Exercise can increase self-esteem and bennefit the brain in some amazing ways. Not only does working out increase feel-good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, there are also many workouts that have been created to build you up mentally and physically.
The act of moving your body helps your brain become more balanced and mindful of your emotions. When you are in tune with your body, you are able to make better decisions and change your mindset. But there is more, not only are you more confident in your appearance, but with exercise, your brain fills with endorphins that make you happier and more energetic.
It can be difficult to take that first step into a big, intimidating, gym or even tie your tennis shoes to head out the door. It can be especially if you are struggling with a mental health diagnosis, or braving the winter blues, but keep in mind that a little movement will really change your mood. Even if you walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, you are doing something good for yourself. Too much exercise or too little is not desirable, but a healthy balance can really raise your self-esteem
Creative Workouts for Confidence
If the idea of lifting weights and jogging on a treadmill appear boring, you are not alone. More and more fitness trends have taken on the task of getting fit mentally and physically. Here are a few workouts for mind and body to get you moving and motivated.
Running Groups: A friend of mine had never run a 5K, not even a single mile without a break. She decidied to join a running group and is now on her way to running a half marathohn. A coach and running buddies help to keep accountability and prevent injury. For a running club or group in your area check out Road Runners Club of America.
You don’t have to be an adult to join a running group. Your daughter can get involved too with Girls On the Run. Click Here to find a Girls On the Run club in your area.
Spinning: High end indoor cycling classes have started to pop up everywhere and with good reason, they are a great mind and body workout. Spinning is all about finding your internal warrior, and empowering you to meet goals. What you do in the room translates out of the room. FlyWheel and RIDE are located in Austin Texas, offer spinning classes lead by a trainer that make it easier to get mentally and physically fit.
Intensanti: Combines affirmations and strength training exercises. IntenSati is a revolutionary high-energy cardiovascular workout created by Patricia Moreno. This method of training is based on the teachings of mindfulness, positive psychology and the law of attraction. Train your body, mind, and spirit with this powerfully invigorating practice. IntenSati combines empowering affirmations with interval training, martial arts, dance and yoga. You will leave class feeling stronger, uplifted and inspired.
Yoga: Although you may be hesitant to start a class, I encourage you to look online at YouTube or other sources to start picking up this practice. For centuries it has helped people find balance and health. Many classes, such as those offered at Black Swan Yoga, are donation based and affordable. There are countless benefits to yoga. After your first session you will notice a difference. It quiets your amygdala – your emotional network in the brain helping to control intense emotions. It Increase GABA- your natural neurotransmitters that help with anxiety and moods. And it strengthens your neruo pathways while helping your body get into shape. Yoga also increase GABA receptors, both on the mat and outside the studio by practicing mindfulness. A few stretches can really go along way.
Dance it out: You don’t have to be a seasoned dancer or even have rhythm to get the benefits of a dance class. Zumba devotes are concerned with how they feel, not how they look, practicing their moves. Dance classes cater to anything from bellydancing to swing moves. Dance Austin, with over 40 different classes, offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer working on technique, an athlete looking for a fun supplemental workout, or an Austinite looking to learn a brand new skill, at Dance Austin there is a class for you.
Owner and instructor Chi Chi Randolph had a vision to create an uplifting place for everyone—not just dancers. “Dance Austin Studio is a place where people can come and feel good about themselves while receiving quality dance and fitness trainining”. Dance Austin Studio is located at 9012 Research Blvd. Suite C-5.
Mother Nature: Free and full of excitement, getting outside, even in the chilly weather will boost vitamin D levels and provide you with an array of activities. Hiking, walking, running, joining an adults sports league, or simply taking your four legged friend for a stroll are all ways to work your body and your mind.
What activities and sweat sessions have helped your self-esteem? Share your comments below and help others find positive experiences with exercise.
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.
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