If you’ve been feeling down on yourself lately, the key to finding your confidence could be a lot easier than you think. We’ve all noticed how great we feel about ourselves after a good workout, so it makes sense that the simple act of going on a run could do wonders for your self-esteem. If cardio is your worst nightmare and you’ve come to accept the fact that running just isn’t for you, it might be time to reconsider. We’re not saying you should start running five miles a day, but just getting out there and going for a short jog even once a week can improve your mood and confidence. Still not convinced? Here are a few reasons you should start running today.
Goal Setting Creates a Sense of Achievement
You can diss cardio all you want, but one great thing about running is that anyone can do it, and you don’t have to set huge goals to feel rewarded or accomplished after your run. If you’re new to running, taking time out of your day to run or jog for just 15 or 20 minutes will give you a sense of achievement. If you’re an avid runner, you probably know that it’s all about setting goals – how many miles can you reach, how fast can you run each one, and how long can you go without stopping. You’ll never run out of goals to set with running, and every time you reach one, your confidence will soar.
Getting Outside is Good for You
Most of us have a love-hate relationship with the gym, which means when the chance to get some exercise in the great outdoors presents itself, we’re quick to take advantage of it. Running is the easiest form of outdoor exercise because you can literally do it anywhere. Not only will your surroundings keep you a lot more interested in your workout than staring at the screen attached to a treadmill, but research also shows that getting outside exercise increases self-esteem and lowers blood pressure.
It Reduces Anxiety and Stress
You probably know by now that exercise is a great stress reliever. Instead of going home, packing a bag and making the trek to the gym after a stressful day, just head outside for a quick run to blow off some steam. Not only will it reduce your stress levels instantly, but running can also reduce anxiety and depression in the long run. You’re much likelier to feel more confident when you’re free of stress and anxiety.
You’ll Get Stronger, Physically and Mentally
Obviously running – like any form of exercise – has great health benefits when practiced regularly. If you get into running, you can shed some pounds and tone your legs, which will definitely help your self-esteem. While looking good will definitely boost your confidence, improvements in mental strength are also a benefit of running. It isn’t just about your physical ability to run – it’s about telling yourself you can keep going even after you feel tired. When you start running regularly, you’ll quickly realize that your mental strength, or willpower, is stronger than ever, which should make you feel just as good as you look.
You’ll Think More Clearly
Even though you will subconsciously be thinking about your goals and encouraging yourself to stay strong during your runs, it’s actually a pretty mindless exercise. No need to think about weights or machines – just get out there and start moving your feet. Because it’s doesn’t require much brain power, running is a great way to give your mind a break and let your body do all the work, which will help you think more clearly after you’re done. Not only will running refresh your mind, this study shows that it can also protect your memory and improve thinking skills. Being on top of your game mentally is definitely one way to boost that self-esteem.