Get to Know Your Exercise Persona
Many of us have the same fitness goals – lose weight, eat better, drink more water, etc. – but we will likely take different paths to get there.
Knowing yourself is a good first step on the journey.
Here are a few questions to consider.
1. If you’ve ever had a gym membership, did you use it?
I did – when I worked as a personal trainer – but afterward, despite my best intentions, I rarely went. A gym membership is probably not the best use of my money.
2. Do you prefer going for a walk with a friend – or for a coffee?
It depends on the day for me, but I do head to the local coffee shop more often than I do the local walking track. Now, if I would just walk there – and forego the high calorie muffin – I’d be much better off.
3. Do you use those exercise DVDs you already have on your shelves? If not, you won’t likely use that new one you’re tempted to buy.
I am forever hoping the next one I buy will come packaged with the motivation to pop it in the player every morning and follow along. Sorry to say, I haven’t found the workout that comes with that particular bonus.
4. Are you self-motivated or do you need encouragement from others? If you are disciplined enough to go it on your own, that’s great. Many people, however, need to be spurred on by either a workout buddy or an entire exercise class.
I like classes well enough – if I don’t look like a total klutz. Coordination is not my strong suit.
5. Does your family like to be active? Instead of signing each child up for individual lessons and having no time left for yourself, why not look for something you can do together?
I realize this won’t work in every situation, but it might be feasible for some of you.
6. Do you want to do better because of external pressure or because you know there are many benefits to being active and attaining a healthy weight and body fat percentage?
I see many dangers in being motivated by external pressure. It’s hard to live up to someone else’s expectations and it’s easy to begin to resent them. I know there are those who are genuinely concerned for our well-being, but I believe the results will be more long lasting and easier to maintain if we have internal motivation.
7. When dinnertime rolls around, are you eager to prepare a home-cooked meal from scratch or would you rather order in?
I am so the “finger cooking” type. However, when I pop a meal in the slow cooker or take the time to prepare a meal from scratch – or almost – I am thrilled that I’ve done something good for myself and my family. For me, it means planning in advance. If I do so, my family is much less likely to have to fend for themselves.
8. How’s your self-control?
If I have snacks in the house, I’m likely to eat them – and not in moderation. It’s best if I bring sweets into the house only when I intend to eat them – or give them to my family right away.
9. When you go to the fridge for something to drink, do you prefer pop, juice, or water? When it’s time for something warm, do you prefer herbal tea or hot chocolate? Moderation and self-control also apply here.
I like herbal tea, but I’m more likely to grab cider or hot chocolate if I have it on hand, especially now that it’s actually starting to feel like fall.
Being honest about your answers to these and other fitness-related questions will help you chart your course. Be reasonable, but don’t justify putting off the changes you want to make.
Fitness is more about lifestyle than dieting and short term goals. If you begin to live a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be surprised how it will become second nature.
All the best for your personal journey!
Stephanie Nickel, CLD, PTS is a freelance writer and editor, a labour doula, and a personal trainer.
You can read about her eclectic interests and visit her website for more information.
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