Does your exercise routine fit your personality? How do you know


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Your personality can greatly affect the level of enjoyment you get from different forms of exercise. Getty Images
  • The level of satisfaction you get from a particular exercise can vary greatly depending on your personality.
  • If a particular fitness routine doesn’t complement your dominant personality traits, you may be less motivated to stick to it.
  • The Big Five Inventory is a simple test that can help you determine where you stand on a spectrum of five major personality traits.
  • This can help you determine which forms of exercise may provide you with the greatest benefits.

How much you get out of exercise may have less to do with your athletic ability and more to do with who you are as a person.


In fact, studies have found that an individual’s personality is a strong predictor of physical activity behaviors.

One aspect of personality that particularly affects how people exercise is motivation.

“If our intention is to do something for the long term, we need an intrinsic motivation,” Hayley Perls, PhD, a sports and performance psychologist, told Healthline. “We need to feel independent. We need to do that for ourselves.”

In addition to whether or not someone is self-motivated, Brinley Shapiro, MSW, RSW, RP, NHL mental performance coach for the Arizona Coyotes, lists “instinctive competitive drive, levels of introversion/extroversion, and self-management potential” as roleplaying. The key factors in the type of activities people are drawn to and how successful they are.

In other words, your personality type can affect not only the type of exercise you enjoy, but also how motivated you are likely to stick to it.

Whether you’re considering starting a new fitness routine or changing up your current one, knowing your personality type can help you decide which exercise is best for you.

Personality assessment has never been easier with the many self-report tools available online, such as Myers-Briggs type indicatorA personality scale of sixteen subtypes Anygramwhich organizes people into nine different subtypes.

However, it should be noted that despite the accessibility and popularity of these scales, neither of them is considered to be the most scientifically valid or reliable.

Instead, many scientists and researchers prefer to use the Big Five personality scale, which rates people based on five major traits, all of which exist along a continuum.

These qualities are:

  • openness
  • living conscience
  • Extraversion / extraversion
  • Assent
  • Neuroticism (one’s inability to tolerate stress)

A number of websites offer copies of the Big Five personality test, with one popular option being the Big Five Inventory. This is a short quiz that uses your answers to 50 multiple-choice questions in order to determine where you stand on the spectrum for each trait.

You can take stock of the Big Five here.

Knowing where you fall on the spectrum for each personality trait within the Big Five can help you decide which of the following types of exercise would be most appropriate — or which types you might want to avoid.

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Hiking is a great form of exercise for those who love adventure and exploration. Noel Hendrickson/Getty Images

Extroversion is associated with a search for adventure and a willingness to try new things.

Hiking, with its ever-changing weather and opportunities to explore uncharted territories, can be a very attractive activity for those with this personality trait. Hiking is a great way to burn calories, and a number of studies have highlighted its mental health benefits as well.

a 2019 study It found that people who spent at least two hours a week hiking, either in nature or in urban areas, reported an increase in their mental and physical health.

Recent research has also found that even a 5-minute walk every 30 minutes during an 8-hour workday can help lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

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If you’re the type who likes to follow a plan, taking a HIIT class might be for you. Cavan Images / Getty Images

People who score high on conscientiousness are usually drawn to organization and order, Perls said. They are usually detail-oriented and well-groomed.

If you’re a person with this personality trait, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) might be for you. HIIT workouts consist of short bouts of intense activity followed by periods of low-intensity rest.

Although HIIT workouts can vary greatly, classes are often programmed with specific goals in mind, and they provide a clear plan for people to follow.

A typical HIIT workout will be 10 to 30 minutes long. However, despite the short duration, studies I found out that HIIT exercises can burn 25-30% more calories than other exercises.

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Yoga offers a range of physical, mental and spiritual health benefits. The Good Brigade/Getty Images

People who score on the lower end of the extraversion scale are usually recharged by spending time alone and find social interactions more draining than those who score near the higher end of this personality trait.

Yoga is a great exercise for more introverted personality types, as the entire practice is about turning your attention inward and offers many physical, mental and spiritual health benefits.

While most people may generally think of yoga as a way to improve strength and flexibility, yoga includes a wide range of practices. Some of them may not even focus on the physical but instead aim to improve your mind and spirit through activities such as meditation or breathing.

Several studies have found that yoga may also help reduce stress anxietyAnd Improve sleepAnd Strengthen your immune system also.

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Like challenging competition? CrossFit could be your calling. Cake Arnies / Stocksy

Acceptance is the willingness to go with the flow and let others lead. On the other end of this scale is competitiveness.

If you’re someone who scores low on the accepted scale, you likely thrive in a sport where you either work against someone else or where you’re able to get a workout in by competing against your own personal “best.”

CrossFit is a form of high-intensity interval training that focuses on strength and conditioning. The exercises typically consist of functional movements such as pushing, pulling, and squatting, all performed at a high level of intensity.

While competitiveness is greatly encouraged among CrossFit athletes, Perlus points out that this isn’t necessarily a negative thing.

“Competitive is not a bad word when we use it cooperatively,” she said. method [CrossFit] formulated, you focus on your growth in a competitive environment.”

CrossFit workouts are also completely scalable to meet the needs of anyone from beginners to advanced athletes.

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Cycling is great exercise, perfect for those who enjoy long challenges. Jacob Parchik/Getty Images

While the word neuroticism can have negative connotations, studies This is an adaptive behavior that aids the survival of the species.

For those who score high on the neuroticism scale, cycling can help you feel comfortable taking on different challenges, from steep climbs downhill to pushing against increased resistance.

Cycling is an exercise that can be performed at either a high or a low intensity. It can help promote healthy weight management, strengthen leg muscles, and Improve cognitive function in the elderly.

studies It also found that cycling may help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the chances of having a stroke or heart attack by promoting cardiovascular health.

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