It is so fun preparing for our Spring Fashion and shopping for what is hot and new this season. Picking out new clothes can make us feel good or can sometimes result in feelings of inadequacies about our body. In a recent survey of 16,000 Glamour magazine readers, 40% of respondents expressed discontent with their bodies. However, the good news is that engaging in regular exercise, regardless of any body changes, has been linked to improvement in self esteem. The September 2009 issue of the Journal of Health Psychology combined several studies to find that women who exercised were less critical of their body. Surprising, was that actual physical improvements were not necessary for them to feel better about themselves.
The author of the study, Heather Haunsenblas, exercise physiologist at the University of Florida, stated, “you would think that if you become more fit you you’d experience greater improvement in body image, but thats not what we found.”
I find this information very interesting as it supports another benefit of exercise which is an improved Self Image. Having a poor body image is a major problem in women and has even been reported to begin as young as 8 years of age. With so many women struggling today with body image, I think it is encouraging to realize engaging in just a short bout of exercise can improve self esteem and boost confidence. This can come in different forms of activities from going to the gym, taking a walk with a friend or playing ball with your kids. Find something that makes you feel that you are taking care of your body.
So if you want feel good in the dressing room, go for a walk before heading out to shop. It may change your whole perspective.