Typically when you hear about all the wonderful the perks of exercise, they're related to getting into great shape, improving your health, or changing the way your body works. But another very important benefit of exercise that doesn't get as much air time is how it can enhance your social life.
Because I work from home, my day-to-day does not include a lot of social interaction. And by that, I mean I only talk to my dog, and the person I order a coffee from every day. For me, after a day of writing in solitude, I'm a lot more tired than one might expect. While I tell myself every morning that after I finish my work for the day, I'll head out and meet my friends, it rarely happens. A low energy job leaves me in a low energy headspace when the day is done. It's really hard for me to switch gears.
I've tried making early plans, making late plans, local plans — but truly, nothing has helped more than adding 30 minutes of exercise into my post-work routine. It pulls me out of my comfort zone, gets my blood going, fills me with endorphins and gives me a second wind. Without adding a quick workout in my daily routine, I'd still be struggling to find the energy to see my friends and have a life outside of my work life. Here are six effects that working out can have on your social life:
Make New Friends
If you sign yourself up for a few sessions of a fitness class, you'll find yourself with a few new friends. Seeing the same people each week and busting your asses together will immediately bond you. If you need a little bit of social interaction but don't yet have a gym buddy, a class can definitely kickstart some socializing.
See Friends More Regularly
Maybe it's hard to see your friends during the week, you each have your own office hours and your own post-work routines. Consider coordinating once a week and you can take a class together. Maybe one week you join your friend's work out, the next week she joins yours.
Increase Your Energy And Gain Stamina
Working out will wake you up, even if you're exhausted. The more you exercise, the more energy you'll be able to harness and put towards keeping you up for your social life. If you're feeling exhausted after work and thinking about canceling those dinner plans, pop into the gym for a few minutes, get your heart rate up and you'll be ready to go.
Build Up Your Confidence
Exercise helps the body release tons of feel-good endorphins. Just the act of making it to the gym will make you feel proud of yourself and that will translate into confidence.
Better Your Mood
Exercise is a proven stress-reliever and mood enhancer. After just five minutes of cardio you're already giving a crappy day a lot more potential. You'll start to feel lighter and happier, you'll get totally hooked on that feeling.
When you challenge your body and mind, it's easier to consider the many highs and lows one goes through in a day. Especially if you're taking a group workout class, where you have to work together to power through and cheer each other on, you learn to be more empathetic, which can greatly strengthen your already established friendships.
Images: Giphy, @Birdiewylde