Want Lasting Exercise Motivation? Discover Your Fitness Personality!

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One of the reasons why we lose motivation to work out is because the exercise we’re doing isn’t in line with our “fitness personality.” Just how we each have our own personalities, we each have a fitness personality, too. The more closely you cater to that personality, the more you are going to enjoy your exercise and the faster you are going to see results. So how do you discover your fitness personality? The first step is to take a look at your needs, your current health, interests and lifestyle.

Once you’ve figured out where you are and where you want to go, you need to figure out what type of exerciser you are. Do you like yoga, Pilates, do you like to run, exercise with fitness DVD’s, take classes, Zumba or dance? Do you like weights, spinning, cardio or kickboxing? Do you like to exercise alone or with a partner? Does a gym motivate you or intimidate you? Do you like to work out with music and if so, what kind? Do you like to work out indoors or outdoors? Are you competitive and would a team sport work for you? These are just a few of the many questions to consider when creating a program around your fitness personality.

Next, you need to determine the best time of day for you to get your workout in. My clients and I have found that it’s usually best to get a workout in before the day starts because as the day progresses, obligations come up and exercise is one of the first things to go if you have a lot to do. One suggestion is this: when you wake up, immediately put on your workout clothes. This way, you’re mentally getting prepared and giving yourself a running start to get your exercise in as soon as you’re able to. If that’s not an option, keep your gym bag packed and ready, exercise on a lunch break or hit the gym before you come home at the end of your day.

A word to guilt-ridden parents who don’t want to take more time away from their families to get their workout in: The healthier you are and the better you feel, the more you have to give. When you’re unfit, unhealthy, stressed, exhausted and depleted, you’re just not offering your best to those you love. Taking some time for your own self-care, taking time to burn off some steam, improve your health, and increase your energy creates a better, more fit, happier and healthier you. You’re also setting a great example around the importance of health, fitness and taking care of yourself. Isn’t that what you want to give those you love?

Lastly, find out your “why.” What’s the reason you’re working out? Is it to become healthier, gain more confidence or so you look better in your clothes? Is it to have more energy throughout your day, to improve your quality of life, to easily climb the stairs or to feel sexier? We typically stay motivated when the reasons we’re choosing to exercise are specific to us and deeply personal. Once you’ve determined your “why,” keep referring back to it to help power you through your workouts.

The key to a lasting fitness program you enjoy is to discover your unique “fitness personality,” then creating a program around that in a way that suits your lifestyle, that’s fun and brings results. Also, as you change and grow, so will your goals and interests. Just as flexibility is an important component in a well-balanced fitness program, it’s equally important to be flexible in your approach to discovering and working with your unique fitness personality.

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March 2011
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