Finding your Exercise Style

Studio 5 Health and Fitness Contributor Melanie Douglass, R.D., NASM helps you define your style for exercising.

Exercise is hard work – if it was easy, we’d all be doing it. But just like brushing our teeth, it’s something we have to make time for. You may never love exercise, but by exploring your personality, your lifestyle and what types of activities motivate you, you just might find a workout match made in heaven – a match that could save your life.

Surprisingly, there are lots of exercise personality tests out there… which one is right for you depends on how much time you have to answer questions and how much thought you are willing to put into reading the analysis.

For a thorough exercise personality assessment, try The 8 Colors of Fitness quiz by Suzanne Brue. Her quiz is based on the based on the widely accredited Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the personality assessment used by organizations and schools to help understand individual differences in personality.

For a quick and easy assessment, try What’s Your Fitness Personality quiz found on There are multiple quizzes of this nature found online, but I like this one best as the questions and recommendations are relevant, practical and clear – it’s easy to get up and get moving after a quiz like this.

If quiz-mode isn’t for you, take a look at these four basic exercise types. One of these might just describe you…

1) The Fun-Seeker

If you are a fun-seeker, you’re willing to try almost anything. You’ll thrive working out in groups or with a friend while trying just about anything. You are able to laugh at yourself and aren’t worried about what the rest of the world thinks of your performance, whether it be in a group class or a casual run in the park.

Fun Seekers do well with a spontaneous exercise program that involves a wide variety of activities, like: Zumba, kickboxing, dancing, recreational sports or group exercise classes. A fun-seeker will rarely stick with a regimented, predictable routine. So don’t expect to stick to a plan like: “I’m going to do a solo 5K run everyday this week”. Fun seekers need variety to stay motivated.

2) The Competitor

This one is easy. If healthy competition lights helpful little fires of motivation inside you, then get involved with marathons, triathlons, or formal events that provide that competitive environment. If you like to compete in small groups, just find another competitor-personality type and ask them to train with you a few times a week – that way you can push each other. Besides formal events, competitors can workout in group exercise classes (yoga is a great one) as well.

3) The Self-Motivator

If you are a driven, ambitious person with clear goals and an independent attitude, then you’ll likely succeed with basic independent activities like walking, running, cycling, swimming, or predictable group fitness classes (like step, weights, etc). As a self-motivator, try not to fall into the trap of doing the same thing day after day while expecting a different result. It’s easy to get into a regular routine – but variety is important in every fitness routine. So once in a while shake up your walking program and go for a swim or bike ride.

4) The Companion

Companions prefer working out with 1 – 3 people; typically close friends or family. Companions are casual and encouraging and typically do well on group walks, bike rides, or home workout programs/dvds. Companions need to remember to push each other… it’s easy to slip into a workout regimen that’s comfortable, instead of challenging. Companions also do better with appointments for working out. Set a specific time and date so that group accountability works to your advantage.

Last but not least, if all this self-analysis spins you into a personality-identity crisis, keep in mind the real bottom line:

•If you don’t give new activities a shot, you’ll never know what really clicks. In fact, it’s best to give 2 or 3 shots before crossing things off your list.

• Sad but true, in group exercise environments, nobody cares about you… everyone else is there for one thing: themselves! Nobody is watching; nobody is judging. Just go for it! Try something new and do your best. That’s all that matters. It’s your health and it doesn’t matter if you look good doing it – what matters is how it makes you feel.

For a link to Melanie’s blog go to:

Add comment