25 Effective Fitness Routines for All Ages and Body Types

I’m a bit of a fitness nut by nature. I’ve tried all sorts of exercise routines from running my butt off and destroying my knee joints in the process to competing in figure competitions to doing prenatal yoga to teaching Baby Boomer aquatics classes. Yeah. I’ve seen it all. Done it all. Found out what works for me.

Problem is…it took me years of trial and error to figure out what type of fitness program was suitable for my life at the time. Keeping fit and healthy looks different to us depending on what our goals are at the time. Sometimes, we might have the time to invest in long, heavy workout sessions. Other times, we just want to maintain our fitness with minimal output. 

I created this checklist for you, so you can figure out what’s important to you in your fitness right now. Bookmark it, Evernote clip it or print it out for the next time you just need to switch things up!

No gym membership. No problem.  Stick to bodyweight workouts. Try P90X. Go for walks. Sprint down your street.

Like to shake, wiggle and just move? Take a Zumba or Step class. Play some tunes at home and dance to the music.

Fancy yourself a cyclist? Join a cycling club. Ride your bike to work. Take spin classes. Try mountain biking.

Get motivated by camaraderie.  You’ll enjoy fitness classes. Boot camps. Group training.

Like being bossed around in the gym? Hire a personal trainer. Work out with a gym rat. Try a boot camp class.

Minimalist approach: shorter time, more results. Body by Science. Tabata workouts. Interval training. Burst training.

Focused on optimal mental performance? Body by Science. Whole body vibration. Standing desk. Being active during the day.

Walking is “your thang.” Go for walks every day. Vary your pace. Bring a friend. Walk your dog.

Pregnant and not feeling fit? Gentle routines are best. Try walking. Take a prenatal class. Read my blog post about fitness and pregnancy.

Pregnant and very fit? Continue with your regular routine. Switch it up if you need to. Prenatal yoga. Walking. Read my blog post about fitness and pregnancy.

Postpartum freak-out, trying to get your body back. First three months of walking, light exercise and baby wearing. Focus on recovery and energy management. After three months, ease back into an exercise routine. Watch my episode on postpartum fitness tips.

Gym Rat, living at the gym. 5-6 days of weightlifting and maybe 1-2 classes/weekly. Focus on strong recovery program. Must have tailored nutrition regimen.

Teenager with a fitness streak - Experiment with sports and activities. Try team/individual sports. Beginning weightlifting routines. Just being active is enough.

Kids and tweens who want to “work out." Crossfit kids. Dance classes. Hiking. Swimming. Family activities. Resistance training. Watch my video with our 11-year-old daughter about kids and fitness.

Runners High Junkies. Long-distance running, cycling, triathlons, marathons. Any of Ben Greenfields’ routines on Pacific Net. 

It ain’t a workout unless you puke. You’ll love Crossfit. Maybe even the Jillian Michaels approach.

Body image issues plague you. Before you exercise, read Scott Abel’s blog. He helped me rein in my own anorexic issues. You’ll enjoy training for a figure, bikini, or bodybuilding competition. Make sure to hire a coach and get help when you get “fat-phobia."

Arnold Schwarznegger wanna-bes. Male bodybuilding split routine. 5-6x/week, maybe even 1-2x/daily, if your body can recover. Layne Norton is a smart, results-oriented natural bodybuilder. My top choice for gaining solid, research-backed advice.

Lose Fat. Lean Out. Try a combination of cardio and weight-training. Interval routines. Burst training. Diet is 80% of your results.

Eating vegetarian and vegan is important to you. Get adequate protein and Vitamin B12. Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive, is a terrific read. 80-10-10 diet works for some raw vegans, but I personally had a disastrous experience eating that way while trying to work out.

Baby Boomer with a focus on youth and overall health. Focus on mobility. Stay active during the day. Take walks. Aquatic classes are easy on the joints. Read Quay Hayden post on fitness for an old guy. J


I. Lift. Heavy. Things.  Powerlifting. Olympic weightlifting. Personal trainer. Eat big, and recover like crazy.

Love doing cardio on machines, a lot. Try interval training to break up monotony. Add in a 2-3 days of weight-training. Use different machines. Get a good playlist.

Holistic person. Body, mind, and soul. Yoga, all types. Pilates. Meditation. 

Just can’t stand being indoors for a workout. Any sports outdoors. Biking. Walking. Running. Cycling. Swimming. Hiking. Playing on a playground. Barefooting. 

And, there you have it! There’s got to be something in there for you.

Your Turn: Are there any others I should add to this list. Let me know by shooting me an email or sharing your thoughts on social media.