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LIKE - find a fitness hobby or exercise that you like, and that will be the key to sticking to it.

LIKE - find a fitness hobby or exercise that you like, and that will be the key to sticking to it.

When you’re considering which form of exercise might be best for you, the most important thing to bear in mind is whether it’s going to be an activity that you actually enjoy. It’s all very well thinking about how many calories this or that activity burns and what training methods are the latest craze, but if you hate doing these things, you’ll soon get bored or frustrated and give up. The best exercise for you is the one you like doing, because if you like it, you’ll stick with it, and sustainability and consistency are the key to attaining long term goals and improving your health and fitness.

Let’s face it, most people in Britain are not unhealthy and unfit because they’re doing the wrong sort of exercise – they’re simply not doing any exercise at all! So what should you consider when you’re trying to find fitness activities that will really suit you personally and which you will like doing?

• Are you a lover of the great outdoors? Then jogging, running, power walking, cycling, gardening or joining a conservation volunteers green gym programme may appeal. You need to bear in mind what times of day you have available to pursue these activities, and make sure you feel safe if you are doing them on your own. If you decide that running or cycling is your thing but it’s pouring with rain or dark outside, there’s always the treadmill or static bike in the gym to shake up your workout or improve your technique. You can still enjoy your favourite activity outdoors when the sun is shining at the weekend.
• Do you have dodgy knees, ankles or hips? Then a high impact activity like running may not be suitable for you. Instead, think whether you might enjoy low-impact pursuits like cycling, swimming or a low impact exercise class.

• Are you a party animal? Then taking part in dance classes, Zumba or working out to music with a powerful beat are activities that are likely to appeal.
• Are you a thoughtful person, who dislikes the noise and rush of modern life or who feels stressed out by work? Then yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi might be worth consideration.
• Are you a good team player? Then football, netball, hockey, cricket or any sport where you contribute as part of a team might suit you. If you are competitive, then one-to-one sports like tennis or badminton, which require good co-ordination, agility and strategic thinking might appeal.

So, if you are positively engaged with an activity, you bring a different mind-set to it; you are more focused and keen to repeat it. If you like doing it, you get better at it and the positive results you enjoy spur you on to do more, in what becomes a virtuous circle. So try to find an exercise, sport or physical activity that you enjoy and have a little fun along the way.

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