Most people have struggled with self-esteem issues at some point in their lives. Sadly, many people compare themselves to the best of the best: movie stars, sports heroes, and supermodels. This unrealistic and unhealthy comparison can set anyone up for a sense of perceived failure. Supermodels are a very small population, and even they are made to appear more flawless with the help of computerized editing. As you gaze upon picture-perfect images in magazines, it’s no wonder you may become more critical about the way you look in comparison. With obesity on the rise and activity at an all-time low, there may appear to be an even a bigger wedge between reality and Hollywood’s standards. As a result, you can easily be left feeling very discouraged and insecure. If this sounds familiar, implementing an exercise plan may give you the confidence boost you need. Exercise will make you feel better. One of the most common complaints inactive people have is that they simply do not feel well. Not only does an inactive lifestyle lend itself to low energy and sickness, a sedentary life increases the risk for numerous health issues, including high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, cancer, obesity, and heart disease. As you begin to exercise, you will quickly notice a variety of immediate benefits, beginning with improved sleep and increased energy. The longer you exercise, the more health benefits you will discover. In addition to improving the way you feel physically, exercise also improves the way you look. Since many people are not happy with their bodies, making any physical improvement is always welcomed. Even if you do not lose weight, regular exercise can increase muscle tone and reduce body fat. Whether you are getting stronger, faster, or leaner, each victory will take your self-esteem to the next level. This sense of accomplishment can give you the added assurance you need to pursue your dreams and set higher goals both in and out of the gym. Nothing builds self-confidence like gaining physical strength and power. As you attempt new exercises and complete more difficult workouts, you begin to accomplish tasks in the gym that seemed impossible in the very beginning. The more you challenge your body, the more you uncover your true potential. Even the smallest accomplishment can result in a huge mental boost. Stress and anxiety can take a toll on your self-esteem. Ironically, people who need to exercise the most feel they do not have the time to work out. However, if they did work out, they would be surprised how much exercise would help them handle stress and manage their time. Multiple studies have followed the psychological effects exercise has on a person’s mental status. Researchers have found that exercise reduces depression and anxiety and helps people manage stress. As you handle life’s stresses better, you are able to relax more and get better sleep so you are refreshed for the next day. When your thoughts are not consumed with worry, you are able to focus on your daily tasks. As a result, you are more productive and more in control, giving you an increased sense of accomplishment. While it is always best to consult a physician to rule out any mental-health or body-image disorders, exercise has been proven to be a very successful remedy for low self-esteem.
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