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Sunday, February 28, 2021

How to use your personality traits for health, fitness

Regular columnist Stephen Smith, from Merewether Fitness Studio, shows how you can use your personality traits when it comes to health and fitness.


I am a procrastinator. I can also be stubborn (or so my wife tells me)!

I have many other wonderful personality traits obviously, but I use these two as an example as, on first impression, you might consider them to be negative traits.

Fortunately, I learnt long ago from people far wiser than I that, if we are honest with ourselves about where our strengths and weakness lie, we can utilise personality traits that may be perceived as negative in a positive way.

So, let’s look at how I use the two personality traits mentioned above in my own health and wellness journey.

I have always loved being active and, as a result, fit and healthy.

The biggest challenge to my health and my waistline is not a lack of exercise but rather what I put in my mouth.

I love food, all sorts of food. I also love a drink.

One of the ways I keep my weight under control is by following a 16-8 intermittent fasting protocol, 4 to 5 days a week. For those who aren’t aware, 16-8 intermittent fasting is where you have an eight-hour eating window followed by 16 hours of fasting.

For example, if my last food or drink was at 8.30pm I would not eat until 12.30pm the following day.

When I first began, I found it really tough as I had always eaten a big breakfast as per my social conditioning.

Owner and Head Trainer at Merewether Fitness Studio, Stephen Smith.

This is when my ability to procrastinate came to the fore. If I felt the urge to eat before my 16 hours was up, I would simply ‘put it off’ or procrastinate and do something else first such as sending those emails and making those phone calls.

In the evenings I would then use my stubbornness and stop eating or drinking at my pre-chosen time.

I also except that I am subject to human frailty, so I do not beat myself up if I fall short of my own expectations or goals on any given day. I simply wake up the next day and start again.

Here are just a few examples of how you can use personality traits when it comes to your health and fitness.

  • If you are an extrovert, you would more than likely enjoy group exercise classes more than an introvert.
  • If you are an introvert, you may not like formal exercise at all and prefer a yoga class. Going deeper again you would possibly enjoy a Yin yoga class over hot yoga or power yoga as Yin yoga is done at a much slower pace.
  • If you have characteristics consistent with a type A personality, then a group environment where workouts are competitive could be your thing.
  • If you exercise already then getting a smart watch that gives heart rate and the kilojoules burnt etc is guaranteed to take the type A personality up a few notches in intensity. I see examples of this all the time.
  • Last but not least is my fellow procrastinators. I’ve already mentioned how I use procrastination to reduce my level of eating and drinking but it can be used on just about any behaviour that is having a negative impact on your life. And, if you are ever procrastinating over going to the gym or exercising, then simply procrastinate your procrastination!

So be honest with yourself when reflecting on your personality traits and, before you know it, you will be using your powers for good instead of evil.

Until next time,

Health & happiness,

Stephen