Human socialization is key to leading a healthy and happy lifestyle, unfortunately many of the activities that we have come to associate with socialization are unhealthy and not productive to cultivating lasting or meaningful bonds. More often than not, we rely on restaurants, bars, and other low activity, indoor venues for the setting of our social meetings. We spend our social hour drinking high- calorie cocktails, and eating high grease, low nutrition, fried foods, and statically sitting. After sitting all day at work, it has somehow become natural to meet up with friends and sit some more.
If you and those you socialize with work in a city, and normally meet at a local watering hole after work to unwind and destress with a fist full of pretzels and a stomach full of beer, consider instead meeting on the streets. Forego the bar and opt for a healthy walk around the city. Take in the sights while you discuss the happenings of your day. If you’re aiming for a moderately intense work out then your walking speed should not affect your conversation, but you shouldn’t be able to have a sing- along stroll.
Run It Out
If a simple walk isn’t cutting through the stress of your day the way a cold brew used to, consider turning up the heat a little bit. Start or join a local ‘after work running group’ in your area to blow off some serious steam and relax your mind, as you invigorate your body. Increasing your heart rate to get your blood pumping can be one of the best ways to ease the tensions of the day. Keep in mind that while running can be done in a group, this is likely not the best avenue to pursue if you’re looking for an activity which will facilitate conversation.
Join A Team
Starting a sports team, can be a great way to incorporate exercise and socialization together. If your business has a team that competes against other local business in softball, soccer, or other popular sports consider joining it for a little extra physical activity and a chance to build stronger bonds with those that you work with. If no such team exists, why not start one? It doesn’t need to be associated with the company you work for, nor do you have to open it solely to people from your work.
When you are a mom, getting out and socializing in any capacity can seem impossible, and meeting other mothers who can sympathize with you just adds an additional struggle. To encourage socialization among mothers in your area consider starting a stroller strolls group, or if one already exists join them on their daily walks. Working moms may find it easier to start a group with other working moms if they find that they are on the clock for the majority of the scheduled strolls of groups with more stay at home moms involved.
Take A Class
Even if you aren’t a member of your local gym, chances are good that you can sign up for and attend a class as a guest. With options like yoga, spinning, martial arts, and zumba you’re likely to find a class that you’ll enjoy, and more often than not these classes are even broken down into intensity levels so that beginners are not overwhelmed and more experiences members are not bored. Choose something that interests you, and you’re likely to make a few new friends, in class, that share your enthusiasm.
Socialization doesn’t have to be selfish. You could volunteer your time and energy to a worthy cause that you believe in, and while you’re helping others you’ll be helping yourself by meeting new people and creating new bonds and friendships. When it comes to volunteering the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to be dedicated to your cause, or else your excitement may wane until you’re no longer interested in offering your time or energy.
Get yourself all dolled up and strap on your dancing shoes, or dress down in your country blues, and hit the town for a little bit of dancing fun. Whether you prefer to salsa, line dance, or party like a rockstar, dancing the night away is the perfect way to burn some calories while you enjoy the company of friends and strangers alike. A single hour of aerobic dance at your favorite spot can burn over 400 calories, without feeling like a workout at all.
From mini golf to eighteen holes on the green, golf is an excellent way to get outside, get moving, and engage socially. This is one of those times, where not have immense skill in the game might even actually pay off more for you physically in the long run, as you’ll have to walk more to find and fetch your ball. Take the game for light hearted fun and while you search for your lost golf ball in the rough or in the lake, you and your friends will also have fun laughing and joking about the utter lack of skill from the group. If you happen to be a good golfer, your socialized conversations will likely stray from the game, to other hot topics.
Lend A Helping Hand
Do you have any friends who are starting or in the middle of a home improvement project? Offer to lend a helping hand and you’ll be killing three birds with one stone. You’ll increase your activity level, you’ll spend quality time socializing with your friends, and you’ll bank a favor for the future when you may need a little help from them on a project of your own. If you don’t know of anyone that needs help with a home project but this option interests you, consider volunteering your time to an organization like, Habitat for Humanity.
Find Common Ground
It’s likely that you have more in common with the people you meet for happy hour, than work hours, and restaurant preference. Do a little digging and find some common ground that can steer you in the right direction for a more active socialization space. Maybe what you have in common is a hobby that could be formed into a weekend club, like hiking or gardening. Or perhaps you share an interest in something that could take the place of your after work bar hang outs, like swimming or weight lifting. Once you’ve found common ground to work from, straying from the familiarity to engage in active living will be easier because you’ll have a group of people ready to join you.
Fueled For Socialization
Whether you decide to join a sports team, take a zumba class, or start a gardening club, it is important to make sure that nutrition is always at the forefront of your mind. The amount of energy output is directly related to the amount of energy input so making sure that you fuel your body properly is key. To ensure that you aren’t wasting any time cooking, that could be spent in fun, active, and social activities we suggest meal prepping at the beginning of the week and packing your food to take along with you, so that you can eat healthy and balanced meals no matter where your socialization takes you.
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