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Your Workout Personality

As a personal trainer, one of my most important jobs is to motivate clients. Exercise isn't always about triumphantly crossing the finish line with hundreds of fans cheering you on. Actually, it's almost never like that. It's about starting a fitness program and seeing it through.

What type of workout is best? Start by choosing an exercise program that meets three essential criteria.

  1. It has to take into account any physical limitations you have.

  2. Your program should be able to help you achieve your goals.

  3. It must be something you'll enjoy (or at least not hate) to keep you coming back.

To help you choose the best program for you, the American Institute for Cancer Research (http://www.aicr.org) has put together this quiz to help you identify your exercise personality. What personality are you?

1. When I think about physical activity, I:

  1. can't wait to put on my walking shoes
  2. really want to exercise but need a push
  3. dread the idea of moving a muscle, but am happy once I get moving

2. When I am physically active, I enjoy exercising:

  1. by myself at my own pace
  2. with a team or group
  3. with one or two buddies

3. I exercise because:

  1. I want to stay in shape, slim down or improve my health
  2. I want to see my friends and catch up on the latest news
  3. the weather is nice or I just feel like it

4. When I take part in a physical activity, I usually:

  1. plan the event ahead of time
  2. participate when someone else has set up the activity or attend a class
  3. pull it together quickly and do something active when the mood strikes

5. Others see me as

  1. a leader
  2. a team player
  3. someone who goes along with a good idea

6. I enjoy physical activities that are:

  1. a. set by my own routine
  2. b. set by a professional, teacher or group
  3. c. spontaneous

For every answer, give yourself:

A = 1 point

B = 2 points

C = 3 points

If you scored:

6-9 points you are a self-motivator

10-14 points you are a team player

15-18 points you are spontaneous


You like structure and organization. Creating and sticking to your own exercise plan is relatively easy, but you may find yourself losing interest in your usual routine. Try adding a few new activities such as biking, rowing, gardening or hiking. Or try alternating your favorite workouts like walking, swimming and weight lifting on different days of the week.

Team Player

To you, exercise is a way to socialize and stay connected to friends and family. Group activities and classes are a natural selection for you. Sign up for an exercise class; put together a group of friends for walking; or join a team sport or sports league like bowling, softball, or doubles tennis.


You love freedom and loathe conforming to rigid rules. Things that get you moving might include a call from friends who need a fourth player for a round of golf, a hike in the woods to enjoy a beautiful fall day, or a walk to the store when you are out of milk. These activities are great, but make sure you're doing something active on most days.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.