Best Workout for Your Personality
Music Lover: Dancing
You knew hip-hop was good exercise, but Irish dance? Both are great workouts for your heart and lungs, called "cardio." In fact, all energetic dances can meet your need to get 60 minutes of movement a day.
Try a class to learn the moves. Or stay home, turn up the music, and dance off your daily stresses. Taking 15-minute dance breaks during your day (for a study break or while doing chores) can bust boredom and help you stay fit.
Player: Rec Room Games
Are you most at home with a game controller? Work in some activity by spending your first 30 minutes playing a game where you stand up and move. You can get a serious workout that rivals an aerobics class by choosing dancing or boxing games.
Or, go old-school with ping-pong or badminton. They're not as intense, but they get you moving and make you feel good. When you get up and move, your body makes feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Go Getter: Race Training
For exercise, it's hard to beat running -- it's great cardio and can help build bone strength -- and passing another racer feels great! But in reality, running is mostly about competing with yourself.
Start with a 5K fun run for a friendly vibe. In the month or two before the race, set small weekly goals. Walk a mile, then two miles, then mix running with walking. Remember: Even though it's called a run, it's OK to walk some, too.
Stunt Lover: Skateboarding
You'll tone your abs, improve your balance, and get out of the house. Start with lessons at a skate park for tips on helmets, pads, and overall safety. (You need to fall the right way.)
Not doing tricks on the half-pipe yet? Don't give up. Practicing on flat or uphill terrain -- away from cars -- may help you get better. It's great exercise and builds the strength needed for more intense moves.
Nature Lover: Hiking and Canoeing
If you like hiking, fishing, or paddling a canoe, you're probably happy to dive into nature. But what if you need gear? Try second-hand sporting goods stores, where you can get great deals.
To enjoy hiking, you only need solid shoes -- and a buddy, for safety. Need more reasons to head outside? Look at it as a chance to relax, snap some cool photos, or spot unusual birds. Getting outside can be relaxing and lift your mood.
Zen Master: Karate
People may think of martial arts as fight training. But it's more about keeping a cool head, building strong muscles, and developing quick reactions.Want to give it a try? Karate schools often let you try a class for free.
Aikido and kung fu are two other popular forms of self-defense. Graceful tai chi is closer to yoga. Fit bonus: Working out your body may help your mind relax and focus. Try taking 10 minutes to practice some moves before you settle in to study.
Bookworm: Break Out the Earbuds
Would you rather curl up with a good book than head to the gym? Then get a great audio book for your workout. It'll carry you through a brisk walk around your neighborhood -- or on a treadmill or elliptical machine.
How fast is "brisk"? To get good benefits for your body, you want to feel a little winded, but able to concentrate on your story or talk with a walking buddy. Being active during the day can help you sleep better at night.
Free Spirit: Yoga
Yoga makes you flexible and calm -- and it can be a great way to tone your belly, too. Take a few classes to get your form right. Or try it at home with a beginners' DVD. Here's a guide to yoga lingo:
- Hatha and Iyengar classes are mellow.
- Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are faster.
- Bikram (hot yoga) classes are more intense.
Chatterbox: Team Sports
Didn't make the cut for your high school team? Don't stress -- a lot of people don't. Check out club leagues and rec centers, where there are team sports for everyone and you can talk it up with teammates. You may find soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, softball, dodge ball, and much more. It's never too late to learn a new sport.
Recruit friends to join you, or make some new ones. Or call your friends for some half-court basketball. Play a pick-up game for 30 minutes and you’re halfway to your goal of 60 minutes of exercise a day.
Two Left Feet: Strength Training
If you feel like a klutz swinging a bat or dancing, try strength training. You don't need good coordination -- but you can tone your whole body.
Start with moves that use your own body weight -- like pushups. Then move to 3-5 lb. weights and gym machines. Take a class, or ask a trainer at the gym about proper form to avoid injuries. And don’t confuse strength training with jumbo barbells. That's bodybuilding.
Lone Wolf: Swimming
Swimming mixes a whole-body workout with quiet time to be alone with your thoughts. A half-hour of slow laps is just as good as or better than aerobics. And in the water it can feel like you're weightless.
If you've never learned how to swim, look for lessons at your local rec center, where you might even prefer adult classes or one-on-one lessons.
Social Butterfly: Zumba
Want a fun outing with your friends? Once a week, skip the mall and try Zumba, a blend of Latin dancing, Bollywood moves, and aerobics.
Check your rec center or gym for classes. (Teens often get a discount!) Go a few minutes early to tell the teacher you're new. She'll offer more pointers during class. No classes near you? Call up your friends and try out a Zumba DVD at home. Dance gives you better coordination and heart-pumping fun with your friends.
Thrill Seeker: Rock Climbing
Love a challenge? Rock climbing gives you a lofty goal and plenty of thrills, too. It's also a great way to build strong muscles and good balance.
To keep this adrenaline-pumper safe, start with lessons at a rec center with a climbing wall. You'll learn the best techniques, hand grips, and gear, including a safety harness.
Future CEO: Golf
Not many people continue to play tackle football or soccer as adults -- but plenty play golf, as part of socializing for business. You can develop your game now and also get a workout, too. Many golf courses have lower green fees for teens, or chances to work as a caddy to get a discount.
Just don't ride in the cart. Push your clubs in a wheeled cart or, better yet, carry them for a better workout.