The Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Work Out – Reason 5: Exercise Personality

Consistency in fitness

This is it – the final article in the series of examining why people don’t work out more. We’ve covered much ground and I hope I was able to offer some helpful tips! To recap:

Article 1: Time

Article 2: Cost

Article 3: Value 

Article 4: Intimidation

And now, a mismatch on exercise personality.

Did you know you have an exercise personality? You do! I don’t know that there’s a Myers Briggs out there to give you your exact type, but you definitely have one.

I am a terrible runner. I hate everything about running. I get bored about five minutes in. All I can think about is that I hate running and it’s only been five minutes. I look like I’m running through marshmallows – like it’s a lot of effort. Not my thing!

On the flip side, I “joke” (although I think it’s pretty true) that I have exercise ADD. I don’t know if I’ve ever taught the same class twice. I like to continually mix things up and keep things fresh. For step aerobics, which I’ve taught for 21 years at this point, I keep a library of all my combinations and I have 85 of them (I just counted). I use 5 combinations per class so you can imagine that’s a lot of variety. For my strength/bootcamp classes, I not only constantly change the exercises themselves but also the format. We might do every exercise for 90 seconds and then move on. Or take 15 exercises and countdown from 10 (everything 10 times, everything 9 times, etc.). Or perhaps one minute stations is the way to go. Or is anyone in the mood for Tabatas?? (Eight rounds of an exercise at 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off.) So many options!

So I know that my exercise personality needs continual change. I also know that I’ll never work out at 5 a.m., and I can’t work out alone since I need group accountability. 

The Issue:

Duyen says, “I wish that instructors designed classes to allow more interaction.”

Lisa says, “My issue is having someone to work out with, but mostly also just having the desire to work out.”

Shahrzad says, “It is hard to find a group workout that works for me (pace and intensity) since I really don’t like exercising alone.”

Alissa says, “Some people need an exercise partner. Some people need a trainer. I personally need to get up first thing in the morning, put on my running shoes or hop on my elliptical, and just do it.”

Dana says, “I enjoy swimming, but get bored quickly. I found a wonderful yoga studio many years ago that offered NIA, exercise ball and belly dancing. I went for a few years and loved it. I started traveling for work and stopped going. I miss it.”

When you’re searching for the right exercise program for you, it’s critical to consider your exercise personality! 

Suggestions for Finding the Right Program for You  

  • Try lots of options at the gym

Unless you know you love Crossfit, you probably shouldn’t join a Crossfit gym. They only offer one thing: Crossfit. It’s great for people who love it but the lack of variety might not be a good fit for some. Similarly, some of the new low-cost gyms popping up like Planet Fitness only offer machines and weights, but no group fitness classes. If I had to just walk on a treadmill or do weight machines, I’d literally never work out. It would bore me to tears. By joining a gym with lots of options, you can try many different classes: Zumba, Pilates, yoga, step aerobics, bootcamp, dance jam, etc. Give them a try – you never know what you might like!

  • Think outside the exercise box

Exercise knows many forms. If it raises your heart rate, count it! Do you like dancing? Turn up the music and dance for 30 minutes! Like gardening? The bending and stretching and squatting are certainly good toning exercises. There’s a lady in my neighborhood who makes me smile because of all the different ways she moves: I’ve seen her skipping down the sidewalk (forwards and backwards), doing walking lunges up and down her driveway, cycling, jogging and more. I would guess that her exercise personality is that she likes to be outdoors and she likes to mix things up.

  • Take a quiz

I joked about there not being a Myers Briggs quiz but actually, there are quizzes available to help you figure this out. Here are a few that I found:

 

  • Challenge yourself to try one thing you never thought you would

About a year ago, I tried a boxing class – the kind where you wrap your hands, put on gloves and then pound away at the bag. Wow. I have never felt so strong and, to be perfectly honest, bad a$$. I never would have guessed that I’d like it – I just tried it out on a whim. What is something you’ve thought about trying but just haven’t made that leap yet?

I hope these articles have given you ideas, inspiration and confidence to try something new. I’d love to hear from you regarding questions or comments or success stories. Keep moving forward!