• Louise Atkinson

Find the BEST exercise to suit your personality type

Updated: Oct 18, 2018


Studies show that a sedentary life is even worse for you, in health terms, than smoking and being active is an extremely important key to achieving happy healthy weight loss.

But if you loathed PE at school and you’ve spent a lifetime avoiding lycra, preferring to watching other people doing sport on TV, it can be difficult to know where to start.


There's no such thing as 'one size fits all', and unless you are willing to try everything from aerobics to yoga or zumba how are you going to know what suits you? Shrinkology uses robust principles of psychology to divide people into six distinct types based on personality, behaviour and lifestyle. It' a great way to explain subconscious behaviour around food but it can also help you fine tune the kinds of activity you'll be more likely to enjoy and stick at.


Take the FREE Shrinkology QUIZ to find your Shrinkology type, then read on to pick the best exercise for you.


Click on each Shrinkology type to find out more.


Exercise for Gourmets

Most Gourmets reel at the thought of the gritty tedium of jogging or long-distance cycling. For you, exercise must be a joy. So try channelling your energies into learning a new sporting skill. Investigate tennis or swimming lessons, badminton or squash. Learning the ropes and pushing your own limits will keep you entertained.


Perhaps you could focus your love of luxury into joining a really smart gym. And if you’re going to do it, do it properly (as only the Gourmet can): invest in a flattering swim suit and use the sauna, the pool, and book beauty treatments to make yourself feel pampered and special.


A personal trainer is very Gourmet, and you might consider the expense worthwhile initially if it gives you the incentive to really get started.


Reward yourself – working towards an end goal with a desired reward can be a great form of motivation for Gourmets and you could boost your commitment by creating your own loyalty system (with a non-food prize at the end) and giving yourself a point for every session at the gym.


Exercise for Magpies


The Magpie will typically flit from one exercise style to another in the quest for the perfect activity and the ‘next big thing’, but you're the sort to let memberships lapse at numerous gyms when the classes begin to lose their thrill.


So try searching for activities which give you the chance to flex your creative muscle – look into choreographed dance, adult ballet, synchronised swimming or even ballroom dancing. Magpies have such a strong tendency to over measure and over research so this form of exercise can help you learn to be more free.


Conversely, combat training (karate or judo) could help instil a sense of power and achievement that Magpie’s relish. They key is finding something you are happy to stick at, even if you’re not now (or ever likely to be) an expert.


Exercise for Rebels


Rebels are great team players so aim to get together with the football or netball gang to reach competitive exercise goals or sponsored challenges. Group sports are a must as the Rebel finds group support just as important as working hard for the glory of the team. Take a tough spinning class, intense boot camp circuit training, join a cycling club, but watch out for the Rebel inclination to want to be the best, and the drive to cave if you’re not.


Rebels can be intense and you tend to be externally motivated (driven by a sense of competition) so you are likely to respond well to specific training plans to reach personal goals.


Think about booking a course of classes and pay for them upfront so you have a financial incentive to keep going through the inevitable ups and downs in your sporting performance.


Exercise for Scramblers


Most Scramblers probably think they don’t have time to squeeze exercise into their busy schedule but the concept of High Intensity Interval Training could have been invented for you. It is a scientifically proven way of shoe-horning maximum fitness benefits into the shortest possible amount of time.


Whether you’re walking, swimming, cyling or jogging, you just have to push yourself very hard for as little as 20 seconds, ease off to catch your breath, then push yourself hard again. That’s it.


It doesn’t matter if you’re running on the spot, doing push-ups, star jumps or burpees the structure of the program is the same: push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This is one set. Repeat eight times. Aim to make it a non-negotiable part of your day


Exercise for Soothers

The best form of activity for the Soother is fun and sociable so get-together with friends and do something that gets you a bit puffed, stretch out or pumps up your muscles. Find a walking friend and dog-walk together every day, or gather a group for tennis – no matter how many excuses your subconscious comes up with, you’re going to struggle to bail if it means letting the others down.


Soothers are often so busy looking after others they become quite adept at making excuses for not exercising. Add a tiny smattering of lethargy, fatigue or self-consciousness in to the mix and you’ve got an evening spent in front of the TV when you could and should be at the gym.


So book a regular class (pre-pay if possible to steel your resolve) and make sure it is an immovable item in your diary.


Exercise for Traditionals


Traditionals love exercise which has a practical element or which allows them to kill two birds with one stone. Gardening is a great example – a fantastically calorie-burning strength-builder which also (bonus!) ensures your garden looks fantastic.


Aim to change your mind set about walking and cycling too – they’re not just exercise types, they are also an incredibly cheap and efficient means of transport. So get out a map and draw a one mile circle around your home, then create a self-imposed rule that you will always walk if you’re going anywhere within that circle. Next draw a five mile circle for cycling. If your chosen form of exercise gets you from A to B efficiently and cost-effectively the raised heart rate and pumping muscles is just a bonus.


You'll find many more type-specific tips and tricks as well as diet advice in our book The Shrinkology Solution