If You're an Introvert, You Need a Slightly Different Approach to Working Out


Free People

It took me many, many years to truly embrace my personality type. Though I am situationally outgoing—and don't get me wrong, I love connecting with people—I am the type of person who needs time and space to recharge after engaging in a social setting. I am energized and motivated by the teeming world of my mind (sometimes to a fault—fellow introverts know that overthinking is something we do very well). And for many different reasons, not least our culture's bias toward extroversion, I fought my most intrinsic needs for a long time.

Now I know better. I no longer take it as an insult when someone notes that I am acting quiet or reserved—it's simply an observation of who I am. I value my alone time; it's a form of self-care. And I also recognize that there are certain advantages to being introverted, just as there are certain advantages to being extroverted.

Consider fitness, for example: While extroverts might thrive and find themselves motivated by group settings and high-energy, competitive atmospheres, we introverts typically don't need anyone else to hold ourselves accountable. Because we're spurred by internal cues, we tend to be really good at setting our own goals—and sticking with them.

The fact that these two personality types are motivated in such fundamentally different ways means that they require fundamentally different strategies in order to best meet their fitness goals. (This isn't conjecture—it's science.) From setting long-term intentions to making sure you get to the gym tomorrow, keep reading to find out how to approach working out as an introvert.