If you’re an introvert who likes to exercise, chances are you’ve experienced that moment in a group fitness class where the instructor (probably an extrovert, honestly) cheerily tells you to break up into pairs and small groups. Ugh. If your idea of hell is sweating while awkwardly high-fiveing and encouraging a stranger, read on for four ideal options, according to Shayna Schmidt, a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach and VP of Operations at Livekick, a digital personal training service.
The 4 Best Workouts for Introverts
This one isn’t totally unexpected, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the best options for people who aren’t looking to socialize while sweating. “While group runs may allow you to rely on others for a boost when you’re feeling tired, solo runs encourage you to push yourself to the max and develop tactics that will improve your mental toughness,” says Schmidt. If pounding the pavement isn’t your thing, Schmidt notes that swimming, biking and rowing as other suitable cardio options.
“Fitness options that can be done from the comfort of one’s own home are obviously ideal for introverts,” Schmidt tells us. “No one will see me sweat? Sign me up!” And luckily, there are more ways to get your fitness on from home than ever. A few of Schmidt’s favorites? ClassPass’s Go app, Aaptiv and her own company, Livekick, which offers private fitness and yoga sessions over live video (kind of like FaceTime for fitness). “While our offering does require a bit of face-to-face interaction, think about the fact that once your session is done, you can literally close your laptop or exit the app and voila, your trainer is gone. No small-talk or awkward goodbyes.”
For calmness-loving introverts, the meditative component of yoga is a huge draw. “The quiet environment allows introverts to tap into their reflective and introspective thoughts,” Schmidt says. “Plus, a type of exercise that focuses on mind-body connection is more process-oriented in nature versus goal- or performance-oriented.” Even though you’re often surrounded by people in a yoga class, take solace in the fact that interaction is usually pretty minimal. Even so, you can always roll out your mat in your living room and queue up a yoga video on YouTube.
OK, stay with us. Yes, high-intensity workouts are intense and usually packed with people. But Schmidt pointed out a different benefit HIIT provides to introverts. “HIIT workouts are particularly awesome for introverts because something this high in energy works wonders on stress reduction.” Plus, if you’re working hard enough, everyone in class will be too busy catching their breath in between reps to have to talk to one another.