By Ntokozo Mayekiso
This article can also be found in the print Edition 2 of VARSITY Newspaper.
If you’re an introvert, you know how anxiety inducing the thought of working out at the gym can be.
You wake up, tell yourself “today is the day”, and walk through the Virgin Active turnstile with the best of intentions to try and get that “summer body” right, or at least attempt to ween off that last slice of pizza you had at 23:00pm last night – which probably wasn’t the best decision given that you’ve been ingesting fast food the whole week.
Feel dragged yet? Yup, me too. Behold, before you lies big, shiny machinery that stares you in the eye and all of a sudden, all your ambitions dissipate.
One. Goal. At. A. Time.
Well, worry not fellow introverts, below I have compiled some tips on how you can work out, without the added stress of not knowing how the machines work, or whether or note you look terribly awkward at whatever you’re trying to do.
1. Apps! If you’re an introvert, you’re probably avoiding as much social interaction as possible by keeping on your phone. Well, why not use that to your advantage? Thanks to the plethora of fitness apps that can be found on your mobile’s app store, you can work out of the comfort of your own home. Try apps like: 8fit Workouts (includes a meal plan), Daily Workouts Fitness or Seven (gives you 7-minute effective workouts) for some good workouts.
2. YouTube videos. YouTube is not only useful for when you’d like to make a stop at “procrastination station”. There are also tons of fitness coaches that post their workout videos on the online platform. Try some Zumba, Cardio or even some Yoga. Whatever your interests, the possibilities are endless. The advantage is, you can switch up your routine whenever you want.
3. The gym at off-peak hours. I’ve been advised that working out at the gym when it’s not so congested, is the best. If you’re looking to have a fruitful workout, try getting to the gym at the wee hours of the morning (perhaps between 06:00 and 08:00 depending on what time your gym opens, of course). If you’re not a morning person, try sneaking in a workout 2 hours before the gym closes. You’ll thank me later.
4. Earphones at the gym. If you can’t beat the peakhours at the gym, try walking around with earphones to avoid social interaction. No seriously, try it. According to Dr. Michael Bull, a professor of Sound Studies in Media and Film, at the University of Sussex: “multi-faceted device tools [are tools] whereby users manage space, time and the boundaries around the self.” In other words, your earphones can be used as a way to isolate yourself from others in spaces of high volume.
5. Walking in nature. A simple yet effective way of working out, walking. Find a tranquil and safe space to take a stroll and enjoy all that nature has to offer.