Do you know what your temperament is?! Personality and temperament tests are very popular these days, and there are so many of them out there!! There is a very simple free online temperament test HERE! Go take the quiz to find out what your 2 main temperaments are and then head back here to find out how to incorporate your temperament into your fitness. The test should only take five to ten minutes.
Alright, so now you know your temperament!!! Isn't that fun?! Why would temperament be so helpful with exercise habits? Let's think about this. Temperament was a theory going all the way back to ancient Greece with Hippocrates. (For some historical reading on that topic, feel free to click HERE). The temperaments describe a person's natural strengths and weaknesses, and once we can identify those strengths and weaknesses we can then learn how to rely on our own strengths in certain areas of our lives, as well as learn which area's we will need a system in place to help us succeed. There is truth in the ancient Greek saying, often attributed to Socrates, 'To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom'. Once you begin to really understand yourself...your behaviors, and your patterns...then you will start to see areas where you have had crazy success in your life, and other areas where you seem to keep failing over and over again. Take a look at the areas you've had success in. Are the reasons for your success attributed to your temperament? Now take a look at the areas you've failed in. Does this also reflect your temperament? My guess is that you answered yes to both of these questions.
Before we take a look at each temperament's keys to be successful with fitness, keep in mind that you will have most of the traits from your main temperament...however, you will also have some traits from you secondary temperament. For example, when I decided to really get back into fitness as an adult I began with at home fitness or the 'do it myself' attitude! I quickly failed. I was, without knowing it, following my primary temperament's desires of exercising alone (melancholic), but didn't understand that my secondary temperament (Sanguine) desperately needed people! After joining an online fitness group with social accountability, I quickly realized that I still enjoyed exercising alone, but I also needed social accountability to motivate me to actually achieve results. Now, after 4 years of finding success in fitness, I was able to lose 47 lbs. and become a group fitness instructor (hello Sanguine)! Remember, we are all made up of a combination of all 4 temperaments, but we usually have about 50% of 2 primary temperaments. If you'd like to find out all 4 of your temperaments, head over to www.colorcode.com and for a small fee you can get a complete profile.
So, let's take a look now at what each temperament needs to be successful in fitness! (These lists are in no way exhaustive, many other actives may also be beneficial).
A Sanguine’s driving core motive is FUN!
Sanguine people can be best motivated through their love for a subject and their desire to be around people. Not motivated to do things alone, they need structure and timed activity.
Sanguine success paths for fitness::
Feel free to mix and match these options to keep it FUN!
Scheduled group exercise classes at a studio/gym
Online fitness groups with social accountability for home workouts
Group cycling adventures
Hiring a personal trainer
Exercising with a spouse or friend at a scheduled time
Signing up for group training for a benefit walk/run
Become a group exercise instructor, your temperament is perfect for it!
A Choleric’s driving Core Motivation is Power!
Cholerics can be best motivated by mutual respect and appropriate challenges that recognize their capacities. Competitive and driven, they may not want to exercise alone.
Choleric success paths for fitness::
Kickboxing or boxing classes
Intramural team sports
Individual competitive sports like Tennis, golf, skiing, etc.
Running/walking club sports
Online social accountability with competitive challenges/contests for home workouts
A Melancholic’s driving core motivation is intimacy & deep relationships!
Melancholic personalities can be best met be motivated by their sympathy for others and encouraging them to exercise for the benefit it will bring their families. They don’t enjoy loud and full gyms, and prefer to exercise alone or with a close friend rather than surrounded by chatty people. Melancholics are detail oriented and may also enjoy technical & precision sports.
Melancholic success paths for fitness::
Exercising with at home fitness is highly successful for Melancholics
Family fitness activities
Cycling, skiing, or running/walking/hiking alone or with a close friend in beautiful surroundings
Individual competitive sports like Tennis, golf, skiing, etc.
Personal Training 1:1 Sessions
A Phlegmatic’s driving Core motivation is Peace.
Phlegmatic temperaments are often encouraged by experiencing others’ interest in a subject. They don’t enjoy over-vibrant places or stress, and need a calm environment. Trusted non-competitive workout buddies can provide phlegmatic people with companionship and motivation that is not overly intense or stressful.
Phlegmatic success paths for fitness::
Exercising with at home fitness is highly successful for Phlegmatics as long as it includes personal accountability with a friend or a coach
Personal Training 1:1 Sessions in a quiet and private area
Individual & team oriented non-competitive sports
Running/walking/cycling at home or with a friend in tranquil locations
Non competitive small group fitness classes like Pilates, Barre, PiYo, water fitness classes etc.
Cross country skiing/snowshoeing with a friend
All too often, we make fitness goals and exercise plans that are contrary to our personalities and fail because it is profoundly difficult to find success in something that we do not enjoy. With a little self-awareness and honesty, we can experience the many fruits of an active lifestyle in a positive way. I hope you have gained a whole new insight on yourself and on what you may need to achieve success and enjoyment in your pursuit of health!
*For information on my current at home online fitness groups with social accountability please fill out the form in the following link and I'll be in touch! Link:: Build Her Up