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What's the right exercise for you?

Your friends are talking about the classes they go to. Facebook ads promoting the latest 30 day challenge constantly pop up. Instagram shows pictures of amazing before and afters. But, you’re not sure what’s going to work for you. Everyone is different and what you enjoy and where you’ll see the results may be different from your best friend.

To help you make a decision, I’ve looked at 11 different activities and detailed who I think they’d be most suitable for. The list is by no means exhaustive, but take a look and weigh up which you think may be right for you.

Zumba / Clubbercise – dance based classes

Great if you:

  • want to have a bit of a laugh with your friends and get the heart pumping at the same time.

  • don’t have two left feet! Although, the choreographed moves will become second nature to you the more often you go and to be honest they don’t take themselves too seriously so if you don’t get the move exactly right, it really doesn’t matter.

  • don’t want to feel like you’re actually exercising, as it’s a much more fun set up

Bounce – trampoline classes

Great if you:

  • want something high energy but nothing that’s too high impact.

  • want a fun cardio class to some upbeat tunes.

  • don’t want anything too complicated. It’s fairly easy to pick up the moves and you are limited to what you can do on a trampoline so you’ll quickly get used to the routines.


  • Can get very hot and sweaty so take a towel!

  • Your pelvic floor may not like it, but I’m told it will help strengthen it over time!


Great if you:

  • want to tone up and strengthen, but with a particular focus on the core.

  • want something low impact. Most classes are heavily floor based so no leaping about.

  • have any aches and pains to deal with


  • Classes do vary so if this is the avenue for you, try a few classes to see what level you want to be at.


Great if you:

  • want something calm and relaxing, rather than energetic.

  • want to focus on breathing and improving your flexibility and balance. If you want time to switch off and really be at one with yourself then this is for you.


  • Again, varies dramatically as there are various practices, some that flow more than others and of course there’s the hot one


Great if you:

  • want to focus on your lower body. Not as much of an allrounder as the others, but great cardio and great for building up leg strength.

  • want a challenge – the cadence and resistance are changed all the time so you will be pushed to the limits

  • want to improve your cycling technique


  • Can get a little repetitive, as there are limited moves you can do on a bike

  • Focus on the core while doing the class!

LBT /Bootcamp / circuits / HIIT

Great if you:

  • want a challenge for the whole body

  • like variety/ get bored easily. Generally classes varies week on week

  • want to work full on for short bursts of energy (30 secs or so)

  • want to make the most of your hour as they cover the whole body and often include the cardio element to boot


  • so many different varieties of class to choose from here, some where the instructors are quite militant in their approach so see what works for you.

Boxing classes

Great if you:

  • feel a bit stressed out. You can take out a bit of aggression on the pads in these classes.

  • want something high energy

  • want to improve your upper body strength but also get in a bit of core work and improve your agility.

Personal training

Great if you:

  • aren’t really a group person or if you feel a little self-conscious in a class environment

  • are lacking motivation and need some accountability – you don’t want to stand up your PT do you?

  • want to build up confidence

  • want a personalised approach. A PT will work with you to the find the exercises that you enjoy (but that challenge you!) and monitor you progress towards your end goal


Great if you:

  • like the great outdoors

  • want something free. Just pop on your trainers and get out the door!

  • are good at self-motivation. Not having a time you need to be somewhere does mean you need to have the impetus to get out

  • want to switch off and just enjoy the fresh air


  • it can be damaging on the knees and hips as it’s high impact. Make sure you have the right trainers for this!

  • if you want something more social/accountable, then join a club or find a local Park Run

Racket sports

Great if you:

  • want to do something with a partner or friend. Tennis or squash might be up your street.

  • want to get rid of your aggression, on a ball this time

  • have dedication to improving your technique. It can get boring quite quickly if you’re not focused on getting better and just plod along

  • have a competitive nature. Obviously you’re up against someone else so there’s always going to be an element of competition.


  • there’s normally a social element to joining a racket sports club too, so nice if you want to get to know more people


Great if you:

  • like to be alone when doing exercise

  • want something calming, just switch off from what’s going on around you

  • low impact and easy on the bones/muscles

So, what do you think? Any of these ones you’d fancy trying out?

Most classes will let you do a trial (sometimes for free) so try them out. What have you got to lose? If you don’t like it, just move onto the next thing. Finding the right exercise for you will help keep you motivated and sticking to that exercise regime. Doing something just because your best friend dragged you along and you want the company, isn’t going to be something that sticks. For longevity, you need to do what’s right for you.

Obviously I’m here if you’d like to do the personal training route (and I do a couple of classes) but if you’d like some recommendations on some of the classes above then let me know as I’ve tried a few out.


Find out more about my personal training or my classes.

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