At some time in your life, you’ve been told you’re an introvert/extrovert, thought you were or at least pondered it. Most people identify with one or the other. It’s not always so cut and dry, though. Carl Jung, an influential psychologist published Psychological Types in 1921. This book popularised the terms introvert and extrovert. Most people are a blend of both, while some sway closer to one side than the other. Identify which side you lean toward and use it to benefit your health!
Why does it matter for exercise?
Identifying where you are on the continuum of introvert and extrovert can help you choose exercise routines and activities that are suited to you. These choices can complement your life and enhance it. Figuring this out will make exercise more enjoyable, which increases your chances of being active. Exercise needs to fit the person doing it to increase consistency. If you find yourself in the middle, then it’s good to have a mixture of activities from both.
Are you more of an Extrovert?
Extroverts are “externally” focused. They’re interested in people and activities. Extroverts feel energised after being in social situations and may not need time to unwind from stimulation. The more interaction with others, the better. You may be an extrovert even if you’re not a big talker but just enjoy being out and about with people.
Many people who think they’re extroverts are actually introverted…
Are you more of an Introvert?
Thoughts and feelings circle the world of an introvert. “Internal” is the theme. Do you crave time alone to process what’s happening in your world? You may not initially think you’re an introvert because they can be highly social and charming. It’s the need for alone time that tips the scale. You might be able to perform in the spotlight or entertain a group at a party, but how does it leave you feeling? Usually, the answer is “exhausted” for the introverted person. Being with people is nice, but it’s even better to be alone.
Exercise for Extroverts
Do you like exercising with others? Does it make the time fly by for you? Use this to your advantage. Schedule workouts with people you like being with. Attend a fitness class, join a walking group or make a date with a friend. Other people will keep you accountable and make the time fly by. They’ll energise you. You can set goals with your exercise companions and engage in friendly competition if that suits your style.
Exercise for Introverts
Workout time is the perfect opportunity to be in your own thoughts and body. Choosing activities that allow you to be alone and explore the way your body feels will likely be the most enjoyable. Wearing headphones to the gym is a good way to keep people away from you while working out. Try yoga, pilates and gentle stretching for mindfulness. Intense exercise might suit you too when done alone. You can set goals for yourself.
Perhaps you’re a blend?
If you resonate with qualities of both that’s ok! Find a balance between social activities and quiet time within your physical activity routine. Consider what the rest of your day is like when choosing exercise options. If you’re really social most of the day, use exercise as a time to unwind. If you’re alone all day, then fitness time might also be a good time to get social.