6 Ways Working Out Can Improve Your Self-Esteem
Consider how you feel about yourself, generally—your self-esteem. You’ll probably notice that several factors are involved — including your sense of having the power to bring about positive things, and your level of conviction that you’re worthy of having a good life.
These factors add up to the well-known concept of self-esteem. Fortunately, there are many ways to boost your self-esteem; fulfilling relationships, community service, and spiritual connection can all contribute to a solid, healthy sense of self. Exercise is also a powerful, easy-to-access tool — here are several ways that working out can enhance your self-esteem.
1. Sense of Accomplishment
Exercising — even something as simple as walking around the block — involves setting a goal and achieving it. From modest goals to more extensive plans, you can gradually ramp up the intensity and length of your sessions — as you attain each benchmark, the level of accomplishment increases. That’s great for your sense of agency, and there’s a good chance that the positive effects will carry over into other areas of your life.
2. Increased Muscle Mass
Increased muscle mass means that you have the strength to not only carry out the activities of daily living but also to fully participate in your favorite pursuits. You have an increased feeling of effectiveness and safety as you go about your day. Your body is better able to meet unexpected demands. All of these things are a boost to self-esteem. Flexible, healthy muscles are also essential in order to maintain healthy, pain-free movement patterns.
Careful training is a must; it’s best to at least begin your program under the guidance of a professional. Supplements like isolate protein can be helpful as well as they help fuel energy and give you nutrients that you may be lacking. Experiment to see what works best for you — the results of an appropriate muscle-building program can be life-changing.
3. Enhanced Mood
Want to quickly and safely improve your mood? Work out! It’s well-established that exercisers enjoy the benefits of improved mood both during and after exercise, and that their baseline level of optimism and energy tends to improve as well. The benefits are even greater if you exercise outside and get a bit of sunshine in the process. Any form of exercise that you choose carries mood-enhancing benefits; the most important thing is that the type of workout is sustainable over a reasonable period of time, is enjoyable, and within your current physical capacity.
4. Positive Influences
Whether you’re taking in a great podcast while walking, working out with a trainer, joining a running group, or hiking with your dog, taking up exercise means that you’ll be around positive, constructive influences — that’s a certain benefit for your self-esteem. Stuck in a rut while working from home? There’s nothing like a quick workout with your Zoom buddies to get a jolt of distraction and inspiration. Feeling lonely? Join a small group exercise support group either in person or online.
5. Improved Body Image
No matter what your size and/or fitness level, working out will quickly help you feel better about your body. Improved strength and flexibility, more optimal body composition, and feeling your physical self move in space all work together to make you feel and look better and more vital. If your body is functioning at its best, you can more easily show up as your best self. Even people with issues such as body dysmorphia (prevalent in today’s Instagram culture) can benefit from a mindful, nurturing program.
6. Improved Health
Want to regulate your stress and possibly live longer? Start a workout program! Want to combat fatigue and naturally release beneficial hormonal processes so that you feel capable and centered? Exercise! Want to significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease so that you can take part in activities and relationships you love? By now, you probably know the answer.
The benefits of working out extend into nearly every area of your life, including how you feel about yourself. Take into account these points as you make your plan!