A hobby is something people do in their leisure time as a pursuit they enjoy or want to improve in. Music, art, reading, crafts, sports, are all considered traditional and more typical hobbies. There i
s, however, a fine line between a hobby being something you want to do and something you have to do.
Working out is something that is beneficial for overall health, fitness, and mood but people will often take up working out due to a necessity. Either they need an energy release, want to get in better shape, or feel self-conscious.
Is working out a hobby?
For many people, working out is a means to an end and is something you have to do rather than being something you want to do.
There are people though (and a lot of them), that enjoy working out and do it freely in their spare time.
Yes, working out is a hobby provided it’s something you do for enjoyment and not because you need to do it for the health benefits. For many people, working out provides a mental break, a sense of community through classes, and a form of personal identity.
Working out is a tricky one when it comes to hobby classification.
A significant number of people work out not because they want to but rather because they have to for health reasons. This can make working out a bit of a gray area, especially if you are looking to take it up as a hobby yourself.
In this article, I’ll cover whether or not working out is a hobby and why you should consider changing your mindset towards it.
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Is Working Out a Hobby
While most people will consider working out to be a chore and something that you have to do in order to stay fit and healthy, it doesn’t necessarily need to be viewed this way, and a significant number of the population view working out as one of their main hobbies.
This is because of the variety that comes with working out beside the base level benefits of improving your overall health.
Depending on your chosen type of workout and exercise, you’ll find everything from recreational involvement right the way through to world-class competition.
This spectrum of skill level, advancement, and competence means that you’re offered a route of creativity and accomplishment that comes with other popular hobbies like gardening, DIY, music, reading, and art.
The way you view working out is the only difference between it being a hobby or something that everyone should do.
If you look forward to it and take pleasure from it, you’ll already be firmly in the hobby camp as you treat it as a choice rather than a mandatory daily task.
Not everyone can make this distinction so and it’s, therefore, good to consider whether or not working out is actually a good hobby to take up.
Is Working Out a Good Hobby
Personally, I think working out is one of the best hobbies you can possibly have.
It’s a biased opinion because I’ve been working out for 14+ years and have multiple qualifications when it comes to fitness and nutrition.
With that said, It’s also been my main hobby all that time.
The reason it’s a good hobby is because of the multiple benefits that come with it once you change your mindset.
Everyone knows that working out is needed for general health and wellbeing but that doesn’t mean you need to view it as a chore.
There are so many branches that come with working out that have multiple additional benefits like stress management, anti-depressant, socializing, a sense of purpose, better sleep, and generally just feeling better.
The forms of working out include:
- Weight lifting
- Martial arts
These are all pursuits that not only help you stay fit and healthy but allow you to pursue them and improve over a lifetime.
Even just jogging or walking daily might seem mundane but if you do it with a purpose other than “exercise” and use it as a way to explore the outdoors and clear your mind then even these basic forms of working out become a hobby.
Does Gym Count as a Hobby
You might think this is the same as working out but people specifically refer to the gym as being their hobby.
The atmosphere, sense of belonging, and access to equipment are different from working out, which could be as simple as doing some bodyweight exercises in your home.
There are different types of gyms and each one has a different identity that different people relate to.
Commercial gyms, health spa gyms, bodybuilding gyms, CrossFit gym, powerlifting/strongman gym, budget gyms, 24-hour gyms…
The gym, in these instances, is not a hobby and when people saying going to the gym is their hobby, this term is too generalized and is not accurate.
You might have a passion for a certain type of food, however, your hobby wouldn’t be going to the restaurant.
It would be something along the lines of Thai food, or exploring vegan dishes, etc. the place is not the hobby but rather the type of place. This is true for the gym.
If you go to a CrossFit gym, your hobby is CrossFit training and this is a good example because there is a strong community in CrossFit, and people certainly identify with this style of training as being a hobby.
Bodybuilding is more of an individual pursuit but bodybuilding-specific gyms provide an expanse range of equipment to test out and utilize.
Therefore, going to the gym alone does not count as a hobby but your choice of gym and how you participate in the gym will give a better reflection of what your hobby is.
You can say, going to the gym is your hobby but it’s much better to narrow this down and identify exactly what it is that you do inside the gym the better defines the hobby.
Related – Why people hate going to the gym
Is Lifting Weights a Hobby
Lifting weights is slightly different from working out.
People workout for general health and fitness goals but when lifting weights, there is usually a larger commitment that involves implementing things outside of the gym.
Diet and rest are just as important as the actual training sessions and for people lifting weights, it’s typically something you hate at first.
There is a small minority who will pick up a weight, do repetitions and think “yeah, this is for me” before becoming hooked.
For most people though, your first experiences will usually end feeling light-headed, incredibly sore from DOMS, and not looking forward to your next session.
The interesting thing with lifting weights though is that at some point, people move away from seeing it as a chore and it does become a hobby.
People set goals, work on technique, make programs (as far as 6 weeks to 6 months in advance), do research outside of the gym, and become engrossed in the lifting lifestyle.
It’s surprising how many people go through the transition of hating lifting weights to suddenly becoming obsessed with it.
There’s a dopamine hit that comes with lifting weights once you start to progress in terms of how much you lift and also how you see your body change over time.
While lifting weights comes under the category of working out, it’s much more specific when it comes to defining a hobby.
Lifting weights will have set areas for improvement and there is always room to progress, get better, and test new techniques.
A hobby is something that allows for creativity, improvement, and personal expression and weight lifting is certainly something that can be included in that category.
Some might see working out as a chore, necessity, and must-do activity in order to maintain and improve their overall health, quality of life, and even longevity.
When looked at it from this perspective, it’s easy to see why a lot of people wouldn’t consider working out to be a hobby.
For many people though, working out offers an opportunity to take control and improve certain aspects.
Whether it be cardio or weight lifting, there is room for personal improvements, developments, and continued progressions.
As skill and fitness improve you can compete, there’s usually a strong sense of community when working out and it offers many of the same (if not more) benefits that come with other more traditional hobbies.
Therefore, working out can certainly be a hobby when you have the right mindset towards it.