by Pam George ACE CPT

“It’s the best and the only one you need.” We hear this all the time. The infomercials are everywhere. Salespeople will tell you their product is the only one you need to achieve the desired results. When it comes to fitness or getting in shape, what is the answer? Is there a one and only best way to achieve fitness? You will hear differing opinions depending who you ask and what their motivation is.

What is the best shape to be in? Should you be able to run for miles? Should you be able to lift hundreds of pounds? Should you be able to stretch your leg over your head? Should you be able to do hundreds of pushups?

For me, the answer is “what is your goal?” Is your goal reasonable and attainable? If you are looking to gain muscle then running for miles is not the program option you should be following. If you love to dance you probably won’t be very committed to a boot-camp style class and vice versa.

What is your current health? Do you have injuries? What about age? Your current level of health will determine where you may safely begin. Make no mistake: if you have health issues they do matter and should be considered in your programming. Previous injuries need to be addressed. You shouldn’t run for miles if you have lower extremity injuries (knee, hip, foot, etc.) Picking up huge amounts of weight if you have a shoulder injury will also not be ideal and can be a determining factor in what may be the correct exercise for you.

What about boredom? Constantly doing the same thing over and over can become monotonous and cause dropout or failure. What is the best way to start and stay motivated? There’s that word again the BEST. Why is it that the majority of the population need to be convinced that this is the best and only program or path they should follow?

You are at your best when you enjoy the task at hand, and enjoying fitness is different for each one of us. Your fitness program should be as unique as you are. The best is what is the best for YOU and that cannot be a cookie cutter program. The Y can help you find YOUR best. Come start the journey today.