A UVA Heart & Vascular Center Initiative

What’s Your Exercise Personality?

Posted January 30, 2018

We all need exercise, but there is no one-size-fits-all workout. Your hot yoga class may be your BFF’s worst nightmare. Her treadmill routine may leave you bored to tears. The key to success and enjoyment is to find the activities that are right for you.

Take a look at the questions below to determine your exercise personality and then get tips to ensure you select activities that keep you engaged and active over the long haul.

Are You Independent?
If you prefer to exercise alone, you run the risk of always sticking to the same machines and routine and could reach an exercise plateau or burnout. The solution: try something out of your comfort zone and attend a group exercise class. Formats such as cycling, kickboxing and strength classes provide a challenging, individual workout with added motivation from an instructor, not to mention high-intensity tunes!

Are You Outgoing?
If you like to be social while you exercise, attend a group exercise class or sign up for personal or small group training sessions. Working out with your friends can easily turn into more of a gabfest than a sweat session, so a trainer or instructor will make sure that you get a quality workout. You’ll be feeding your social butterfly, while keeping your focus on your workout and learning some new moves.

Are You Competitive?
Your personality type tends to choose pounding the pavement or attending rigorous exercise classes. But what you may need are the physical and mental benefits that come from yoga. Yoga classes are great workouts that can blend cardiovascular work with all-over resistance training. Not to mention the meditative work, which helps lower blood pressure and anxiety. There are many types of yoga classes, so find one that you enjoy and remember to tune into your own body and your practice rather than trying to outdo the person on the next mat.

Are You Unmotivated?
If you have a hard time getting moving on your own, group exercise classes are the place for you. Choose a high-energy class like dance, step or kickboxing that combines great music, imaginative moves and enthusiastic instructors to make exercise more enjoyable and fun, but just as effective.

Are You Short on Time?
Many people have a hard time fitting an hour-long workout into their busy day. If this sounds like you, aim to do three 10- to 20-minute mini-workouts 3 to 5 days a week. Then try to schedule a longer exercise session on the weekend. For your mini-workouts, try jumping rope, running stairs or doing circuits to get your heart rate up and your muscles working at the same time. During the weekend, arrange to meet friends for a tennis match or a long bike ride to increase your endurance.

Remember: if you’re just starting an exercise routine, be sure to talk to your physician about any limitations you may have.



— Courtesy of Yardley Montague