel like your being forced into. People dont realize that just by walking you are exercising. Time is the biggest excuse when it comes to fitness better yet everything. I feel like your life should be more important then the amount of time you have in the day.

  • katie bartlein

    Excellent advice! Working out is tough work, and especially sticking with it. The hardest part is getting started and finding something you enjoy. Once you start and get in the habit of it, it’s harder to stop but it’s the initial starting that gets most people. The best way to stay active is to do anything that keeps you moving. What is your favorite workout? Running, biking?

  • Kevin Weber

    So true. You don’t have to work as hard as your friends in the gym. Just do what’s best for you. In time, you will see results. There are so many different exercises to benefit every single person. You just have find what’s best and gradually increase, if you feel good.

  • Kevin Weber

    I’m sure you learned from that and have become better from it. I’ve learned that you have to listen to what your body tells you. Pushing yourself past the breaking point will serve no benefit for anyone.

  • kolinjk29

    I agree that everyone has the ability to exercise and that it is different for everyone. I just got my personal trainer license and have been working with a few people at my local gym. I have some people that come in very motivated and willing to learn and there are others that just need a little spark. If you over train and exercise these people to over a 70 percent ratio they will not continue there exercise regimen. As long as you can make it fun for them they will get the most benefits from there exercise and will sustain it for a longer periods.

  • kolinjk29

    Very true, exercise that is sustained throughout the course of a lifetime is the best idea. People exercise and over train all the time and end up dropping out of their programs. It would be nice if we could magically loose tons of weight in a matter of days, but this would be very unhealthy and not natural. Something that will build on life long success will be the most beneficial. Mixing things up once and a while is also key so that things don’t get boring. I like to change up my routines now and then. I like to lift weights in the winter when its cold and recently got a kayak so that I can get a get workout while having some fun in the sun and water.

  • kolinjk29

    I have never tried Crossfit, but have heard a lot of mixed thoughts about it. How long have you been doing this for? I have heard that people love it but it gets very difficult to sustain and people end up dropping out of it. Have you noticed any improvements in your overall fitness levels? I would love to try this in the future it is just so darn expensive to join up here in Madison

  • kolinjk29

    That is the ultimate goal as a future PE teacher in that we want to help students see that physical activity can be fun and rewarding. This is not an easy task to accomplish, but it can be very rewarding.

  • aulm92

    I think the title of the article is perfect because it feeds into those people that need to hear this information the most! aka, the ones who are looking for a quick fix. When i shared the article, I know a few of my friends messaged me about how the title tricked them as well.

  • aulm92

    I think you have an excellent view toward being active and working out. People just need to get out and do things that they have fun doing and leave it at that without getting all caught up with fads and what not.

  • kolinjk29

    Mixing up your exercise routine is a must if you want to sustain exercise for a lifetime. I love how you change your exercises during the winter and summer months. I can totally relate to this. In the winter I like to stay inside and lift weights and snowboard. I recently bought a kayak which I am gonna try and get into this summer. Mixing it up really helps me sustain my exercise goals and you will see better results because you are constantly working different muscle groups by swimming, biking and hiking. Are you more of a mountain biker or a road biker? Good luck this summer

  • kolinjk29

    We need to find ways to make exercise consistent. Going to the gym one day and than not going for 3 days later will not cut it. Consistency is key for lifelong success.

  • kolinjk29

    Mixing your exercise routine up and not over training is key. Try to make a part of your life and something that you really enjoy. When you are struggling to get in the gym and making excused up to exercise is a good sign that you are getting bored of the same old routine or you could be over training yourself.

  • Mary Hill

    I like this article. As a fitness lover, I have always found myself exploring the different options out there: kickboxing, barre, weights, or just plain simple running. I completely agree that you must find what you love doing, otherwise you simply won’t enjoy the task when you’re doing it, completely translating into everyday life. When you truly find something that you crave doing everyday or it becomes a habit to do everyday, that’s when you know that is the best exercise for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lynn.lookman karlyn lukman

    i agree. motivation is what strive you to a great exercise, and sore body!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lynn.lookman karlyn lukman

    Gym is being my second home since i was in grade 12. i love to do exercise is because i want to get skinny. I’ve been doing all types of exercises, had my own personal trainer but my body still looks the same. sometimes that reason makes me so lazy to do exercise while i know the reason that my body stil looks the same is because i haven’t been eating right.

    i think the best exercise is not just about the calories that you’ve burned, Instead it is when you committed and made a progress. i overcome my laziness to go to the gym remember to reach my goal. Moreover, when you reached your goal it means you make a progress. slow progress is better than no progress.

  • Tammy

    Thank you for sharing. I absolutely agree that the best exercise is to be open minded and push past our limits. I rarely exercise, but the office I work at is currently holding a month-long fitness challenge. Everyone in the office has been motivating each other and I really like how it is not about who has the best planks or squats. More so, it’s about encouraging each other to get in shape for the summer!

  • DuCharmeDR11

    I see the broad concept behind this article as something I have continually been striving to work on in all aspects of my life. There is no one magic path to take in life, it is all about making a decision, sticking with it, and making sure that it is positively benefiting both you and the others around you while you are pursuing whatever it is that you desire the outcome to be. How often do you feel it is beneficial to stop and reflect on the decisions (both good and bad) in our lives?

  • DuCharmeDR11

    I would like to break down your point even further and challenge the idea that it has to be internal motivation. There is a definite difference between internal and external motivation. I believe it does come down to what you expect the outcome to be, but there does have to be personal drive to make any sort of change in your life. What do you believe is the best advice for those who have no internal motivation in regards to daily exercise?

  • DuCharmeDR11

    I appreciate your perspective on the real problem coming down to being in the right mindset to really want it for yourself. As health promoters, that is and always will be our hardest challenge…creating that urgency in others on how important exercise, proper eating, and overall health is without them seeing instant, tangible results. How do you motivate clients who do not have a lot of internal motivation?

  • ashley ward

    The concept makes sense, but talking about how to do it is way easier then actually doing it. The author could have gave simple tips or advice how to do it. Yes it is easy saying you have to push past exhaustion, but how you do it is much harder

  • Muhammad Afzal

    Yes its truth, Exercise practice daily can keep us away from many diseases,

    it keeps you away from blood Pressure, diabetics, heart diseases. etc. always keep exercises to be done in your daily routine.

    Website designing Lahore

  • Cathy Lee

    The best exercise is the one that you love but I firmly believe that in order to achieve optimal results in your body’s overall health, it is essential to implement a nutritious diet as well. That being said, I always like to remind myself that throughout any projects, goals or aspirations that I am trying to attain, I need to focus on not only working externally but internally as well. Thanks for sharing!

  • Riley Amos

    I agree, sometimes we just need to be realistic with our goals. Maybe we wont climb a mountain everyday, but getting out to run a few times a week is still great!

  • KE ZHANG

    Great article and thanks for sharing your experience with us! i like parts of phrases that you mentioned in the article like “The best exercise is the one you can sustain for 30 years” “The inertia that sometimes gets in our ways is an exercise that both the body and the mind can benefit from” and “Exercising the ability to open your mind to other possibilities, push past the exhaustion and continue toward your mission of solving the world’s biggest problems will take you further than you can imagine” Yeah, its easy to find a good way to do exercise, but the best one is that you whether or not can keep up the work day by day and year by year. Thats the problem for most people also include me. i believe that hard work bests talent when talent fails to hard work. if people put effort on their work day by day and year by years i believe the susses will be no longer a faraway dream.

  • teramotot10

    Everyone wants to spend their time in the most efficient way possible. Whether it be in the gym or in the workplace, people are sometimes overly ambitious and try to take on more than they can handle. You may try to commit to an intense workout every days of the week, thinking this is the best way to exercise. However, this can burn you out and discourage you from trying again. Don’t do something because you think you need to. If you do something you enjoy, you will commit to it longer and enjoy it.

  • Juhno Mann

    Working out intensely burns you out, but makes you feel better in the long run. Exercising is something the people need to do. Maybe you don’t need to work out intensely, but on some level everyone needs exercise regardless of if they are discouraged from doing it.

  • Jeremy Demos

    I’ve seen so many guys spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on the newest powder concoctions to build muscle, lose weight, etc… while deployed and hit the gym hard for a few weeks, then once we get home and back to a life where there are more fun things to do, all that muscle turns right into fat and they never pass a PT test again. The first thing you can exercise has to be your willpower. Without strong willpower, you will never be able to maintain any exercise – regardless of how efficient it is.

  • Tyler Pierce

    Ann, I love your quote of, the best exercise is the exercise you will do everyday! A lot of people ask me the same questions on what they should be doing to lose fat, and now I can use this quote and watch it click in their heads too. When people ask you what exercise is the best and after you drop this quote on them, how long do you recommend that they work out for and how often or is every circumstances different?

  • Nathan Gillette

    Ann i agree, the best exercise is one that you do! If you don’t do p90x every day and can sustain that type of exercise for a long time whats the point, Ya i will get results quick but as soon as i stop that i will lose it faster. How many people over 60 years of age remain physical active? I wonder how many can be directly related to Heart Disease?

  • Sharmaine A.

    Wow. It can’t get more simple than that. Just like every other thing, it depends on you and your ability. Just like you mentioned in class, It is not about the toughest workout because if you only dedicate yourself to that workout for only three months its pretty much a waste of time. On the other hand, doing a simple workout that you will do daily or every other day for the rest of your life is what matters.

  • hensella

    Great article Ann. This so true. Many people have a bad experience with exercise plan A and don’t even bother trying plan B. You bring up a great point that it must be something that you can do for 30 years. Do you find that most people are in the right frame of thinking when starting an exercise program or is it they are motivated because it is a new fad?

  • katrina brown

    I love your perspective on things. I know from experience that it really is best just to get started. In life i often just sit and ponder, wondering what move i should make next instead of just making a move. I feel as though getting off your butt and and attempting to actually make a difference will actually be more beneficial than trying to figure out the ‘perfect’ way to accomplish something. You have to start somewhere. why not start where you know you will continue.

  • kkachel

    I agree that the best exercise is the one that you can keep doing for decades. Walking, hiking, and riding a bike are activities that many people can do as they get older. A person can start out doing shorter activities and gradually build up to longer distances. As he or she gets older, getting out and just doing the hike will become just as important as the total miles traveled.

  • Reece Raethke

    Yes! This is something that I have been saying to my personal training clients as long as I can remember. The best exercise is the one that you will do, and that you will enjoy while you are doing it. The road to a healthier lifestyle is not a sprint, it is a loooonnnnggggg endurance race, find the exercise(s) that you will stick with and do them as often as possible.

  • Kyle moore

    I get asked this question daily in the weight room, at home, from family, friends, etc. As a physical educator and a health promoter, I say the same thing. I can help direct body part lifts but the idea of actually doing a workout and what they are trying to target is the more important idea behind it. People need to understand such as myself did back in the day that the first step is the biggest and most important one to do because it sets to course for the rest of your life.

  • Aaron Ackerman

    Whats the best exercise? “The one you will actually do, and do on a regular basis.” I think that is the perfect answer. No two people are the same when it comes to interests, physical abilities, even free time which makes it up to that individual to try different things and see what works best for them. For example with myself our family bought a workout equipment set for the basement, which I thought would be awesome and save me a membership fee at the local gym. However, for whatever reason working out at home never seemed to happen with me. I am someone who even if it takes more time and money needs to be at a gym and in that sort of environment to even begin a workout. So in that sense I am probably different from others but finding your niche I believe is the hard part to working out consistently.

  • Robert Murdock

    It is the debate of “striving for excelence” vs “striving”. When you are first starting out all you need to do is “strive”, work toward a goal, take baby steps to reduce the chance of burnout. There is no reason that along the way you can’t increase the difficulty so you don’t have the feeling of platue, but you have to be careful of burnout. A question for you Ann, if someone comes to you and is so hell-bent on doing a very specific workout such as P90X for example and is really only looking for you to agree with them, what do you tell them?

  • Travis Ricci

    I am in agreement that you need an exercise that you can consistently do the biggest problem that i see in society is that someone will either try to lose some weight or try to get back into shape, and the first thing that is done is they go to a boot camp style workout bring themselves to the ultimate burnout of energy and calories they have, and they say I’m never doing that ever again. The best exercise is something that you can enjoy doing walking with your dog, lifting with a buddy, or maybe just playing tennis a few days a week you need something long term not something that goes in spurts.

  • Eric H

    I completely agree with this. A lot of people think that they need to do a boot camp or P90x to get them in shape. They are wrong. They will do this and then go back to their old routine. People need to understand that they need to be consistent, even if it is walking a mile a day at a slow pace. Walking a few miles a day for years and years is better than any 6 week program. Is it better to switch up your exercise routine after a few weeks so your body doesn’t adapt completely and plateau?

  • Justin Shelton

    Just as many of the comments say, I feel that the answer that you give to the question “What is the best exercise?” is a perfect answer. If a person has certain goals that they wish to acheive phyically, they should then begin to find a workout program that fits them the best. Whatever the workout program may be they should be sure that they will be able to endure this program for a very long time into the future. All people are different in this aspect though.

  • Kevin Semler

    Having a daily exercise or lifestyle habit is definitely the way to go. Asking what the best exercise is for something at the moment will help you, but not more that a week long and your sick of that exercise. Something you will do on a daily basis, and remember, is the way to a better you for sure. I make sure that I always do my Amazon prime online shopping while walking my dog. It has helped tremendously and makes me spend less money, so two birds with one stone.

  • Ronny

    People think that if they excercise once in awhile and they are sore the next day and think that its okay to take a 2 week break before their next exercise and are looking for another workout. Commitment is key!

  • Sydney Sipos

    This is actually a good tie back to your previous article about “faking it till you make it” – the more we just forget the details and simply begin a goal, the better off we’ll be in the end. Beginnings are really hard, but that’s what’s so great about them – they’re temporary. Eventually, we’re in the middle of it, and the beginning has ended. It’s just the initial push to start and keep going that’s the toughest step.

  • Brady Sexton

    I agree that the best exercise is consistent exercise. I love to exercise and be active. As an athlete it is something that comes naturally to me and does not take a lot of willpower or motivation to do. I know what works for me but that will not work for everyone. I think it is important for everyone to find what works for them and do it consistently.

  • Brooke Gregory

    I did volleyball and track in high school so ever since then I have had the idea that a work out should be hard and unpleasant. I think that is part of the reason why I fall out of exercising so quickly. Whenever I think of working out I think of being in pain. I love running but I also hate it at the same time because I can’t go easy on myself. This article has helped me remember that anything is better than nothing. If I’m not feeling 100% I can just go for a walk or something not so intense.

  • Kent Miehe

    As long as you are doing something, you are in a better position than where you were when you started. So many people get caught up in finding something that will really work that they can’t seem to find that perfect thing to do. Doing any exercise is better than not doing any at all.

  • Nathan

    I completely agree with your Dr. Garvin. I am a personal trainer and I get a lot of people asking me “What is the best exercise to lose weight?” and through your nutrition class I learned that the best one is the one that you will do forever. It makes complete since because people shouldn’t be thinking about how they should be getting slimmer or for spring break, but how they should be slimmer for the rest of their lives! Once people realize they want to exercise for the rest of their lives, everthing changes.

  • hasselbemj31

    Loved this article! My whole life I have grown up in a family that was super athletic. In high school I was even super athletic and didn’t have to try much. Ever since college, the hardest thing I have had to deal with has been exercise. I never learned how to do certain exercise, I just had hard intense practices which was my workout. Going on my third year of college I continuously kept asking myself, what can I do to stay in shape? I would start exercising everyday and go hard for about 3 weeks then I would get bored and stop for a long period of time and this kept occurring. After reading this it really made me understand that I can’t continue to work out like I did in high school or except the same from myself. I need to set better goals for myself that will help me exercise everyday for the rest of my life.

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    I feel this article speaks a lot of truth that honestly most of America needs to hear. Literally I couldn’t have explained it any better. Everyone, or a huge majority of people want the quick results. We are all so obsessed with instant gratification, that when it doesn’t happen we’re absolutely crushed. When the reality of it is and always has been that great things come in time. I don’t necessarily believe that the best things happen to those who wait…you have to get off your butt and put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into getting where you want to go!

  • tyler

    I agree with you! I am a track athlete, and thought I am not a trainer or anything many of my friends will ask me what the best exercise is so that they can look smaller. The problem with this is that it is temporary. They want to know how to lose weight for the time being, and then they go right back on with their other habits. I have struggled finding an exercise that I really enjoyed besides my track workouts. Running is boring, ironic coming from a track athlete. But it took me a while to find an exercise that I really wanted to do all the time, and that is really all people want. When people see that exercising is more than a temporary change, they really can have a life experience. People have got to learn to be realistic when setting their goals. But why is it that people only want the temporary change and not the full lifestyle change? Why do people just want to exercise to lose weight and then gain it back and it becomes a cycle? This article was intriguing.

  • earose14

    Choosing an exercise that you will do for the rest of your life is very important. Thinking about your future at a young age and having a plan for your body is something incredible. Finding a workout you can do and push through and not only do now but your whole life is very helpful for yourself. Trying to find what that exercise is can be very hard to do. This is why you need to try new different things until you feel comfortable. The one thing that is hard to think about is why people sometimes only want the short term goals over the long term? This article tells you exactly why you need to be healthy for the long term effects. Thank you for sharing this article and putting a new perspective on what the best exercise is!

  • mankobj22

    One could argue that sustainability is the most important aspect of exercising in general. Before deciding on what workout/exercise option will best suit you, ask yourself if you will be able to sustain it for the next month, week, year, or longer. Ask yourself if the climate in which you live will play any part in this sustainability. Ask yourself if you will be able to complete this exercise at home, outside, or at a gym. Ask yourself if your’e starting this new journey into health and fitness for the right reasons. Everyone will have different answers to these questions, but just keep the sustainability of your choice in mind. This will help to eliminate negative thoughts that can often develop from working too late and missing a workout, or not being able to workout due to the weather. Always remember to keep an open mind and to set realistic expectations based on the sustainability of the workout/exercise option that you choose.

  • SasCas116

    Thank you for posting this insightful article! I agree completely with what you’ve stated. I feel like this question is asked repeatedly, but the answer that each and every one of us are looking for doesn’t match the amount of will power we all have to make the change. It’s like we imagine such a healthy lifestyle, yet expect the results to come with little effort! This blog should be shared with every person on a “diet” currently. I know I feel the urge to share this with my family! This blog is useful because it goes straight to the truth about fitness with no sugar coating. Thank you for a strong article that is completely honest in every way.

  • SasCas116

    I totally agree with you! Your post totally matched mine by using different words. I would have to add that yes we ALL have to get off of our butts and put in the effort, but we also have to want the change! We need our will power to match our desires in situations like these. If our will power is weak, then our desires are going to get stronger. I believe there should be a equal balance between the two! Great post!

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Very simple article, Ann! Thank you. After I’m done with soccer I always wonder what I’m going to do. This article makes me realize that it can be one thing that I really enjoy. The only question that I have for you though is, what do you tell someone who hasn’t found their exercise?

  • Trista Radloff

    Yes I completely agree with Dr. Garvin. It’s almost too simple to just do the exercise that you will do for the rest of your life! I think one of the many problems that many people have today is the media depicts a different, quicker picture. There are numerous diet advertistments for either diet supplements or full meal plans that imply you will lose 10 pounds by doing nothing else but eating this food or taking a pill. There are also exercise programs that imply by simply doing this 10 minute work out for five days you can lose X amount of pounds. It is these advertisments that give people the wrong impression about weight lose and a healthy lifestyle. To change that people, we need to start with changing what is influencing them.

  • HelpHealth002

    Thank you for this post Professor Garvin! I agree with you completely and believe this post would be helpful to everybody starting a workout regime or starting with a trainer. Tons of websites label their workouts as ‘the best’..but for who? Cross-Fit is a very popular one and has gained a lot more attention in the last few years. This is a great workout but it’s not for everybody. If somebody doesn’t like a lot of high intensity exercises then they won’t last long and will most likely end up quitting. If they had started with lower intensity exercises and then built up to high intensity levels, they would probably be more likely to stick with their routine and achieve the health benefits they want. I think it all depends on the individual and each person needs to choose something they like to do and can stick with in the long run. What do you recommend people doing to figure out what exercise is best for them if they don’t have the funds for a personal trainer?

  • Steffiheuer

    First, I would like to thank you for your encouraging posts. I tell my mom all the time that it does not matter what you do to get in shape, just that you actually do something. I like this article because it is not saying you have to do these ridiculous sets of crazy hard exercises. These types of workouts discourage people from even trying at all. What’s the point of trying when you know it is harder than your current level. We need to realize that if we just get up and do something that will always be better than doing nothing. That is how this article will help me. Always to remember that no matter what just keep moving.

  • Carly Konkol

    I love this post! I can definitely relate to this post, especially recently. I used to always think of myself as a “running hater.” I never thought it was something I could do on a regular basis, and actually enjoy. Until last summer, I decided to give running outside a try. I started to absolutely love it. It’s one of the best stress relievers for me. I actually look forward to my runs every other day, which is something I never thought I would say! I have heard through a few sources that interval running burns the most calories and is the most effective. Is there truth to this idea? Also, what is the best way to keep progressing and improving my running skills each week? I can only hope to continue my running regimen and keep my heart healthy for years to come!

  • hicksjd11

    I completely agree with this article. I used to be the one who was always looking for a quick fix. The problem with that is that it never lasts. I have found that it’s best just to use your time efficiently when it comes to working out. This will often lead to life-long results.

  • Ananda Conlon

    I think the hardest part about exercising is putting it into your daily routine. I am a person that thrives on routines. It is important to schedule time for yourself in each day to ensure that all areas of health are met. Additionally, it is important to realize that there isn’t just something that will “magically” give you six-pack abs. Consistency is key when it come to exercising. Getting to the gym is the hardest part, but once you are there, it isn’t so bad.

  • hirthjp18

    It’s hard for people to realize that going for a walk or playing a pick-up game of basketball is just a good as any other workout. Everyone has different reasons for working out and not everyone is looking for the next “push you to the limit” workout. Those workouts actually end up pushing people away from being active. They say why bother when actually its not their fault at all. If you want someone to say active they need to have a sense of enjoyment with what whatever activity it is.

  • Ryano313

    In my eyes, there is no “best exercise”. You hit it right on the head in your main point of this blog on how doing the exercises that you’ll always do will benefit you the most. Whether if its going on a walk/run, or doing a certain workout routine, it can make a difference and can be a positive towards having a better/healthier lifestyle.

  • Abbey Stibbs

    Good point Nathan! I have been trying to lose weight for so long now. I have tried diet after diet and exercise after exercise, and they just are all too difficult for me. I need to find something that is right for me! I do understand that there is no “magic” exercise, but there have to be some that are better than others right?

    Thanks,
    Abbey Stibbs

  • Aarynn Bosshart

    Finally, someone is honest in saying that there is not ONE best way to exercise. Thank you! What works for you may or may not work for someone else. That doesn’t mean that we should stop talking about the topic, because I think hearing someone else’s routine when it comes to exercising can spark ideas in others. I loved when you said, “The best exercise is the one you can sustain for 30 years. The one or, in fact, the several kinds of physical activity that keep you stimulated, building muscle, get your heart pumping, increasing your flexibility over a week, a month, several years.” As a future physical education teacher, I see it as my mission to prove to my students that there is no one right way to exercise. Everyone has the ability to be active in a way that is enjoyable to them; they just have to figure out what type of physical activity best suits them and their lifestyle. One thing that remains unclear to me is your opening quotation, “We get caught up in the best way to do things when sometimes getting started is enough.” I find this confusing because in my opinion getting started is not enough. In fact, getting started is only the beginning. If by “enough” you mean that getting started is a step in the right direction, then I agree.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. I used to work at a gym, and I started to notice that the people who came in day after day always had a consistent workout routine, even though it wasn’t necessarily the hardest or the “best” routine. The people who were constantly trying to do the hardest workouts that they thought would give them the best results were the ones who would disappear for months at a time, probably because they ended up burning themselves out.

  • Glassborow

    Thank you for this post! I completely agree, doing an exercise/sport you love that is suited to you and your needs is what will help you reach the goals you want, you’ll always be motivated to go and train and you won’t see it as a chore to have to go and workout. I think a lot of people believe that there is one magic cure and it works for everyone. Wrong, everyone is different and therefore you have to figure out for yourself what the best way to go about reaching your goals, and if you don’t like it after a while that’s fine, change it up. That’s one way of finding yourself, trying new things. Would you suggest the same advice for other issues such as diets? Do you believe there is a single diet that works for everyone?

  • Alex Prailes

    Thank you for putting in such a simple perspective. I’ve been down this road too many times. I try one workout and only stick with it for a little bit and the rest of my time is spent trying to figure out a new workout and not actually working out. You really have to find something you love doing so that everyday isn’t a struggle to fit in that exercise. What do you suggest for someone who can’t find something they enjoy? My roommate is an art major and only enjoys being at his studio and has never really been good at sports, so finding something he enjoys is very difficult.

  • Catey Navarro

    There have been so many times when I create these master work out plans that will be so great and work so many muscles and then I look at the amount of time it is going to take compared to the amount of time I have and then I laugh. Being a college student means living a life where each day is packed. I don’t always have two hours to spend in the gym to get in the workout I am looking for. I do have 30 minutes where I can walk to class or go for a jog and do some pushups. I mean its better then nothing. Something I am working on this year is planning so that a few times a week I can get in the workout that I want to do and will do.

  • Skowronssj06

    Thanks for sharing this great advice, I couldn’t agree more. I am like most people and I am not happy with my body. I have tried many different methods in trying to lose weight and get toned but they are always too time consuming or too tough. I love the advice in that the best exercise is the one you have time for and that will last long-term. I think the next step to working out for me is finding that something that fits in my schedule and that overtime will become a part of my everyday routine. Between work and school it’s hard to figure out exactly what that something is.

  • Kyree Brooks

    This is the most clever article I’ve read from Garvin so far! As a physical education major I frequently ask myself and even others ask me, “what is the best workout?” It is a routine that you do everyday that can be effective, whether its 20 minute cardio, abs or whatever it may be. It is easy to say what workout can benefit you the most. But what exercises or plans you have for the week can be more beneficial. Thanks again for an incredible article! For interesting!

  • Nicole Myers

    Thank you for this post. I remember you lecturing about this in a class I took of yours last year. I think it is a great point you make, do an exercise that you will actually do. We often get lazy and do not want to exercise and find people who don’t exercise do not enjoy it. This is because they maybe haven’t found the exercise they like to do. I think once you find that exercise you will do it and enjoy exercising.

  • knapprl17

    Thank you for sharing this perspective on exercising. I think more people need to realize that just getting started exercising is one of the bigger hills they will need to overcome in this area. Doing any kind of exercise will help them achieve their goals of losing weight or trying to live a healthier lifestyle. I think people need to realize that just because something is “plan B” does not mean that it is a lot worse.

  • CoachDavis24

    Fantastic article, so many people are concerned about the newest fad workout when all they need to do is workout period. Any workout that increases the HR and is safe for your body is a good workout. I personally would tell people that the workout should be an aerobic workout, since you reap the most rewards from it. Anything is better than nothing though. People spend insane amounts of money for all these exercise programs, when all you have to do is go for nice jog. The jog is free and you can burn the same amount of calories doing it.

  • warnlofjc20

    I completely agree with this article, a big reason why people don’t start exercising, or really anything else that seems like a daunting task, is because they don’t know where to start when they don’t realize that they just need to get out and start doing it and they’ll figure it out along the way. Thanks for posting, it was a very inspiring read.

  • Taylor Schaeffer

    I completely agree! The hardest exercise is not the best one because you may only end up doing that once or twice then giving up and not getting the results that you wanted. Now if you find that right exercise for you, that you do every day and maybe even slightly enjoy doing that is how you are going to get the best results possible.

  • Jack Delabar

    Thanks for the post, Ann. That is an awesome answer to the question at hand. People spend way too much time trying to figure out the answer, arguing with others about it and what not, but simply put, it’s just actually doing it! even if it’s walking around the block with your dog every day, at least you’re doing something on a consistent basis! Thanks for making it so simple, Ann

  • Luke Drumel

    What a very inspiring and simple article that drives the message home. To many people think exercising is some big thing and turns people off. Just as you said the best exercises is the one that you can sustain for 30 years that will make your body thank you throughout the years to come. I will take this article into consideration every time I want to push forward when the going gets tough.

  • Jessica White

    I’m usually the person that would be asking this very question. What is the best exercise? My mother is a great example of what you, Ann, are discussing. She has had 5 spinal surgeries since I was born. She doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to the “right exercise” to get fit since her lower spine is now fused into one piece. What I’ve learned from her is that she perseveres in what she is able to do and she does it every day. She has worked extremely hard on developing her core strength and walks… a lot! Looking at her point of view, when she has had to re-learn how to walk 5 times, getting fit after recovery each time wasn’t easy. She built her strength, did what she was able to do and repeated it. She is stronger and healthier than she has been in years! Thanks for your post, I should really take a note from both your book and my mothers when it comes to regular exercise.

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks Ann for the post. I find this suggestion to be very fallible. Although there are many people who are able fit exercise in their daily routine or had at least some minor experience in exercise there are many more who struggle with the fundamentals. There are just as many people who have never exercised in their life and for those with weight issues or other health concerns, telling them to just keep doing what they are doing doesn’t seem like the right respond to those who are genuinely requiring about healthy activities.

  • Tracy_Werner

    Thanks for this post! In addition to what you are saying about finding the “best exercise”, I think that it is more complex than just the one you will do on a regular basis. With all the fitness challenges, body supplements, online workouts, etc. I think that beginners need to know what the least effective exercises would be as well. They need to learn to do something that they can maintain. Some exercises take a real toll on the body and cannot be done long term. For example, many sports leave the athletes that took part in them with bad knees and other similar problems. The best exercise may be important to think about, but some people just take it too far sometimes.

  • ReneeKirch19

    I really enjoyed this article, thanks for sharing! I agree with you completely. People are always wanting to find the “best exercise”. As humans, we want to get the best and fastest results in the shortest amount of time. But is that really even possible? For myself, I have come up with an exercise routine that is perfect for me; it fits my physical needs as well as my time schedule. Most importantly however, I absolutely enjoy doing it. Working out is obviously not always my most favorite thing to do, but I always feel like I need it. My mind and body feel so much better after working out, and it’s the best feeling ever. I love the feeling of being refreshed and new!

  • Brad Vogel

    As I have been studying here at Whitewater, any time that we start an exercise program we have to start slow. Nothing will derail our quest for better health than doing too much too soon. I can especially attest to this having made that mistake with weightlifting back in 8th grade. Oh did I pay the price in muscle pain and inflammation. Took a prescription for Celebrex to alleviate it.

  • karinaz10

    Perfectly stated. It’s better to think about what will work now and benefit in the long run, than to think of the quickest most effective method. And like Anne mentioned, sometimes its as simple as beginning. No person is alike, we have to find lasting solutions that work for ourselves individually. It doesn’t matter how fast you obtain your goals, just as long as it works for you.

  • karinaz10

    Perfectly stated. It’s better to ask what works now and will benefit in the long run, than to think of the quickest most effective method. And like Anne mentioned sometimes its as simple as beginning. No person is alike and it is important to focus on what works best for ourselves individually. It doesn’t matter how fast you obtain your goals, as long as they work for you.

  • karinaz10

    Perfectly stated. It’s better to ask what works now and will benefit in the long run, than to think of the quickest most effective method. And like Anne mentioned sometimes its as simple as beginning. No person is alike and it is important to focus on what works best for ourselves individually. It doesn’t matter how fast you obtain your goals, as long as they work for you.

  • karinaz10

    Perfectly stated. It’s
    better to ask what works now and will benefit in the long run, than to think of
    the quickest most effective method. And like Anne mentioned sometimes its as
    simple as beginning. No person is alike and it is important to focus on what
    works best for ourselves individually. It doesn’t matter how fast you obtain
    your goals, as long as they work for you.

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    Thank you for your post.
    I think that this article provides a helpful reminder to people to have realistic goals when it comes to exercise. Its easy to plan going to the gym and working out on a particular day but it’s more difficult to get into a routine when you’re first starting out. One question I would ask is where is a good place for people to start when they have very little knowledge when it comes to exercising.

  • Amanda Wood

    Not only have I already learned so much from your lectures, but this article really stood out to me. I have asked myself for years what my best exercise would be? My answer, just do it. I do not work out and I hate it. I want to say I do not have time or I am unable so that I have an excuse, but the real answer is that I am lazy and unmotivated. Each day I wake up with the thoughts of wanting to be fit. Scrolling through facebook and instagram I contemplate to myself how people are so skinny, in shape, or even motivated. The idea I have learned is to give myself advice on how to deal with reality. Life is not going to work for me if I do not work for it.

  • Travis Mattice

    Thanks for the post. I really like this post Dr. Garvin because it is one a many people can relate to, myself being one of them. I am always wondering what kind of exercise I should do or when to do it. But like you said that really doesn’t matter. As long as I just do some kind of activity I am helping myself. Now of course there are some things better than others but just the fact that doing something beats doing nothing is all people need to worry about. Just get up and make time to do something, anything!

  • danac501

    Thank you for this article! I just asked this question today to my friend. What is the best abdominal workout? I think I asked this question because I do not like doing abdominal workouts so I wanted a workout that would be great and give me results. But now after reading your article its clear that if you just do a exercise that will be the best exercise. If I just keep exercising the abdominal workouts will come with time

  • Kaylee Raucci

    Thank you for the post! I totally agree! I love exercise, I do it on a collegiate level for the track team here at Whitewater. And I love my body just as much as you do! So taking your advice and imagining my possibilities and saving my body is the best thing I can do right now. Starting new things, especially ones that are very important and time consuming, can be a workout in itself. But if you look past what your goals are for today, your goals for the future will be far from accomplished. We need to slow down and get done with today, only think about today, and plan for today. Tomorrow is another story, and it can wait till tomorrow. Focusing on the now can make the task at and more precise. Rather than juggling a bundle of tasks at once.

  • Alyssa Schragen

    Thank you for posing this article. Of the past 3 or 4 articles of yours that I have read this one spoke the most to me. I play club rugby here at the university, and I often find myself saying I work out 4 times a week isn’t that enough. You just made me realize that its not, rugby is not always the same routine every practice and certainly the most you get out of all of it is on game days. However, rugby is not forever. Rugby and the work outs we do that are suitable for a rugby player are not always going to be suitable on my body or enough of a routine for me for life. Wow, I am just in awe thinking about my whole mentality and the way I thought about what I was doing and now I am realizing, it’s just not enough.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    That’s an excellent point, Kyle. I have found some exercises that I like that I know I’ll be able to do for the rest of my life because I enjoy them so much. Even if it as simple as going on a bike ride. What exercises do you like?

  • ReneeBinder

    I go on pinterest and pin a lot of health and exercise pins. A lot of the pins I see are ways to “lose 10 pounds in two weeks” or “get an inner thigh gap”. After pinning these for a while I realized I never actually do them for a variety of reasons. This reminded me of this article because I think sometimes people get caught up in how to make things perfect rather that just doing it. Exercise for me is something where if I actually get it done, that is an accomplishment. Once I make it a habit, I can worry about fine tuning it.

  • Charles Fischer

    I agree that the best exercise is one that you can do now and for 30 years or there about. The other thing to take into account as you do these exercises you may have more self confidence and be willing to try some things more challenging.

  • Chris Williams

    Great advice, Ann! Realizing that the best exercise is the one you will actually do, and do on a regular basis is great advice for me. It’s also fabulous advice for people I will be advising to become healthier in the future. Most people think running is the best exercise but many people don’t like running. If they feel running is the best but don’t like it then it’s more likely that they won’t do it. By advising them that the best exercise is the one you actually do this is more reasonable will have better odds they will actually do it. Whether it’s walking the dog, playing volleyball or sitting on a yoga ball at work, as long as they do it, that’s what matters! Thank you!

  • Theresa Fitzsimmons

    Thank you for sharing this information, I couldn’t agree with you more. I am a senior in college this year and it has been rough in the past three years trying to squeeze in time to workout. In high school I was on the cross country and distance track team so the time for me to workout was already set aside. In college I did try to find the answer to what is the best exercise? This was wrong of me to think this way, it never worked. This summer I made sure not to set large goals but to run at least one mile a day, Monday through Friday and to alternate between days of doing arms and abs. If I felt good enough I would run more than a mile a day, sometimes four miles a day. I was able to get back into shape because I worked out on a regular basis doing the workout activities that I did best. What is one tip you would give for someone who wants to make the most challenging exercises part of their everyday workout?

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    This is an excellent point. As I was reading this blog post I was thinking about the diet aspect as well. You could do your favorite workout 7 times a week but if you don’t have the proper diet, you will find very little to no progress.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Very true, Justin! When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, it should always be focused for long term success. Because health should be your life. Success in the short term is good but success in the long term is tremendous!

  • sgawinski

    It’s definitely easy to get wrapped up in trying to figure out things that are most effective. But what we fail to see is that in life, things are rarely a universal best answer. So as mentioned in the post, we just need to find something we are comfortable with, that works for us, and something that we will do consistently. We can always try new things later. The exercise I do may not be your choice or anyone else’s choice. But if it works for me, it works for me. We are all different!

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I agree with you! Working out has always come easy to me and I highly enjoyable. My favorite activity is playing soccer. It keeps me fit and I have fun so I know I’ll do it for a long time. What sports do you do to stay fit?

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I never thought of it like that but it is so true! This could be applied to your career. The only way you’ll do a job for an extended period of time is if you enjoy it. Excellent point! What career are you looking at doing?

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Very good point, Steve! That is always my problem. I’ll start an exercise that is very rewarding but I’ll lose interest in it within a couple weeks. What advice would you give to someone who is having this problem?

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    This is so true, Zak! I hear people always start their goals way higher than what they’ll actually achieve. It’s good to aim high but if you always come up short than you’re really not making any gains. What are some goals that you have set and achieved?

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I’m the same way, Justin! I almost always have to work out alone. I know it may sounds bad but when other people around I just can’t get as into my workout. You said some alternatives to exercising would be biking. This is great alternative to someone who doesn’t enjoy running. A bike ride is definitely the way to go.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Thanks for the post Ann! Great advice, and I would have to agree with mostly everything you are saying, as it applies to most people. But, there is a small population of individual athletes and performers that strive to maintain or develop a certain type of body structure, and improve their working capacity. These, require different sorts of goals and objectives, typically being different than the average joe. People generally start at a different level when beginning to exercising, and most typically have a different goal, so it truly is a challenge to know what the “best” exercise is to do. A question for Dr. Garvin, is there a different between exercise for the average joe, and exercise for professional athletes/trainers/marathoners/etc.? Would you consider one different from the other?

  • Steven Bichler

    I would probably make sure you aren’t doing that exercise everyday like many people do. Have several you can interchange from day to day, and try to mix it up. Worst comes to worse expand on the exercise to add new wrinkles to it. That’s what I try to do at least.

  • Camillewuensch

    This is a wonderful article! I also feel like the best exercise you can do from yourself is getting up and moving and doing it almost everyday. The hardest part for people to start a exercise plan is actually finding the time to start and making sure you follow through with it. This could also be the same for your start-up company, if you have this amazing idea keep you need to get up, make a plan and follow through with that plan every day. Regardless if people around are saying no find someone that will say yes or go back and tweak your company.

  • James

    Couldn’t agree more. Like with what is the best exercise question couldn’t this also apply what is the best diet, or best foods to eat? The nutritional ones you actually will. Also the simplest things like walking to class, and taking the stairs help improve your health. I’m actually writing this while standing like you say in class.

  • d_millyy

    Love this article so much! I love how you understand that everyone is an individual and that means that everyone is different. Therefore, that means everyone has a different type of exercise that will work for them and make them happy. So many people should read this article because you have these people who think lifting is the only way to get bigger so they lift everyday even though they hate it and don’t feel comfortable. When in fact, you can stay at home and do body weight work outs in your bedroom and become just as big! That way can be time friendly, confidence friendly, and personality friendly! I also think that people have different types of workouts for different days or different moods, would you agree? How many workouts do you have in your arsenal?

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    I agree with you completely! I think that there needs to be different exercises between the “average joe” and professional athletes. Professional athletes can push themselves a lot more than the average joe. The only similarity should be that both average joe and professional athlete should enjoy their exercise. What exercise do you do to keep fit?