Whether you're lacing up your shoes before a jog or preparing to lift a barbell, you likely have a specific reason for choosing to exercise. But whether your goal is to build a low-fat or muscular body, it's easy to overlook the social benefits of exercise. Getting in shape can improve the emotional quality of your life in multiple ways as it affords you the opportunity to interact with others while building a body that makes you feel better.
Make New Friends
Being active gives you not only an excuse to get together with your current friends, but also allows you to meet new people who enjoy an active lifestyle. Whether you're new to a community, workplace or school, joining a fitness program or recreational sports league introduces you to people who also enjoy keeping active. As you spend time with new and old friends, you can't help but develop a variety of qualities, like cooperation. In team sports, for example, you'll learn to alternate positions and make substitutions without relying on a coach.
Strengthen Your Confidence
Many forms of exercise allow you to develop a physical body that improves your self-confidence, which can translate positively into several areas of your life. If you lack confidence on the dating scene, for example, exercise can help you lose a few pounds or gain some muscle to feel better about yourself. And then there is strengthening your core muscles, which improves your posture. With a better posture, you can generally project more confidence than someone who appears slouched.
Seek Out Group Activities
Solo exercises -- such as jogging and biking -- often give you the chance to cross paths with others, but if you wish to use exercise to make friends, focus on team or group activities. Seek out a co-ed sports league in your city; many large companies also have recreational sports leagues during lunch hour. If you're not confident in your ability to play sports, group exercise classes such as yoga, Pilates and step aerobics provide the opportunity to meet people.
Tailor Your Workout to Your Goals
Imagine the improved physique you want get through exercise to boost your confidence. If your mission is to shed some pounds, dedication to cardiovascular exercises is suitable. These exercises can include walking, swimming, jumping rope, biking, jogging and step aerobics, among many others. If you'd rather gain muscle, focus on strength-training exercises such as body-weight workouts or exercises with free weights. Finding time for these workouts allows you to transform your body and, in doing so, project a more confident you.
- BBC: Physical Education: Benefits of Sport
- Government of Western Australia Department of Sport and Recreation: Social Benefits of Physical Activity
- Harvard Health Publications: The Real-World Benefits of Strengthening Your Core
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Military.com: Cardio or Weights: Which Comes First?