What your answers mean for your fitness
‘You’re energetic, assertive, and gregarious,’ says Dr Aria Campbell-Danesh. ‘You’re motivated by being around other people, so try joining a running club or taking up a team sport to pander to this side of your character while you keep fit.’
‘You tend to be quite reserved, enjoying solitary activities,’ says Dr Aria. ‘That doesn’t just mean going for long walks on your own, though. A home HIIT workout would probably appeal to you – but don’t rule out something like a Body Pump or spinning class, where you’re in a group but not having to interact with the others in the class.’
‘You’re the cerebral type – with a creative and enquiring mind. If you’re also quite co-ordinated, you’re likely to get a lot out of a dance class or a martial art such as tai chi, which will challenge your mind,’ says Dr Aria.
‘You’re the classic altruist, and a natural carer. A group activity that involves co-operating with others would appeal to your warm nature,’ says Dr Aria. ‘Try
going to a boot camp, where you may be called on for a bit of morale boosting.’
You’re naturally very conscientious, careful and disciplined. ‘These are the perfect attributes for training with weights as you will be sure to monitor your progress, and to make sure you only increase the weights you use when it’s appropriate,’ says Dr Aria.
‘You often feel as if life’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster. How other people act towards you can make or break your day,’ says Dr Aria. ‘I would bet that you are likely to cancel workouts that you’d planned to do. If that sounds like you, try arranging to meet a friend for a yoga or Pilates class. Committing to another person will make you more likely to do it – and this kind of workout helps to temper the stress.’
Wise up to your workout type
Whether you’re walking to the shops or exercising in the gym, every workout has some pay-offs – so look for the positives in whatever you do.
Walking is perfect if you’re a type B or C. Even at your natural stride it opens up creative pathways in your brain, allowing areas involved with daydreaming to fire up, says Dr Aria. ‘It can boost creative thinking by 60 per cent, and this brings numerous benefits for your home and work life. Even a short walk will have pay-offs.’
Walking is also great if you’re the type who needs a bit of a push to start, adds physiotherapist Sammy Margo. ‘A pedometer or smart watch will encourage you to ramp up your steps. If you’re truly exercise-averse, start with a daily trip to a shopping complex. Your task is to walk to the furthest store, buy a product, and return it the next day.’
Running is well worth trying if you’re a type A, B, C, or D. ‘According to research, the more intensely you run, the faster your ability to make decisions will be. It’s ideal if you work in a high-pressured environment,’ says Dr Aria. ‘It’s also easy to fit into your life – as long as you’re disciplined enough to do it regularly.’
Strength training is a good choice for type E people. We all need to do it, but it will come more easily to a type E as it helps to be able to focus your attention on what’s really important, while filtering out distractions. To maintain the benefits, try to do it regularly. ‘Take Body Pump classes, or work out with a trainer to master your technique and avoid injuries or postural problems,’ says Sammy. ‘It’s really important that we all try to fit some form of strength training into our lives as our muscle mass declines at a rate of about one per cent a year from the age of 25. ‘If you prefer yoga, weight-bearing postures will keep you strong.’
Cycling is perfect for types B, C, and F. It improves your brain’s ability to store and retrieve memories, according to analysis of four decades of studies. ‘If you’re tired of losing track of appointments or annoyed with yourself for forgetting new things you’ve learned, cycling or a spinning class could help,’ says Dr Aria.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) is ideal for types A, B and E. It has numerous benefits: ‘It even keeps the hungry hormone ghrelin in check,’ says Dr Aria. ‘It could also have the surprising effect of boosting your verbal dexterity, making you a better communicator, and improving your powers of persuasion. One study found that HIIT participants performed 20 per cent better in vocabulary building exercises. And if you’re thinking ahead to your future health, HIIT has also been shown to help with anti-ageing by halting cell decline by 49 to 69 per cent.’
Yoga will benefit types B, C and F. It improves mental function by targeting
the part of the brain that processes fear and anxiety. Try fast-paced Ashtanga yoga if you’re a type A, or the more precision-focused Lyengar if you’re a type E. ‘If you’re hypermobile and super flexible, Pilates will challenge and strengthen your body a bit more,’ says Sammy. ‘Or try a combo such as Yogalates or Body Balance (a combination of yoga, Pilates and tai chi to music). People who are hypermobile often need to work on their strength.’