Whether or not you feel good in your own skin, or whether or not you’ve hit your fitness and weight goals…the evidence shows that the act of exercising helps boost your body image.
Researchers from McMaster University in Canada studied 60 college-aged women with pre-existing body image concerns. They already exercised regularly. The women were assigned to either perform 30-minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise or to read quietly. The purpose of the study was to find out if exercise could improve body image and how long the positive body image lasts after exercise.
Researchers found exercise improved body image through “self-perceptions of body fat and strength.” The improved body image perceptions lasted at least 20 minutes after exercise.
The Mayo Clinic reports exercise can help reduce depression and anxiety by:
- Releasing feel-good brain chemicals
- Reducing immune system chemicals (which can worsen depression)
- Increasing body temperature (providing possible calming effects)
The Mayo Clinic says other mental health benefits include:
- Increased confidence
- Healthy distraction
- Social interaction
- Healthy coping mechanism
There’s no time like the present to adopt a ‘no excuses’ mentality to improve both mind and body!