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How to Choose the Right Workout for Your Personality

Many people become fitness dropouts because their workouts don't suit their temperament or disposition. They choose the exercise because it is trendy, all their friends are doing it or they have read somewhere that it is the "best" exercise.

For example, forcing yourself to do an "aerobic kick boxing" class just because your friend lost a lot of weight doing it won't work if you are the loner-type who likes to do things alone. Walking or running would be a better choice for you.

Exercise is like friendship. You have more chances of developing a long-term friendship with someone if your personality "clicks" with theirs.

By doing some self-analysis, the tips below will help you find the appropriate way to exercise for your particular character type. The right workout-personality combination could be all that you need to reap the many health and fitness benefits of exercise by becoming a regular exerciser.

Keep in mind, of course, that people are not just composed of one personality type but are a combination of several characteristics. For example, you could be artistic, goal-oriented, and analytical or you could be artistic, shy, and easily discouraged.

Shy
You are not necessarily a loner. You just don't like being with people you don't know very well. You will be most successful if you exercise alone or with people you are comfortable and familiar with. Large gyms are not a good choice for you. A small gym where everyone knows each other is ideal.

Self-conscious
The wall-to-wall mirrors of a gym or the thought of exercising in public areas can send shivers down the spine of a self-conscious person. If you are this type of person, you are better off exercising in the privacy of your own home, either by yourself or with a personal trainer.

Competitive
You are not motivated unless you are in a contest with other people. Sports are a natural choice for you but you can also workout alone by being your own opponent. You can do this by trying to beat the time or performance of your previous workouts.

Loner
If you are a loner, you don't like working out with anyone, not even close friends. Gyms are out of the question unless you can find a gym that is totally empty during non-peak time. You will do best with solitary activities like walking, running, cycling or swimming where you can spend a lot of time alone.

Easily bored
"Variety is the spice of life" if you are the type who easily gets bored. Different kinds of workout -- the more diverse, the better - are just what you need to stay motivated. A change of environment does wonders too. Change the type of workout, time, location and companions on a regular basis and you will exercise with continued zest for a long time.

Groupie
If working out during the peak time in a gym or in a full aerobic class seems to give you more energy, you are a "groupie". You find it more exciting and motivating when you are surrounded by a crowd of fellow exercisers. Exercising alone or with a few people is very lonely and demotivating for you. Choose large gyms or high-traffic neighborhood recreation centers.

Team player
Team sports are the best choice if you are a team player type of person. It is the camaraderie, game strategies and team spirit that inspire you to continue to exercise. Individual sports just don't do anything to excite you.

Time conscious
Time-conscious people hate to waste time. You are this type if you like to do two things at one time. You will feel fulfilled if you exercise on a cardiovascular machine while reading your mail, homework, or office reports. Do your muscle-conditioning exercises while catching up with the latest news on TV.

Nature lover
You prefer outdoor activities to exercising inside a gym or your room. However, you are happiest when you can exercise in natural surroundings like the beach or mountains (compared to the streets inside your subdivision). Unless you live in the provinces, it may be hard to find such naturally beautiful places to exercise on a weekly basis. As a temporary substitute, you may want to try the example of one nature lover I know. She watches the Discovery or National Geographic channels while she exercises in her room. She says this makes her look forward to her workouts and keeps her exercising regularly until she can get out of the city during weekends.

Goal-oriented
If you don't have a goal to aim for, you aren't inspired to exercise. Training to join competitions will probably do the trick for you even if you aren't competitive. The fact alone that you have a deadline to meet in terms of fitness levels will be motivating enough. Another way is to set goals about a component of fitness like cardiovascular endurance or flexibility. Once you have achieved a specific goal, look for another one quickly before you get bored.

Artistic
Dance-based workouts like jazz or ballet are good suggestions if you are the artistic type. If you aren't coordinated, play inspiring music that touches your soul while you do something mundane like lifting weights.

Thrill-seeker
Thrill seekers are the type of exercisers who go for things like bungee jumping, sky diving or hang gliding. It is the "adrenaline rush" that keeps you going. Motivate yourself to "tolerate" less exciting forms of exercise like running on the treadmill or lifting weights because these activities keep you in shape for your real love, which you can probably only do on weekends or on short vacations.

Rebel
You have a rebel-type of personality if you don't like to follow rules or authority. It is probably wiser for you to do your own thing at home or outdoors instead of joining a sports club or gym. You will just make yourself and the instructors/members/athletes miserable with your propensity to break rules.

Social
If you enjoy meeting new people all the time, you should choose workouts or sports that will allow you to see fresh faces all the time. Joining inter-club tournaments and such will keep you motivated.

Creature of habit.
While other people need to change their workouts frequently to stay motivated, you thrive on routine. If you are this kind of person, a rigid exercise schedule is what keeps you exercising regularly. The danger begins when you are taken away from your usual routine. For example, when you go on vacation. Do damage control by getting back on schedule as quickly as you can so you can be back in the groove.

Easily discouraged.
If you are the type who gets easily discouraged, then you should stick to the tried and true exercise formats that you are already good at. Learning new ways to exercise can be discouraging for you since you won't become good overnight.

Technology-oriented.
Gadgets and gizmos turn you on. Old-fashioned workouts like calisthenics or yoga leave you cold. You need the "bells and whistles" of computerized exercise machines. Look for the most high-tech gym to join or buy the most technologically advanced home machine and you will be happy.

The Association of Fitness Professionals will hold a seminar for both fitness professionals and enthusiasts on February 26, 2000 at the U.P. Diliman Campus. Call Lorna at 842-0567.

The Sports Medicine Association of the Philippines will be holding its 9th Annual Convention on March 18, 2000 at the UST Auditorium. Call Bembem at 521-9123 or email sportsmedphil@yahoo.com.

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