Exercise for Introverts

Kelly Baez
Dr. Kelly Morrow Baez, aka FitShrink. The psychology of health - simplified.

Nov 13,2016

Are you an introvert? Have you been telling yourself that it’s time to get into an exercise routine but you just don’t have the energy? Here are some do’s and dont’s for introverts that will help you find exercise as recharging as it’s meant to be!

1. Do build up slowly.

If you’re an introvert, the last thing you want is even the thought of being embarrassed in public. If you’ve been sedentary (i.e. couch potato) and you suddenly try to run a 5K, at best you’re going to embarrass yourself, but you might even hurt yourself. In public. With plenty of people to see.

2. Don’t get a workout buddy.

Yes, we’ve all heard that getting a workout buddy will keep you on track, make you accountable, but I’m pretty sure they just asked the extroverts. Introverts give energy in social situations. You’re going to need every ounce of energy you have on those bad days when you just don’t feel like exercising. Look for opportunities where you can safely exercise alone.

3. Do use headphones.

Again, safety first. Make sure you are working out in a place that is safe to tune out. Beyond that, as you may already know, introverts have a rich and ongoing internal dialogue. You’re thinking, feeling, analyzing almost constantly. Exercising while listening to your favorite tunes helps you take a break from what’s going on in your mind and helps you refocus on your body. If you’re exercising and notice that you’re still over-thinking that conversation with your boss, the small-talk with the waitress at the coffee shop, just acknowledge that you can think about it later, maybe skip to a song that grabs your attention, and notice the sensations in your body as you move.

4. Don’t post your exercise plans before they happen.

This is true for everyone, but especially for introverts who might be more likely to feel shame if it doesn’t happen. Talking about your exercise before you do it moves the motivation away from yourself and turns it into something you’re doing for others. So just don’t. This is your workout.

5. Do track your exercise and food.

There are a zillion apps for that. Take your pick. Tracking is necessary because you can eat your way through any workout. New to tracking? Check out my post on how to use a diet/fitness tracker here. These apps all come with a way to connect with friends and acquaintances, but you don’t have to. That being said, connecting with others on these sites can be a low-intensity way to connect with others without the interaction being too draining.

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