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Work Out Programs and Personality Types

A successful work out program may be intimately linked to your personality type. You may be more likely to follow your work out program over the long term if your exercise matches your personality type.

If you're a loner you're probably not going to want to be involved in team building exercises after a long day; but you'll show up if you're competitive or if you love the camaraderie of a team.

A more contemplative or introverted person might have better luck with walks in the woods, tai chi or martial arts.

Likewise, Dr. Stamford, a professor and director of the Health Promotion Center at the University of Louisville says a goal-oriented personality is often drawn to a single activity. These are inclined to train like athletes do and excel at their sport. But alternating between different activities might be a good choice for other people, especially older adults who don't want to over-stress their joints, or those who are easily bored.

Even a couch potato can make a gradual transition to 'exerciser', as long as they begin with realistic goals such as opting for the stairs rather than the elevator, when possible. Or people can make time to do household chores, such as gardening or scrubbing the tub, for the sake of their health.

The key is choosing a work out program that fits your natural pre-dispositions and personal circumstances. 'What am I willing to do? Well, I'm really busy, and I can only set aside time on the weekend.'

Work out programs tailored to your personality type
  • Introverted - walking, pilates, yoga, martial arts, swimming, home gym.
  • Competitive - Sports such as tennis, hockey, basketball.
  • Extroverted - Group activities such as golf, mall walking, hikes, public health club.
  • Creative - Dancing
  • Outdoorsy - Hiking, in-line skating, mountain biking, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding.
  • Hard working - Housework, gardening, lawn-mowing.
  • Lump everything - get off a stop or a floor early and walk the rest, walk to the store instead of drive.

While people tend to think a small commitment is a waste of time, any amount of time is a good starting point. And choosing something you like to do is likely to motivate you to make more time for your activity. For example, if you can get locked into hiking in the woods on Saturdays and Sundays, then you may end up saying, "Maybe on Wednesday I can carve out some time for exercise as well."

Studies confirm a work out doesn't have to be painful to be effective, so pick an activity that gives you some joy, whether it's mall walking, yoga or ballroom dancing, and stick with it.

The most important thing about work out is consistency; so you need to choose things that are realistic, comfortable and that are going to inspire you to keep coming back. If you are in any doubts about the desirability to get moving see Benefits of Fitness to motivate you.

03/22/04







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