What is Your Fitness Personality?

Fitness PersonalitiesFor the last 15 years, I’ve worked with school-age children from elementary school through high school as a special education assistant, track and cross country coach and exercise physiologist in the Pediatric Fitness Clinic.  During this time, exercise has been my “go to” tool for handling behavioral, performance and medical concerns.  It’s obvious that the need for exercise is universal (emotional, physical, and psychological health). However, approaching your child with the type of activity they are drawn to varies based on their personality.  It seems as if certain “Fitness Personalities” occur time and time again. Knowing your child’s personality may help you find the right activity for your child that feels natural, is rewarding and fun.

Five Fitness Personalities

Use this chart to determine you child’s fitness personality. Then review the concerns and solution for each type.

  1.  Athlete
    1. Motivated, good movers, love to compete, like a team
    2. Concerns? without competition, scheduled practice, tend to sit too much, why exercise if there is no practice, team, winning?
    3. Solution: find a team or competition, create schedule, GOALS, incentives from parents
  2.  Social
    1. Like to have fun, workout with others, non-competitive, take classes
    2. Concerns? No group, not fun, no exercise
    3. Solution: find a class, group, look for opportunities to socialize with exercise, requires planning for parents
  3. Purposeful
    1. FUNCTIONAL movement, walk or bike to a destination, chores, exercising because it gets things done, these kids tend to follow rules, achievement
    2. Concerns? changes in routine negatively impact exercise, must be able to associate activity with accomplishment otherwise exercise = work and no calming effect
    3. Solution: have a plan B, try a wearable
  4. Coach Potato (Gamer)
    1. Screens are the way they relax, helpful for them to EXPERIENCE positive effects of exercise (sense of calm, relaxation, satisfaction) vs feeling that exercise is work
    2. Concerns? like to relax on screens, toughest to motivate, have not experienced the positive effects of exercise, view exercise as work
    3. Solution: friends or parents involved with activity to make it fun, 1:1 personal trainer, health coach, may benefit from mindfulness, having a wearable
  1. Super Busy (usually adults)
    1. No set schedule, likes to find ways to be active on their own when they can fit it in: app’s, 7-minute workout, book hotels with workout rooms, walk in airports, national health club chains, etc
    2. Concerns? Accountability/motivation
    3. Solution: “wearable”, knowledge that exercise improves performance, mindful movement (experience the relaxation that comes with activity)


Which fitness personalities are you and your child?