In a perfect world, we’d all have lots of free time to work out. Not only would we be getting our sweat on every day, we’d all be loving every minute of it (or loving to hate it, anyway!). In reality, it can be near impossible to find the time to work out, and what makes it even harder is not knowing what to do when you DO have time for exercise. If you find yourself on your way to the gym, still trying to work out what you should be doing there, or forcing yourself to a class you’re not really into because it works with your schedule, you might need to assess your fitness personality.
Maybe it’s not that you haven’t found the workout that suits you ... maybe your personality doesn’t suit your workout of choice. Here are some suggestions for you to try thinking about the way you exercise from a personality point of view:
If you’re competitive, and love to win: Try a team sport. You may have read that running is a great sport for those with a competitive nature, and it can be, but it’s usually only competition with yourself. When it comes to team sports, you are working toward an end result of only one team winning, with a more cut-throat process of teams being eliminated from the competition as you go along. The bonus is that by working within a group, you can also work on what might not be a strength for a very competitive person -- relying on others for help and support.
If you are in desperate need of time to yourself: Try swimming. Swimming is possibly the most solitary workout you could try -- it’s not like you can chat with the person in the next lane as you do your laps. If you need time to think or just want time when you don’t have to listen to anyone, find a pool.
If you like numbers, statistics, and enjoy charting progress: Try running. Running is a numbers geek sport. Almost any aspect of running can be broken down into numbers to be charted and compared. Miles run, pace, elevation, heart rate, intervals -- all carefully recorded. Runners even work out when to buy new sneakers based on how many miles they’ve run in them. If you get joy from seeing your progress charted, running might be a great choice for you.
If you get bored easily, or like to be surprised by your workout: Try CrossFit. (Just please make sure you find a great affiliate with experienced trainers!). For those unfamiliar with CrossFit, every class has a WOD (Workout of the Day) programmed, which you can wait to find out about when you get there. It could be 20 minutes long. It could be an hour. It could be Olympic lifting or sprint intervals. And surprise! You might love it.
If you like order and rules: Try martial arts. Unlike workouts where you’re in control of your intensity, and speed, most forms of martial arts train you to react in a specific, controlled way to outside forces. There are even a list of rules of engagement to be followed if you find yourself in need of your skills outside of your workout.
Does your workout of choice fit with your personality? Would you be willing to try something new?