Exercise and Self-Esteem. Why you need to start exercising today.

mental benefits of exercise

There are so many mental benefits to exercise and these benefits are the reasons I am passionate about working out. 


Seven years ago, I started going to the gym and my life has improved so much since then.

This is mainly due to the massive increase in self-esteem I have experienced due to exercise.

Because of this, I can honestly say that keeping fit has had a large role in my overall happiness.

I’ve spoken before about exercise is a great way to develop self-discipline through the implementation of healthy habits.

Today I wanted to write about another benefit of fitness.

The mental benefits of exercise and the positive affect that exercise can have on improving self-esteem.

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Mental benefits to exercise - freedom to wear a bikini without worry


Exercise is a fantastic way to increase your self-esteem.

Exercise should have a place in everybody’s life if people want to achieve any goals and improve their happiness.

When I started going to the gym, I was living in Portugal and doing lots of partying and not much-taking care of myself.

I was in a pretty dark place, I was definitely suffering from low self-esteem.

As a result of this low self-esteem, I also had no aspirations for myself. I was lost.

Then, I decided to start working out with a friend of mine, and at first, I wasn’t a fan.

It was hard work to motivate myself to get there because it was a major change for me.

Initially, I tried to go five times a week to the gym but failed massively.

I then changed this aim to three times a week.

This was much more manageable for me!

By changing the goal from exercising five times to three times a week, I was able to stick to this.

Sticking with a goal motivated me to carry on.

With this attainable goal in place, I soon began to experience the many mental benefits to exercise.

It was amazing to feel myself becoming stronger and fitter.

I liked being able to run a mile easily or lift heavy weights at the gym.

To be honest, I liked feeling like a badass. 

The day I managed to do a pull-up unassisted, I felt like a superhero!

Setting small goals for myself and achieving them allowed my self-esteem to grow and I started to believe in myself more.

Small Goals

Exercise is all about setting and achieving small goals.

When you begin your fitness journey, it’s important to aim for attainable goals that you can achieve quickly so as not to lose motivation.

A good one is just going for a 30-minute walk 4 times a week.

After a month of doing this, you could move into jogging a mile or two a few times a week.

After a few months, you will be able to comfortably run for a few miles as well as lifting heavy weights at the gym.

You will be able to look back at how far you’ve come and felt a real sense of achievement from having smashed your goals.

There is always an opportunity to improve yourself in fitness and keep smashing new goals.

And every time you hit a new goal or weight loss goal, you will feel that sense of accomplishment and your self-esteem will improve as a result.

Improving your self-esteem and help you to achieve the success that you want in life.

Having strong self-esteem enables you to confidently take on new challenges, focus on your goals, and take risks.

Low self-esteem sufferers are more likely to live life passively. Making endless excuses as to why they haven’t quit their job yet, or staying in toxic relationships for way too long.

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Further MENTAL Benefits To Exercise

There are also lots of other mental benefits to exercise.

Personally, for me, exercise keeps me sane!

When I am exercising regularly my anxiety is under control, I feel more productive and happier overall.

Exercise has been proven to reduce stress. Scientists as Harvard University have shown that exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.

Exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.

These endorphins are responsible for the “runner’s high” or the feelings of relaxation and optimism that accompany many exercise sessions.

Body Confidence

Exercixe and Body-Confidence

After years of feeling self-conscious and constantly worrying about my looks, not worrying about my body is something I am grateful for.

Growing up, I hated my thicker thighs, I often got called ‘Thunder Thighs.’

I dreamt of having skinny legs like I saw in all the magazines.

Through fitness, I’ve learnt to accept my body the way it is because I am proud of how strong my legs are and what they allow me to do.

I’m now at a place where I accept me the way I am, with or without a couple of extra tummy rolls.

I truly believe without fitness I wouldn’t have achieved my goal of designing the life I want.

Working online from anywhere in the world as a successful freelancer on Upwork.

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Getting fit allowed my confidence to soar and believe in myself.

Thanks to the mental benefits of exercise, I know that I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it.

I am passionate about fitness and want to encourage others to start exercising and taking care o themselves.

Don’t focus on the aesthetic aspect.

Instead, focus on setting small, achievable goals and watch yourself grow!