Introverts and extroverts differ in many ways, including their affinity for fitness. Although anyone can become a diehard fitness enthusiast, most introverts shy away from fitness, while most extroverts thrive.
Here are five common causes of this disparity, plus five solutions that can give introverts the confidence to pursue their fitness goals.
1. Introverts Prefer Passive Activities.
The biggest reason introverts shy away from fitness is that they prefer to spend their free time alone doing passive activities. The idea of putting their bodies through a grueling workout doesn’t sound like a good time to most introverted people. They’d rather stay home and read a book, watch a movie, or work on a personal project.
Additionally, other physical activities are better suited to the introvert’s reclusive nature. Why go to the gym when you can take a solo hiking trip or run around the neighborhood alone? A typical weight training routine can be too intense and mentally draining for introverts.
The solution to this problem is simple—exercise at home. Introverts can build a basic home gym on a modest budget. Your workout routine can primarily consist of bodyweight exercises and low-impact activities such as walking on the treadmill. A home gym provides privacy and allows you to train at a slower pace.
2. Introverts Tend to Be Modest
Secondly, introverts tend to have modest personalities. They have no desire to dress up in flashy gym outfits and show off their bodies in public. This attitude might be due to low self-esteem, but in most cases, they don’t want that kind of attention from other people. They’d much rather wear a hoodie and sweatpants in the comfort of their homes.
However, sometimes introverts can be too modest. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your accomplishments. If you build a good physique, you have every right to show off your hard work. Introverts shouldn’t shy away from fitness just because it’s a self-focused activity. A little bit of body positivity can boost your self-esteem in a huge way.
3. Introverts Don’t Like Unfamiliarity
For introverts, knowledge is power. While extroverts can stay calm and collected in any foreign environment, introverts prefer to avoid unfamiliarity. They are less likely to try new things than extroverts, especially if they don’t know what to expect. Their confidence is directly tied to their knowledge base. Fitness is no exception.
Introverts can be extremely hesitant to start a fitness routine if they don’t know anything about diet or exercise. They don’t want to make fools of themselves or suffer an injury from lack of experience. The simplest way to solve this problem is by educating yourself. Follow some credible fitness influencers and soak up as much information as possible.
4. The Gym is Too Intimidating
Introverts are more prone to social anxiety than extroverts, so the gym can be an intimidating environment. The loud music, clanging weights, and various noises people make while exercising can cause sensory overload. Not to mention, gym beginners are always afraid of getting judged for their outfits and workout form.
Here are a few simple ways to ease your feelings of “gymtimidation”:
- Avoid going during the peak hours between 4-6 p.m. on weekdays.
- Go with a friend or group of friends to give yourself a sense of security.
- Sign up for group classes with other beginners.
- Hire a personal trainer to show you the ropes.
Everyone feels intimidated when they first start going to the gym. Introverts must understand that very few people at the gym are truly judgmental. It’s almost always a figment of your imagination caused by your anxiety. Experienced gym goers are much more likely to respect you for making a change and trying to better yourself.
5. The Fitness Industry Doesn’t Appeal to Introverts
For some introverts, going to the gym isn’t an issue. Rather, the fitness industry doesn’t appeal to them because it’s too flashy and obnoxious. Many fitness influencers are clickbait artists who do more harm than good by spreading false information about diet and exercise.
Although the fitness industry deserves its fair share of criticism, it’s not an accurate depiction of the average fitness enthusiast. Most gym rats are regular people who want to improve their health. Introverts don’t have to get caught up in the social media antics to fit in with this community. They just need a positive attitude and a strong work ethic.
Fitness Is For Everyone
Introverts might not feel like they belong at the gym for various reasons, but their feelings don’t reflect reality. Fitness is for everyone, regardless of their experience level.
Exercise can work wonders for your physical and mental well-being, even if training in a public setting isn’t your cup of tea. Start your fitness journey today and experience the benefits for yourself!
Oscar Collins is the fitness editor on Modded, and he’s written at What’s New in Fitness, Amplified Soccer Athlete, and similar publications. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates.
By Oscar Collins