If you have a more introverted personality, joining a gym, exercise class, or workout group may not be your cup of tea. However, that doesn’t have to hold you back from achieving fitness or weight-loss goals. Finding a workout routine that fits your personality is one of the key ways to achieve optimal results. This holds particularly true for introverts — those who may be uneasy about joining a gym or a fitness class due to crowds of people, loud music, or the seemingly prying eyes of other members. It’s been estimated that one-third or more of the U.S. population falls into the category of “introverts”. An introvert is someone who finds many social or group interactions draining. In contrast, they are generally more stimulated and energized by personal or alone time. If you’re an introvert looking for a little more personal comfort and stimulation when working out, consider the following advice to help you achieve your fitness goals:
Use the Buddy System: A misconception about introverts is that they always prefer being alone. The truth is, introverts enjoy spending quality time with close friends, and this can be beneficial when exploring various fitness options. Bringing a buddy to the gym or a fitness class can make the experience much more positive than going alone.
Exercise Solo: If you’re more comfortable by yourself or just don’t feel like dealing with crowds of people at the gym, simply consider fitness options you can do on your own — options like running, swimming, cycling, or going for a walk. As exercise itself is energizing, so too is alone time for an introverts spirit.
Seek Inner Focus: Introverts are known for “living in their heads,” so to speak, and often this breeds a level of creativity and personal reflection they find stimulating. Consider types of exercises known for benefiting the body as well as the inner spirit — activities like yoga, pilates, tai chi, stretching, deep breathing, etc.
Arm Yourself with Headphones: Sometimes, you just can’t beat access to the space and equipment a fitness club can provide. If you just can’t turn your back on the gym, make the experience easier with a good set of headphones. Not only can you choose your own audio motivators (i.e., music, podcasts, books, etc), but simply wearing headphones can help ward off unwanted conversation.
Stream at Home: Streaming at-home fitness apps have come a long way over the last couple of years. Services like Peloton, Aaptiv, ClassPass, etc., offer professional level streaming workout programs (and equipment in some cases) for at-home fitness. Use caution with all at-home workout programs. While some can be good, they can’t provide immediate feedback about incorrect form, movement deficiencies, and weaknesses in strength and flexibility that can lead to discomfort, pain, or injury over time. Consider consulting a licensed athletic trainer prior to starting a particular plan, to ensure it’s not only safe, but also aligns with your goals and fitness level.