Feb 062014

dumbbellsAs I’m sure we all know by now, regular exercise is an amazing life hack. Not just via the traditional benefits to your health, attractiveness, and life expectancy. It also improves your sleep, mental and emotional health, and gives you a Halo Effect boost. And it significantly improves intelligence, memory, and learning in a wide variety of ways, and delays cognitive decline and memory loss later in life.

If you aren’t exercising already, it’s a good idea to figure out what the greatest obstacle stopping you is, and demolish it. It took me many years to finally admit to what mine was, and I think it’s probably not that uncommon.

Exercising is goddamned undignified.

Your clothing gets soaked in sweat and sticks to you. You get all flushed and red, and you make all these stupid faces. You emit all sorts of grunts and noises. The whole damn process is an embarrassment.

So here’s the most amazingly easy way to get around this that I’ve ever discovered, and it works like a charm.

Exercise alone, in your own place, behind locked doors. Seriously.

All you need is a pair of dumbbells. They cost a little over a dollar per pound, and if you’re just starting out you won’t need very heavy weights. Hell, if you really want to cut start-up costs you can get by with just one (although that’ll be a bit less efficient).

Everyone’s always going on about all this equipment you need and how expensive it is. Bullshit. A pair of dumbbells and your own body weight is more than enough to work out almost every major muscle group. They take up almost no space and are easy to use.

Everyone’s always going on about how you need others to motivate you to work out, using peer-pressure. Those people are obviously nothing like us, because the LAST thing I want to do is work out in front of someone. It’s this kind of advice that keeps introverts out of shape.

How awesome is working out alone? Let me count the ways.

  1. You can be as undignified as you want and it doesn’t matter! Make faces, grunt and huff! It’s all good.
  2. You can strip naked. Not only does this prevent gross sweaty clothes from sticking to your body, it also helps reduce overheating, letting your workouts be more efficient. I can’t over-emphasize just how cool this is.
  3. You don’t have to drive all over town, wasting your life in further commuting. All your work-out time is ACTUAL work-out time.
  4. It doesn’t cost anything (after the initial purchase)
  5. You don’t have to be bored – you can have stuff playing while you work out! Probably not anything visually intense, but things that work mainly via audio are great. I always use this time to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

Lookit that, avoiding the major deterrent to working-out also nets you four bonus upgrades! And your life is better in so many ways.

In summary: you can be introverted and still work out. Just rejected the extrovert paradigm. They don’t know shit about us. :)

  2 Responses to “Exercise for Introverts”

  1. Do you have any advice for people who aren’t good at dealing with the hurting bits?
    I can play audiobooks in the background in order to deal with the boredom of exercising, but I really really hate the way even a little bit of pain feels, and this normally leads to me not doing any exercise, or doing some for a couple minutes or at a really mild level.

    • Unfortunately, I do not. :/ My reply got long enough that I decided I should just break it out into another post, which will be going up in a couple of minutes, but to sum it up:

      IMO if it hurts you shouldn’t do it. If lifting weights causes you pain than this is likely not a good type of exercise for you/your body type.

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