People who are naturally more resilient have a better chance of being able to get in shape, build up aerobic capacity and become fit.
A recent study at Florida State University showed how having resilience can help to determine how much you can exert yourself during a workout without becoming out of breath or having to take a break.
The study used about 650 subjects. The subjects first underwent a personality test to examine certain factors, such as how neurotic, open, extraverted, agreeable and conscientious the subject was.
After the personality test, each subject was tested to determine their aerobic capacity during walking.
Those who tended to be more neurotic had a decreased aerobic capacity compared to those who were more conscientious, open and extraverted. Each of these traits is associated with resilience.
Says Antonio Terraciano, Ph.D., one of the researchers, when asked about why these traits lead to better physical fitness, “(these factors increase) the likelihood of maintaining a more active lifestyle and decreased odds of being overweight and engaging in risky health behaviours like smoking.”
Those who are more resilient are more likely to be disciplined about their exercise regimen, and experience less anxiety and depression. Having good coping skills is a plus, because being able to effectively handle stress leads to a healthier lifestyle in general.
Here are four ways to help you increase your resilience and develop the right personality traits for getting and staying in shape:
Improve relationships: Those with solid relationships are going to be more resilient. Learn how to ask for and accept help when necessary and depend on others if you need to.
Embrace change: During times of stress or crisis, do you immediately see a giant problem or can you break it down into pieces that you can handle and cope with? When you control how you handle problems, and understand that change is unavoidable, you will become more resilient.
Being flexible will help you to realize that you are strong enough to handle what comes your way, and this will be an added strength when it comes to the challenges involved with getting and staying in shape.
Develop self-love. Be confident in your personal strengths and abilities, and be understanding about your weaknesses, needs, and, especially your feelings. Learn how to relax and enjoy yourself and your life, and you will become more resilient and be better able to handle challenges.
Be optimistic. This does not mean that you ignore problems, just that you develop ways of coping with them that are more productive than complaining or just getting “down” about it. Be proactive and find healthy ways of handling challenges, rather than feeling helpless and defeated.
When you develop more resilience, you will not only find that you are better able to become fit through aerobic exercise, but you will feel better because you can handle the challenges that life throws your way.
SOURCES: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/resilient-personality-improves-fitnesshttp://psychology.about.com/od/crisiscounseling/tp/become-more-resilient.htm; Image courtesy of moggara12 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net