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What fitness personality are you 1260x542

What fitness personality are you?

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Forget the one-size-fits-all gym. Who you are determines which exercise suits you most, writes Rosie Brogan.

Sticking with exercise ain’t easy - especially in colder months when excuses to avoid the gym/pool/running track can mount up as quickly as our heating bills do.

“If people’s personalities can predict what conditions are most favourable for them to exercise, then an exercise program can be tailored to fit their personal needs, making it more likely they will stick with a routine,” says Amy Hagan from the University of Florida’s Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences.

Here’s how to find your perfect match.

You’re: Introverted

Bring the gym to the comfort of your own home. Introverts can be more self-conscious than their outgoing counterparts, so limit the worry and work out solo. What’s more, a home workout is good for your waistline: a study reported in The Annals of Medicine found that people with home exercise machines were 73 per cent more likely to start getting fit.

You’re: Conscientious and determined

“These are very self-disciplined people who strive to achieve something. They want to take charge of their own exercise routine to make sure it will get done,” says Hagan. So with discipline on your side, save on gym fees and manage your own exercise plan. You might even thrive by working towards a goal—like the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival every September, for instance. Grab your diary and slot in regular exercise time—running, walking and cycling are ideal. If you choose the latter, expect to burn around 1200 to 1700 kilojoules per hour, depending on the steepness of the slope you ride.

You’re: Outgoing

Joining your local gym could be well worth the investment. Hagan believes extroverts react well to working out in big groups. You may also like spin classes, aerobic dance classes and circuit training. “These excitement-craving people love lots of activity, and they want to go, go, go,” she says. Another tip is to vary your routine. Check an evening college in your area and mix short courses (such as salsa, kickboxing or tennis lessons) in with your gym routine—that way you’ll avoid getting bored. 

You’re: An over-thinker, prone to anxiety

According to Hagan, anxious types are “least likely to exercise, but these are the very people who would benefit the most from the activity because it would help reduce their anxiety and stress.” Go for a low-intensity workout, she advises. Yoga is notorious for helping clear the mind and relieving tension; while walking works similar wonders on your headspace.

You’re: Social

Buddy up. As personal trainer and fitness author Andrew Cate says, “It makes the time go faster having someone to talk to, and it gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts… You can check up on each other, motivate each other and dramatically increase your chances of success. It can make a big difference to have someone depending on you on those days when you don’t feel like training.” Play tennis together, go for walks or attend the gym at the same times each week. Combining socialising time with exercise also means you’re not catching up for drinks that pile on the kilos, either. Good result all round!

You’re: Open

Are you someone who laps up life and is open to new ideas? Work music into your fitness plan and venture outdoors. Hagan believes that music will add more excitement to your workout and get you moving more vigorously. Music also broadens the experience of exercise, she says. Routine will bore you, so plan to shake up your fitness method regularly. New sports like trapeze flying or zumba dance classes could send your motivation soaring.

Did you know?

According to research from the University of Florida, 60 per cent of people who start a fitness program drop out after the first six months, while 90 per cent do so after two years.

References available on request