I have discovered the VERY BEST kind of exercise! Can you guess what it is?

Yes, I just click-baited you. And no, the answer is not Beachbody and/or something I want to sell you. I actually have a legitimate answer, though there’s a chance you probably already know what it is… Still, give me a minute anyway, because you’re here now, so you might as well keep reading.

When it comes to exercise, I’ve done it all.

When I was a preschooler, my family made me play soccer and I basically just ran around in circles and tried to get the other kids to talk to me, or I sat in the grass and picked flowers.

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I was also very into (tri)cycling. In dresses. With tights but no shoes on. 

In fourth grade, I went to a Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School, and I started taking dance classes because, well, I had to. By the time I got to middle school, I let my friends convince me to try out for the basketball team, and the coach clearly pitied me and for some reason let me on for two years.

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You can call this my “intense competitor” face. Or my “Oh God, why are you running at me, no, no, please stop, what am I doing here?” face. Your call. Also, dear God, what was I thinking with those bangs + that perm? That’s a story for another blog…

Then I joined a competitive swim team, and started playing Water Polo. I really liked doing both of those, and I was reasonably good. But then my sophomore year I had to choose between Swim/Polo and Yearbook, and let’s face it, I’m always going to choose writing + photography over any type of exercise. This was true at 15, and it’s still true at 34.

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This is me, pissed off in the penalty box. Because yes, you CAN foul people even when you’re the goalie. They deserved it, though. 

Throughout high school, I was still really involved in theatre, and I even went to a summer camp for performing arts. So, again, still dancing…not matter what my skill level was…

Then, in college, I attempted to do the whole “I’m going to go to the gym!” thing. And it worked. Sometimes. Mostly not, but sometimes.

Right out of graduate school, I got a job working on a college campus, and one of my coworkers was taking classes to become a certified Pilates instructor. So, I agreed to be her test subject, and honestly, I fell in love with Pilates. I was sure that Pilates was the only thing I’d ever want to do ever again.

But then I stopped working at that campus and it was too much of a drive and cost to continue, so I went through the whole DVD workout thing, including this one:

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Yep. That was a thing. 

Then, in 2008, I got engaged. And we officially entered Sweating for the Wedding territory, and we hired personal trainers. And that lasted for a year, until we got married and, well, didn’t have a wedding to prepare for any more, so we quit that (and the gym).

From 2009 – 2015, I messed around with a lot of different exercise options. I did Couch to 5K. I tried to take up running (mostly power-walking). I joined and quit countless gyms. I went back to Pilates. I took some spin classes. I found that I really liked training for events (or, you know, signing up for events and not training for them and then nearly injuring myself when I actually pushed myself to compete in the damn things anyway):

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I still think not being able to walk for four days was worth that medal. Maybe. 

And then in 2015, I found Beachbody and I discovered I really liked (1) the variety of workouts available, and (2) being able to work out at home, alone, at any time of day, wearing whatever I damn well pleased, with no one watching or around to interrupt me.

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Unless, of course, I’m in New Orleans and working out with hundreds of people because who wouldn’t work out in person with Shaun T when given the chance? 

In addition to Beachbody, though, I was (and am!) still trying other things. I was walk-run training (I still like going on walks). I was taking yoga classes (not going to a studio right now, but I would again). I was going to the gym and taking classes with coworkers (but our subsidy ended, so we’re not doing that now). And I still find and train for events that sound cool or fun.

So, with all these experiences — gyms, group fitness classes, home workouts, sports teams, events training, walking/running, yoga, Pilates, spin, dance — I have finally discovered what the VERY BEST type of exercise out there is for ANYONE, no matter what your goals or skill level is currently.

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Are you ready to find out what it is?

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You sure?

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Make one more guess before I have the BIG REVEAL.

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The VERY BEST kind of exercise is….

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…the one you actually show up to do. 

If you are competitive and motivated by others, if you would rather die than skip a practice, and if you have a number that you love having emblazoned on your back, then a team sport is the very best kind of exercise you can do.

If you prefer things that are both mental and physical, that focus on the connection of mind-body-spirit, that encourages strength and flexibility, then yoga is the very best kind of exercise you can do.

If you don’t like being around a lot of other people, if you want variety in both the time of day and the location where you workout, then at-home/streaming workouts are the very best kind of exercise you can do.

You see, I love Beachbody and home workouts right now. But I might not forever. Some day, I might want to join a Crossfit box. Or I might want to actually take up running. Or I might become a certified yoga instructor. Or I might to some combination of all of those things.

Because it’s not so much the “what” in what you’re doing. It’s the doing. 

So…what is the very best kind of exercise for you?

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