Mid-life Without the Crisis

It really isn't the destination, but the journey. May be cliche, but it's true.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exercise Loner or Joiner?

The path to greatness is along with others. ~ Baltasar Gracion
Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god. ~ Aristotle

Yesterday I saw a commercial for Weight Watchers that featured a man who had lost 55 pounds.  I smiled at his accomplishment and continued on with my day.  Later it dawned on me - my brother has lost 55 pounds in the last few months and he did it on his own.

That got me thinking about the different ways in which individuals start exercise programs and/or lose weight.  I think how successful a person will be in their chosen method can be boiled down to one basic factor - personality.

Maybe you're an extrovert.  You like being in large groups of people, you are energized by others, you are your most creative when you are part of a team.  If that's you, then your exercise plan should probably play to that strength.  

Hitting the gym for some aerobics or a spinning class would be great for you.  Joining a running club or inviting a neighbor to join you in an evening walk are also good options.  If you are the competitive type as well, perhaps you can get your friends to join you in a competition to see who can lose the most weight by a certain date.  Whatever specific activities you decide to engage in, you'll want to bring someone along for the ride.

Or maybe you're the introverted type.  While you enjoy others, you always need your "alone time."  You are at your creative best when left alone to think.  You couldn't be happier than sitting quietly alone reading a book.  If that's you, then use that to your advantage in the physical world as well.

Walking, running, biking, and swimming are all good options for the loner.  Following along with exercise DVD's at home is also a great option for the introvert, as this can play into that sense of not wanting anyone to see you working out.

If you think you might be somewhere in between, maybe a Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig type program, with the support of a mentor-type individual while you make changes yourself in your daily routine, might play to both sides of your personality.
I think it's safe to say that everyone is aware that exercise is important, and we all know that a combination of exercise and eating right is what it takes to lose weight.  The knowing is not the key - it's the doing.  I think too many of us try something and then give up, calling ourselves all sorts of ugly names and thinking we will never succeed, when what we really need to do is to find what works for us.  Make that personal.  "What will work for ME?"  We are all individuals and our exercise/diet regime has to fit that individual personality.

So what's your exercise personality?

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