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What's Your Exercise Personality?

Find the right moves -- for you -- that'll give you the motivation to exercise.
By Wendy Fries
And Katrina Brown Hunt
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD

smiling teenager faceTo find the right exercise for you -- the one you enjoy and will stick with -- you need to find one that matches your personality.

We've come up with five teen exercise "personalities" to help you get started. Find one that looks like you, and then read the exercise suggestions we've matched for you. We've even given you ideas for finding the motivation to exercise.

Exercise Personality No. 1: You Prefer Not to Sweat

You don't have to sweat to feel good about your body and how it moves.

Exercise Match: Choose an exercise that is based on stretching or slower movements -- such as yoga or tai chi. Use a video to help you get started. Walking could also be a choice exercise for you. Walking provides a terrific cardio workout even when you don't work up a sweat.

Your Best Motivation to Exercise: Start with small goals. Why? You can accomplish a small goal quickly, and that jump-starts your motivation. Plus, you probably won't sweat as much!

For instance, start with 10 minutes a day and build up to three 10-minute sessions. You could do one in the morning, one to break up your homework, and one before bed.

"Consider buying a new video every once a while to keep things fresh and give you choices," Laura Alderman, an exercise physiologist and behaviorist in Fargo, N.D. suggests. "Or buy a book that gives examples."

Exercise Personality No. 2: You're Bored by the Same Old Routine

Same old moves or routine put you to sleep? Terrific -- you're a perfect match for cross-training.

Exercise Match: "Maybe you give yourself a choice of two activities. So you can say, 'I'll choose this one for Tuesday and the other for Thursday,'" says Ronda Rose-Kayser, certified family life educator, with Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, S.D.

If you want to walk or run on your own, try buying or checking out some books on tape. (Think of the miles you could go as you listen to the whole Twilight series!) Find yourself getting bored? Try your walking route in the reverse direction for a change of pace.

Your Best Motivation to Exercise: You might find that circuit training will really entice you to get up and move. All circuit training means is you do a series of different exercises in a single workout. For instance, you may ride an exercise bike for three minutes, then touch your toes 20 times, then do 20 crunches, then go to an elliptical for three minutes before you start the whole routine again.

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