The Importance of Physical Activity for Improving Self-Esteem

    Being one of the strongest motivations for mental, emotional and aesthetic health

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    There are many reasons why it is necessary to be physically active, including physiological health. But there are others that focus more on the area of mental, emotional and aesthetic health, especially in these times where for some people the image is so influential. Improving self-esteem is undoubtedly one of the strongest motivations why people go to the gym or play sports outdoors. Self-esteem is the “valuation of oneself”; “Appreciation or consideration that you have of yourself.”

    How does it help to improve it?

    – Physical activity for many people, can improve this assessment directly or indirectly:

    – Looking good in the mirror

    – Reaching goals

    – Exceeding limits

    – Challenging yourself

    – Socializing

    – Practicing new techniques or sports

    – Belonging to a group

    All these achievements together strengthen internally and externally and keep us emotionally balanced.

    Good self-esteem improves mental growth and plays a prominent role in a person’s thoughts, feelings, and goals. It is said that people with higher levels of self-esteem tend to evaluate themselves in a more positive way (they have a positive attitude towards themselves and towards the challenges of life) and this generates, in turn, a better self-concept.

    Self-respect provides inner security and self-confidence. This makes us feel that we are worthy and deserving of good things. On the contrary, low self-esteem makes us feel insufficient and incapable when it comes to facing new challenges or establishing new relationships with other people.

    Example: It is not the same for a person who has never exercised to do their first start routine in the gym and to be able to execute the exercises well and the next day to wake up well, than to do the routine halfway and the next day not to be able to move from the pain. That first experience will mark and generate a positive or negative thought: “I’m ready to go back tomorrow”, or “the truth is, I wasn’t born for that, I’d better never come back.”

    Self concept

    This term refers to the way we see or determine ourselves. This can be in two ways: positive or negative. Physical activity helps people improve their self-concept and promote psychological well-being through improved physical perceptions and body satisfaction.

    First we must bear in mind that the reality of a self-concept is neutral, and we are the ones who build it. That is why self-esteem does not ultimately depend on a perfect body or on being the best at doing something. Our valuation and appreciation depends on how we view our abilities.

    That is the difference between self-concept and self-esteem, related terms, but not synonymous. Self-concept is the opinion we have about ourselves, we judge ourselves. Self-esteem is the assessment we give to that self-concept, that is, how we react to a thought.

    If we give our self-concept a high score, our self-esteem is high. If we give our self-concept a low score, our self-esteem is bad. That is why improving self-esteem goes far beyond waking up one day and feeling good by magic. It is an external and internal job that evolves with time and practice.

    Improving our body composition through physical activity is one of the factors that most benefits our self-esteem. Physical activity is useful not only to improve body composition, but also to promote neurological mechanisms that make us judge ourselves positively (self-concept) and appreciate ourselves more (self-esteem).

    Areas that improve when we practice sports or physical activity:

    – Decreased anxiety

    – Better stress management

    – Better anger management

    – Decrease in tension

    – Improved mood

    – Improve strength

    – Helps resistance

    – Increase muscle mass

    – More fat loss

    – Endorphin level improvements

    – Better social connection and group membership

    – Increase self-efficacy

    Physical activity is the key to improving our body composition, aided by correct eating and a healthy lifestyle.

    The practice of physical activity improves the perception of body image and creates greater satisfaction with oneself. This in turn exponentially increases the way we develop and express ourselves with others.
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