What is the ideal workout? The one that you enjoy!

As discussed in a recent article on the Huffington Post’s Healthy Living section, the most efficient exercise for an individual is the one you enjoy. 

Based on research conducted by Margaret Schneider, Ph.D., and Dan Graham, M.A., the Huffington Post article asserts that an individual’s enjoyment of physical activity is one of the biggest indicators as to whether or not an individual will stick with regular exercise.  The researchers found that if an individual experiences feelings of punishment or pain, they are less likely to exercise with intensity and more likely to give up physical activity altogether.  Conversely, individuals who enjoy their workout are more likely to tolerate high-intensity exercise and are more likely to have good cardiovascular health.

So what does it mean?  It means in order to find an exercise plan or workout that you will stick with, you must identify physical activities that you will enjoy and personality characteristics may determine if you view a particular exercise as positive or negative.

James Gavin, Ph.D., developed a “fitness personality profile” that helps to link physical activity with personality traits.  For example, if you are more socially inclined, then you might enjoy team sports.  Rather be nonsocial?  Then you may enjoy swimming.  Would you like an activity that is social, somewhat controlled, requires levels of external motivation, is nonaggressive, highly competitive, somewhat unfocused, and has minimum levels of risk?  Try golf.

Whatever physical activity you chose, if you want to make it a habit, then ensure it’s an activity that you will enjoy.  For the complete Huffington Post article, please visit www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/fitness-personality_n_4110442.html.

Submitted by JahKiya Bell, Director, Community Investment at Heart of Florida United Way



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