Often, the biggest hurdle to getting fit is knowing how to get there. What type of exercise should you be doing, and what range of movement will get you where you want to be? There are so many options out there it can be overwhelming.
Should you choose running, cycling or attending classes? Or would your time be better spent following YouTube videos at home, or going to the gym?
As with most things in life, the answer simply comes down to how well you know yourself. Choosing the right type of exercise for you means choosing a sport or activity that fits with your personality and your personal lifestyle.
Whether you're a solitary exerciser or a social fitness butterfly, we've got the right regime for you.
Personality type: The lone wolf
Characteristics: a drive, or stubborn streak. Able to push themselves easily
Types of exercise to try: online tutorials, swimming, going to the gym, high-intensity classes
Some people are naturally self-motivated, and if you enjoy your alone time when exercising, then activities such as swimming, heading to the gym and following online tutorials are ideal.
To keep your motivation strong, be sure to mix up your routine: this could mean spending one week doing longer sessions of exercise, then switching it up next week to shorter, higher-intensity sessions such as a kinesis class.
It's important to do a mix of low-intensity and high-intensity workouts to strengthen your whole body. The Ministry of Health recommends cycling as a sport that's gentle on the joints, while something like light weight training strengthens bones and builds muscle.
Personality type: The fitness buddy
Characteristics: does well in the company of others, enjoys team sports and clubs
Types of exercises to try: running clubs, dance classes, group classes at gyms
Sometimes motivation comes out of a feeling of obligation. And that's ok - whatever gets you out of bed and moving. If you fare better with company, seek out a gym buddy, running partner or spin class fan and arrange to exercise together.
Another alternative is to join a club that meets on a regular basis. Clubs are great sources of exercise, they're also often very social and you're more likely to turn up if you know that 10 other people are expecting you to.
There are extra benefits to some communal sports, too: research suggests that memorising a dance routine can help reduce the onset of dementia.
Personality type: The on-the-goer
Characteristics: takes time to exercise as and when is possible, always short on time
Types of exercise to try: a cycling commute, exercises in the office, early-morning classes
Most of us have multiple life commitments, and it can be a struggle to find the time to exercise and look after ourselves. This can be short-sighted, and means we may burn out or get ill - which is never good for our family, friends or workplace.
Exercise can be incorporated into all aspects of your life, and not just into dedicated slots during the week. In fact, research has shown that it's better to keep moving throughout the day. Fitness First outlines ways to keep moving in the office with just a few simple stretches.
Don't forget how it feels
One major and often overlooked factor of exercise is how it makes us feel. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and release endorphins - vital to making us feel good.
Whenever you work out, focus on how you feel before and after the session. Simply remembering how good it feels can be a huge motivator when it comes to sticking to your new regime.
Before starting any kind of new exercise, it's a good idea to check in with your doctor and assess your current health. They can also help advise you on areas you need to work on and where your strengths may lie.