Have all of the cookies, fudge, and other holiday goodies have taken a toll on your waistline? You aren’t alone. At the start of the new year, the single most popular resolution people make is the pledge to lose weight. Of course, as anyone that’s ever been on a diet and fitness program can tell you, it’s not easy to follow through on the lifestyle changes you need to make in order to get into shape. But research shows that your DISC personality might actually be the key to creating and sticking to a workout plan that works for you.

The Huffington Post recently published a chart that explores the connection between personality and fitness.

It pairs key personality traits with exercises that are proven to be the best fit for individuals who possess those traits. The chart focuses on seven specific personal characteristics that have the biggest impact on fitness and weight loss. They are:

1)     Sociability

2)     Spontaneity

3)     Motivation (internal vs external)

4)     Aggression

5)     Competitiveness

6)     Focus

7)     Risk

One of the problems with that chart, though, is that it asks a person to guess where they fall on the spectrum when it comes to the seven personality traits. If you pair the chart with your knowledge of DISC, though, you can get a much more accurate reading of your personality makeup, and create a fitness plan that has a much better chance of success. Here’s how to do it:

If you are a personality type D, look for activities that fall under: Aggressive, Competitive, and Focused

If you are a personality type I, look for activities that fall under I: Social, Spontaneous, and External

If you are a personality type S, look for activities that fall under: Controlled, Non-Aggressive, and Risk-Avoiding

If you are a personality type C, look for activities that fall under: Nonsocial, Controlled, and Internal

If you don’t know your DISC personality type, you can take a free test here. If you do know your DISC personality type, you can take this process a step further by looking at the graph that represents your personality makeup. Since the fitness chart published on the Huffington Post presents each trait as a continuum, you can plot where on the spectrum you fall in each category. For example, are you a D personality? How high is the D on your DISC profile? If it is extremely high, then you would choose an exercise that falls to the far left of the continuum in the personality traits that are most important to a D. This would give you a great list of suggested activities that you, as a very high D, would find fun, engaging, and motivational: Racquet sports and team sports. Conversely, if D is the high point on your chart but it falls more in the mid-range, you would choose activities that were further down on the continuum for your “D” personality traits: group training, martial arts, and weight training.

Don’t feel like navigating the chart? (I’m a C and I love charts—Not everyone feels the same way!) Here’s the bottom line on what the research shows:

If you have a very high D personality: Choose racquet sports or team sports

If you are a high mid-range D: personality: Choose group training, martial arts, or weight training

If you have a very high I personality: Team sports, golf, or racquet sports

If you are a high mid-range I: personality: skiing, mountain biking, group fitness, or dance

If you have a very high S personality: Cardio, yoga, or tai chi

If you are a high mid-range S: personality: Walking, running, or swimming

If you have a very high C personality: swimming, cardio conditioning, or running

If you are a high mid-range C: personality: yoga, tai chi, or weight training


Overall, charts like these are a great resource for anyone putting together a fitness routine for the new year, For people with knowledge of DISC, it’s even better—It takes the guesswork out of the process and gives you a specific way to start making changes that will lead to a happier and healthier 2014.


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