(NaturalNews) According to a recent study in the Journal of Health Psychology, people with a low sense of self-confidence gained greater confidence not by how hard they exercised, how fast they ran, or how much they benched, but rather by whether they exercised at all. In short, it was the act of exercising that increased self-confidence, not how well they performed in the process.
It`s natural for people to want to exercise to improve their self-image. It`s one of the reasons why people exercise in the first place. Ideally, someone`s self-image wouldn`t be contingent on his/her physical appearance, but the fact of the matter is that if you look good, you feel good. But researchers from the University of Florida found that people`s perception of themselves wasn`t as contingent on what they saw in the mirror as we might expect.
The researchers reviewed 57 case studies that looked into how regular exercise affected moods and emotional health. While they found that the regularity of exercise did affect self-perceptions and self-confidence levels, there was no measurable difference between those who exercised moderately or intensely, those who exercised for short periods or long periods, or what activity people did during their exercise sessions.
So just as some exercise is always better than no exercise for our physical health, the same applies to our emotional health.
Now, workout warriors will probably toss this finding aside as a non-issue. They`re always looking to push a little harder, run a little faster, and train a little smarter. Motivation is not a problem for them. But for people who are just starting out, or for people that have an "all-or-nothing" mentality, they can take heart in the fact that even a little bit will do wonders for their sense of self.
While none of the participants were diagnosed with depression, a low sense of self-confidence is almost always tied to clinical depression, which affects an estimated 14 million people in the United States alone. The diagnosis and treatment for clinical depression is best left to the expertise of a doctor, but for those infrequent "blue" days we all experience now and again, exercise can turn frowns upside down. Many studies have confirmed this, as the physical act of exercise stirs the production of endorphins, which create a positive feeling in the body. This feeling is often referred to as "runner`s high," as people report feelings of "euphoria."
So in your search to improve your mood and self-image, go ahead and get "high" by exercising. You`ll be amazed by how good you look, and perhaps more importantly, how good you feel.
Frank Mangano is an American author, health advocate, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of alternative health. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Blood Pressure Miracle," which continues to be an Amazon best selling book. Additionally, he has published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health. Mangano is the publisher of Natural Health On The Web, which offers readers free and valuable information on alternative remedies. To learn more visit: http://www.naturalhealthontheweb.com