Exercise for Extroverts: Tips and Tricks

Happy athletic group with thumbs up on a sunny day

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about exercising as an introvert, the introvert/extrovert discussion is getting a lot of play, and I feel like it’s all for the better. Things can only improve when we have a better understanding of ourselves and each other, right?

(And if you’re interested in finding out more about yourself, you can check out a Myers Briggs test like this one, or, just see whether you identify more with the introvert or extrovert pieces on Buzzfeed.)

So, since we’ve already talked about some of the challenges introverts face, let’s discuss common extrovert exercise problems. Well, problem, really, because from what I understand from my extrovert friends, extroverts don’t like exercising alone. They like to interact and talk as they work up a sweat, which in some cases is awesome, but in other situations (*cough* yoga class *cough*), it’s a little less acceptable.

Of course, we’ve got tips for you for New Year New Rear Week!

A Guide to Exercise for Extroverts

1. Find a variety of workout buddies. If exercising alone leaves you cold, don’t just find a workout partner — find a bunch. Creating a Facebook group or starting a group text with a few friends with workout habits that work with yours is a great way to find someone to join you any day of the week. Oh, and don’t discount your introvert pals — if you like to talk the whole time, they might end up being great listeners!

2. When you find a group exercise class you love, stick with it every week. When you become a regular, you’re likely to make friends with the other regulars, which means that class you already loved turns into a class you and your new friends love. Hey, your inner circle can never be too big, right? Just be cautious about speaking up too much during certain classes.

3. Join active groups and clubs. While introverts might make use of groups and clubs for accountability and to push them, you can take advantage of the social aspect. The Running Tabs running club I belong to gathers for drinks post-workout and occasionally has other get-togethers. But even if the group you find isn’t all that social outside of your chosen activity, you’re at least guaranteed a few friendly faces each time you show up for a group run or bike ride. And it won’t take long for you to find your fellow talkers.

4. Don’t let your social life hold you back. It’s awesome that you love to rehash the most recent episode of Downton Abbey while running a comfortable pace with a pal, but if you want to get faster/stronger/better, you’re going to have to, at least occasionally, sacrifice the gabfest for a serious sweat session. If you’re running sprints, you should be breathing hard enough that you can’t carry on a conversation. If you get back to the wall after swimming a hard 400 and have plenty to say, you probably could’ve taken a few seconds off your time. If your goal is just to be there and stay fit, then by all means, chat away. But don’t let that be an excuse to take it easy when you’re planning to go hard.

I know we’ve got some awesome extroverts out there, and I’m eager to hear what tips you would add. Lay ’em on me! —Kristen

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