Can exercise improve confidence?

My membership theme for the month is power. Not the crazy-maniac-who-wants-to-rule-the-world type power, but the inner strength type power that pushes us to do the things in life that are challenging, but give us that awesome sense of achievement at the end. 

There are many ways for us to build this kind of power, like positive mantras and mental imagery, however today I’m talking about the role of exercise in boosting confidence!

When you’re feeling low, perhaps the last thing you want to do is go and exercise, but studies have shown that physical activity is both directly and indirectly linked to self esteem levels. No matter what age, gender, height or weight you are, chances are that participating in exercise will quickly help to improve your level of self-esteem, according to research. Taking your workout outdoors may even have a greater confidence boosting effect, not to mention the associated benefits that come with exercising outside! So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your confidence and self esteem, getting a sweat on could be the way forward!

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You don’t even have to be working out for very long to start feeling the benefits. According to the American Psychological Association, you’ll start to feel the mood enhancing effects of exercise after just 5 minutes. This means that if you’re currently not an active person, and you’re thinking that you need to spend an hour training to feel the benefit, you don’t have to worry! Short, at home workouts are a great place to get the blood pumping and get those endorphins flowing!

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Now, feeling great during your workout is fantastic, but it’s after when the magic really happens. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, immediately after exercising, you’re going to get a sense of achievement from having completed the workout, which in turn gives you a little confidence boost. Moving into the days, weeks and months that follow, not only will those frequent confidence boosts will start to add up, but you’ll also be boosting your self-esteem as you prove your ability to stick at a training program or exercise routine. 

Let’s not stop there! Maybe at some point, you’ll feel confident enough to enter a race or competition. This is a great way to keep motivated to follow a training program in the first place, but you’ll also get a huge confidence boost when you finish the event! Knowing that you put all that time in and achieved what you set out to do. Just make sure you choose a sport or type of exercise that you actually enjoy doing; training programs can get tough even when you’re doing something you love! Saying that, it’s the challenges we face that make the accomplishment all the more sweet.

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My final point when it comes to exercising to raise your confidence levels is about training as part of a group. Showing up to group training, especially something where you get to know other members of the group, such as a running club, will help you to break out of your normal routines, as well as meet new people. I used to be super shy, but going to a running club and making conversation with new people definitely gave me more confidence in social situations. Also, according to a Chinese study, you’re more likely to improve your skills in your chosen sport, giving you more confidence when it comes to your exercise also!

You might also enjoy: Finding Motivation!

All in all, if you’re in need of a confidence boost and you want to try something a little different, why not try adding regular exercise to your weekly routine? Or, if you already exercise, how about switching it up and learning a new skill? 

Do you find exercise boosts your self esteem?

Would you describe yourself as confident?


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