oneinchpunch/ShutterstockHave you ever looked at a gym rat friend and just thought, “How can you stand that?” Hating the treadmill certainly isn’t uncommon, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to avoid working out altogether. Finding a workout you actually enjoy is the first step to sticking with a program, and new research reveals the physical activity different personalities are most drawn to.
More than 800 workers from different countries answered a survey revealing their personalities and workout preferences. Matching the traits up with favorite exercises, the researchers realized there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to finding a routine that works. (Here’s how to know if you need to switch up your workout.)
According to the findings presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual Division of Occupational Psychology conference, extroverts were more likely to prefer hitting the gym to get some exercise in. The results make sense—extroverts get their energy from being around other people, so having someone next to them in the elliptical row could be motivating instead of annoying. (Learn what else your favorite workout routine says about you.)
The most rational respondents also preferred the gym, especially when it comes to coming up with a regimented workout plan that lays out exactly what to do every day. If you let logic rule, come up with a specific workout plan before you get to the gym. Going in without a plan might feel overwhelming, but a solid schedule will keep you on track (along with these 18 secrets of women who manage to work out every day.)
Meanwhile, creative people don’t fare as well with a gym membership. Instead, those individuals preferred to take their workout outdoors, like taking a bike ride or going for a run. Maybe creative people are drawn to awe-inspiring landscapes, or maybe their love of the great outdoors fosters that creativity. Other research says natural settings spark creativity, such as a PLoS One study that found participants were more creative and better problem-solvers after spending four days in nature.
No matter what your preferred workout style, the most important thing is to figure out what works best for your preferences and schedule. If you love what you do, you’ll dread it less.
Don’t miss these other 17 gym hacks that make workouts less of a chore.