Your personality traits affect your fitness goals, which can lead to increased or decreased weight loss. The key to achieving your fitness goals is to find an exercise plan that suits your personality and lifestyle. Here are a few tips on personality traits and fitness goals, plus how to find the exercise plan that works for you.
Why is knowing your personality traits so important when it comes to achieving fitness goals?
Because “the stress of engaging in exercise that is not of our choosing can outweigh its health benefits,” says Dr Pierce Howard in The Owner’s Manual for the Brain.
If you’re forcing yourself to go to the gym because your sister is a personal trainer or your partner works out every day, you could actually be harming your health (and you definitely won’t be achieving your fitness goals). For instance, Norman Cousins was told to walk on a treadmill; he found dramatic health improvements only when he chose to walk on a track instead, which he preferred. The most effective way to achieve your fitness goals is to work with your personality traits.
For more info about The Owner’s Manual for the Brain and Dr Howard, click the book cover. And read on for tips on how personality traits help you achieve your fitness goals (or not!)…
How Personality Traits Affect Your Fitness Goals
If you choose fitness goals that suit your personality traits, you’ll not only be physically and emotionally healthier – you’ll also be more motivated to achieve your goals. Since 60% of people drop out of exercise programs within six months, finding your exercise personality is key to getting and staying fit.
The connection between personality traits and fitness goals
University of Florida researchers studied how the Big Five Personality Traits affect exercise habits and fitness goals. Here’s what they found:
Extroverts prefer intense workouts with groups of people, and are prone to exercising fairly often. Scientist Amy Hagan said, “These excitement-craving people love lots of activity, and want to go, go, go.” Extroverts also prefer to listen to music while exercising – it helps them achieve fitness goals.
Neurotic people are least likely to exercise. Ironically, they’re most in need of exercise because it reduces anxiety and depression. Neurotic people tend to do cardiovascular exercises indoors, but not in a gym. They prefer home treadmills and low-intensity workouts when achieving their fitness goals.
Conscientious people are motivated enough to schedule their own fitness plan – and stick to it. Hagan said, “These are very self-disciplined people who strive to achieve something. They want to take charge of their own exercise routine to make sure it will get done.”
Agreeable people like to exercise first thing in the morning, to get it over with. Since they’re compliant and friendly, they have a tendency to help others and acquiesce to requests – which can derail their fitness goals.
Questions That Reveal Your Personality Traits and Fitness Goals
You don’t need a personality test to determine how to get and stay motivated. Simply answering these questions can help you find the exercise plan that works for you.
- Do I prefer working out in the morning, at lunch, or after supper?
- Do I want to learn something new, or stick with my favorite activities?
- Am I motivated by a personal trainer or people working out nearby?
- Do I like to work out alone, so I can set my own pace?
- Is exercising my way of socializing and meeting new people?
- Do I like to schedule my exercise into my day, or spontaneously choose an activity?
Introverts – like me – tend to like to run, cycle, or work out alone. They find groups of people draining, so their fitness goals need to involve “me” time.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert – and do your personality traits affect your fitness goals?