Are you introverted and struggle to improve your health?
Your disposition may be especially useful in your quest to shed body fat and gain control of your health. Here is how my introversion actually benefited me:
Making Time for Sleep
Because I do not go out after work to happy hours or events and generally reserve hanging with family and friends to the weekends, I had no excuse not to get in bed early. While the 8 o’clock hour may seem early to most, if you create a schedule to always go to bed within the same hour every day, you will eventually get used to it. A full night’s rest is paramount to being able to lose weight and since I rarely socialize after work, I was the perfect candidate for the Early to Bed mantra. It is important to practice habits that will help with falling asleep such as decompression tactics and waking up on time. I try to go to bed at the same time every night. Even if I don’t feel sleepy, it helps to get in my bed at the same hour and with a low, soft light. Sometimes I will read, or listen to a meditation or relaxation app or video with my phone screen down. A cup of decaffeinated tea also helps me relax. Though I love to wind down with TV, it’s better not to watch TV before bed to truly put your body in sleep mode. I also keep my alarm set for the same hour each morning and TRY not to hit snooze. Snoozing 8 minutes at a time only makes me frustrated and doesn’t increase quality sleep.
Making Time for the Gym
Since I go to bed early, making time for the gym or a workout before work has always been a viable option for me. Most would frown upon waking at 4am to workout, but if you get in bed early enough and get a full night’s rest, waking at 4am to do a workout before work is not so hard. Benefits include an empty gym! Obviously, if you do not have access to a 24-hour gym, home workouts can be substituted. I have worked out early mornings for years, but due to my work schedule, I have switched back to evenings. Even with evening workouts however, I am still able to get to bed at a decent hour in order to get a full night’s rest. Some of my friends wonder how I can find the time for the gym each day, but I don’t participate in too many other activities during the week outside of work. So there’s room in my schedule for the gym. I’m also not the type of person that needs a gym partner. While I’ve had gym partners in the past and it was nice, I am not dependent on another person being there with me for motivation. That’s been valuable in being consistent. Sunny and hot, cold and dark, early mornings or evenings, I have no problem going to workout alone and that has worked to my benefit.
Consistency in my Diet
If you are not prone to going out a lot, it is easier to stay consistent with your diet. I notice I have struggled the most with losing or maintaining my weight during summer months where warmer weather and longer days provide more time and opportunity to hang out; many of those outings including food and drinks that I have a hard time resisting. Being an introvert by nature however, provides a lot less opportunities for socializing. That can be a negative sometimes, but in regards to staying consistent with sleep schedules and diet, it has been crucial to my success.
If you are intimidated by the gym, the amount of people there, and the physical fitness of the people there, it is important to note that most people in the gym, fit or not, are mainly focused on themselves and their workout. I’ve never experienced pressure to NOT be in an area working out by other, more in shape gym goers. But some tips that can help are coming into the gym with a plan. Plan a specific training routine so that you are not wandering the gym feeling lost which can lead to feeling self-conscious. Also, make sure you understand an alternative way to work each muscle so if someone is using a machine you wanted to use, you always have a backup plan of how to work that particular muscle. With dumbbells, bands, hammer machines, pulley machines, and your own body weight, the combinations are endless. I’ve also made friends in the gym which was a nice by product of working out. In keeping to myself, I have less opportunities to meet people with similar interests and the gym provided that atmosphere. That being said, I’ve found a gym that is not too crowded, not too loud, and does not fill me with dread. It’s important to find a gym you are comfortable with and fits your personality. And if a gym is not possible, purchasing equipment to have a mini home gym is always a great option.
I love my friends and family but anyone who knows me would attest to my overall inclination to introversion. In this day and age of constant self-promotion and oversharing, introversion can seem like a quirk at best and a curse at worse. But I’ve definitely found that being more an introspective person can be an asset in certain areas, and in this one area of my life, it has been a huge bonus. I’ve shed fat, increased my lean mass, improved my sleep and diet habits, and overall mood and health just by practicing good habits that came easier to me because of being introverted. The habits and coaching I’ve received from Body Refined has shown me how to use my inherent nature to work in concert with improving my health.