Bottom Line: Your exercise program should fit you—not vice versa.
Jacque Crockford, MS, CSCS, certified personal trainer and exercise physiology content manager at American Council on Exercise (ACE), San Diego.
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To get the most from exercise, it should fit your personality, not vice versa. Take the quiz to uncover your workout style.
You’re someone who needs new challenges to fight boredom and are always ready for an adrenaline rush. Nothing scares you—you’re in it for the experience and to see how much your body can do. Trying new things is essential for you, so consider rock climbing, adult gymnastics classes or even an adult rowing team. Maximize vacations with outdoor activities like standup paddle-boarding or rain forest hiking to feed your sense of adventure. To stay healthy and strong for all these extracurriculars, be sure to do strength training two or three times a week, including full body movements such as deadlifts, pull-ups and rotational movements to keep your core strong for your adventures. Up for a real thrill? Swing from the rafters at circus school!
You want to exercise, but you need a spark to get moving. So, whenever you have trouble taking the first step, call a buddy and then work out together—you’re less likely to cancel if you know someone is counting on you.
Also, make new fitness friends by sampling a variety of group fitness classes at your gym—you’ll also find out what disciplines you like best and be more likely to go often. Look for small, boutique gyms in your area—they offer small-group classes that will give you structure, friendly competition and a social element that will keep you accountable. Pay for your classes in advance—this will encourage you to stick with the plan.
Working with a certified personal trainer is also a great motivator. Buy a package of sessions and mark the dates in your calendar just as you would doctor’s appointments or business meetings. Need more motivation as you progress? A fitness tracker may do the trick.
You approach exercise meticulously and need a gym with regular classes and extended hours so you can work out on your schedule. Motivation is not an issue, but predictability and accessibility are. Being a record-keeper means you love to track your progress, and setting new goals is a must—you love the feeling of testing and increasing your abilities. Great for you: Activities such as running, cycling or swimming where you can participate in events of repeated distances so you can easily track your progress from event to event. If you’re not an endurance athlete, just tracking daily steps, calories burned, heart rate and miles clocked will bring you satisfaction. Need to scale up safely? Try low impact, high intensity workouts.
You have trouble finding time to exercise during the work week, so Saturdays and Sundays are “go time!” But even if you’re a weekend warrior, try to find ways to get in some fitness activities during the week—even if it’s just a quick YouTube workout at home in the evening. Yoga is a great option to work in once or twice—it builds balance and flexibility, important to keep you in shape for, and to avoid injuries from, weekend spurts of activity.
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