Making Exercise Fun Based on Your Personality Type
by Angela Breidenbach
Do you feel like everything you try is a failure in fitness and weight loss? Finding a fun and lasting fitness lifestyle may be as simple as matching it to your personality. Various personality types view “fun” in an exercise lifestyle from very different angles. Fitness and weight loss plans authentic to your personality have a stronger chance at long-term success. Here are several ways to match fitness, fun, and lifestyle.
The Competitive Leader naturally takes control and needs competition to thrive. She wants a workout that lets her be direct, aggressive, and can track progress. She should lead special events for volunteer groups that are goal oriented like prepping the church, school, or nursing home grounds. But make it a competition between teams with the youth group. Winners choose the next team sport on the following weekend from volleyball to basketball to anything that keeps everyone moving and laughing.
Tips for the competitive leader: join a sports team, enter a triathlon, or coach youth teams. Remember to get out on the field with those kids during practice. Track your progress with a running calendar and weight lifting.
The Social Butterfly is always looking for fun and excitement. She likes to try new things but has trouble sticking with them. Instead of being frustrated, recognize this as joyful opportunity to mix and match a fitness program. Don’t forget special work or clean-up days at church or church camps, volunteer for some fun, out-of-the-ordinary exercise by painting or raking leaves with friends. Trade fall yard chores by doing your friend’s yard together and then yours.
Tips for the social butterfly: tap dancing, trampoline, ball games, spin classes, swing dancing, chat with a friend on the elliptical trainer.
The Hugger loves to take care of others. She needs routine and a leisurely pace to have time to care for the environment and people around her. When someone else counts on her, she’s even more likely to arrive and stick to the fitness plan. Pick up a friend on the way. One special way to make sure a hugger stays involved? Help friends, relatives, or church members get to, and participate with them in, specialty classes like water or fitness classes for disabled. Give rides to senior citizen dances and stay as an extra partner.
Tips for the hugger: Bike riding, Pilates/stretching, water aerobics, mall walking clubs, litter pick-up, or gardening are excellent ideas.
The Logical personality needs order and routine. She’s very disciplined even about the little things. A workout at home is reliable and keeps her on schedule. Waiting on others, who may or may not show up, frustrates this dependable personality type. Be the organizer for group cleaning and work days at volunteer facilities.
Tips for the logical personality: Wear Sketchers Shape-Ups, work out with Wii Fit every morning, attend scheduled work out classes with trainers, and build a rotating workout to tone all your muscles without atrophy.
Work up to moderately intense cardio thirty minutes a day at least five to six days a week. If weight loss is your goal, cardio needs to work toward a regular sixty minutes a day.
Strength-training moves, eight to twelve repetitions, sets of two to three, three times a week.
Dynamic stretches (constant movement during the stretch) prior to your work out for three to five minutes prevents injuries by lubricating joints while static stretches (holding for ten seconds or more) after a work out prevents torn muscles.
Those are great ideas, but what about my budget? That’s not a fun part!
Tips to consider easing the cost of fitness programs
Great low cost, at-home tools and toys are hand weights, shake weights, Pilates rings, workout DVDs, one-time purchases for Wii or used exercise equipment to get you started.
You may be able to use flexible spending dollars and health spending accounts for expenses toward a weight loss program, gym, or nutritionist if it is a treatment for a disease diagnosed by a physician (such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease).
Cut Insurance Costs:
Overweight employees cost businesses up to 52% more in healthcare costs so ask about creating wellness programs at work, if one doesn’t already exist. Personal insurance policies for overweight individuals are up-charged significantly. Healthy weight, lower cost.
Some insurance plans actually cover weight loss or fitness fees. Check your policy. It may be less expensive to add a rider, if available, than pay fees.
Outside the Box:
Look for extended learning programs through local schools and community colleges. These often include special exercise, dance, and aerobic classes. Teach fitness classes at your church or school or for a wellness program at work.
The Ultimate Goal: A Healthy Body is a Usable Body
If we are to glorify and be used by God, we care for the body God gave into our stewardship. It must be hard for God to watch the gift He’s given be destroyed through misuse and abuse. On hard days, imagine the joy on God’s face when He sees you cherishing the precious gift of your body in order to be available to Him. Imagine the angels cheering as you praise and honor God through cultivating a healthy body.
Did you know…
5-10% loss of body weight more than six months improves your health by:
Lowering risk of heart disease
Reducing risk of type 2 diabetes
Reducing risk of some kinds of cancer
Reducing strain on joints
Relieving excessive fatigue
But sustaining a 5-10% loss of body weight also lowers medical and insurance costs associated with the care, medications, and treatment of these issues. Less cost out-of-pocket means more money in your pocket for family, faith, and social needs.
It costs less to weigh less. But ultimately, it’s more fun to live in a healthy body.
It doesn’t have to happen all at once. What will you do now? Choose your first step.
Angela Breidenbach’s current book, Gems of Wisdom: For a Treasure-filled Life, is an excellent Bible study/book club tool that builds life skills through biblical values, stories, and discussions. She’s a multi-published speaker who encourages growth in faith, health, and relationships. Angela coaches weight loss/fitness, writing, & interview skills. Her writing includes non-fiction, fiction, devotionals, and articles. A Healing Heart, Abingdon Press’ new Quilts of Love Books, releases April 2013.