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What’s your exercise personality?

Toni-Ann DiSantis

What’s your exercise personality?

Have you ever let a gym membership languish because the thought of sweating on an Elliptical, pumping iron to 90s hits, or following the commands of the spin class instructor makes you cringe? Or perhaps you suddenly have a stomach bug whenever your outdoorsy cousin invites you on a “fun” hike. So what’s the key to enjoying physical activity rather than avoiding or suffering through it? Knowing your “exercise personality.” New research links certain personality traits with exercise preferences. According to the survey of more than 800 adults, extraverts tend to prefer the gym, those with more objective, logical thinking styles tend to prefer set routines, and people who are creative and interested in new ideas gravitate toward outdoor activities like running, biking, and hiking. If that rings true for you, run with it (so to speak). But don’t let this research pigeonhole you. The important point is that exercise is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Do away with shoulds (e.g., “I should drag myself out of bed for that 5 a.m. boot camp class.”), and find a few activities that you really enjoy. If you’re an early bird who loves fresh air, plan morning walks or runs with a friend. If you thrive on routine and love the camaraderie of classes, find a fun class that fits your schedule. Can’t seem to stick with a routine but love to dance? Blast your favorite tunes for half an hour a day, and dance the night (or morning, or afternoon) away!