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One way is to make a list of the pros and cons of the exercise options that are most convenient for you and that you really like. For instance, exercise classes offer a lot of variety, but if the commute is too long or you're uncomfortable in a group, the negatives could outweigh the positives, and you might be better suited to working out at home.
On the other hand, if it takes a trainer to push you beyond your comfort zone and lots of equipment to motivate you to strength train, working out at a gym might be the right style for you.
Here are some other helpful considerations.
If you like to stick to a set schedule, you want a routine that works with your everyday life. That might be early morning fitness classes or a post-dinner workout in a home gym.
If you're highly motivated to reach fitness goals and maximize your workout time, consider the one-on-one advantages of working with a trainer who can personalize a fitness plan and adjust it as you reach new goals.
If you like the social aspect of fitness, you might like to join a walking group or tennis club to combine an activity you love with the motivational camaraderie. Note: If you like activity-oriented exercise, like playing tennis or hiking, just keep in mind that you need to clock your minutes to be sure you're meeting daily goals.
If you're excited by new experiences, look for a gym or fitness facility that offers a very wide range of classes and equipment, especially options you've never tried before but always wanted to.
Once you choose the right exercise program, one that's custom-tailored to you, at the right venue and at the right speed, you are more likely to stay with it long-term. And that's the key to wringing out the most benefits.
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