Regular exercise and healthy eating provides multiple benefits to both our physical and mental health. By making us feel more energized, clearing our minds and helping us lose a few pounds, eating a healthy, balanced diet, accompanied by regular exercise can work wonders for our confidence.
At CMS Fitness Courses we’ve explored some ways exercise and healthy eating can boost self-esteem and improve productivity at work.
Nutrition and confidence
Low self-confidence can be the start of a vicious circle. Eating well brings multiple health benefits, including combatting low self-confidence. When we eat a healthy diet we tend to feel healthier and more energized, which can result in us feeling happier with higher levels of confidence and self-esteem.
In an article about increasing self-esteem, the mental health charity Mind.org.uk, advises eating well as a means of improving confidence and self-esteem. ”Eating a well-balanced diet at regular meal-times with plenty of water and vegetables will help you feel healthier and happier.”
The tendency to ‘comfort eat’ and eat foods that are rich in sugar and fat might give us some immediate relief, but it will not do our confidence or self-esteem any favors in the long-term.
By the same token, starving ourselves of essential nutrients and not eating enough can have a negative impact on our energy levels, confidence and ultimately self-esteem.
Making sensible and healthy choices about our diet can help us feel emotionally stronger. As the NHS states, by simply knowing we are doing something positive for ourselves, can lift our self-esteem and a “good diet enables your brain and body to work efficiently.”
A healthy, balanced diet should include food from all the major groups, as well as at least five portions of fruit and veg each day. A healthy diet is low in fat, comprises of at least two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily, and plenty of fluids, including the government’s recommended 6 – 8 glasses (est. 1.9 liters) of water a day.
Improve your mind
We all experience lethargic days when our energy levels are low and we feel like crawling back into bed rather than going to the office.
As effective as eating well can be on lifting our mood, so is exercising. In fact, exercising can be an effective way to directly combat energy-stifled days and, as a consequence, give our self-esteem a boost.
As the Mayo Clinic advises: “Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.”
Whether it’s going to the gym several times a week, jogging round the block on the weekends, walking in the park with your dog, or playing football on a Saturday morning, any type of regular exercise is proven to have a positive impact on our mental well-being and self-esteem.
Simply spending less time on technology and fanatically watching updates on social media channels such as Facebook and spending more quality time outdoors exercising can help improve our self-esteem.
Joining in a fitness class, such as yoga, has proven to be beneficial to our confidence and mental health.
At CMS Fitness Courses we shared how yoga relates to mental health: “While some forms of yoga may prove mentally and physically challenging, by sticking with the exercise the practitioner should see improvement and a sense of achievement and self-worth.”
Achieve your goals
Believe it or not, exercising regularly can help us achieve our daily goals. Waking up early, putting your trainers on and accomplishing some form of exercise each day, can work wonders in motivating us for the day’s activities and helping us achieve our goals.
In fact, including fitness in your daily routine is hailed as being one of the most effective ways of becoming your best self.
Boost work productivity
By boosting our confidence and self-esteem, helping us overcome lethargy and feel more energetic, and getting closer to achieving daily goals, exercise and healthy eating can improve our overall ability at work.
When we exercise the flow of blood to the brain is increased, which can help sharpen our awareness skills and put us in a better frame of mind to tackle work-related tasks and projects.
The energy exercising and eating well gives us, helps us stay on top of our game for the day, rather than getting bogged down with feelings of weariness during an afternoon slump!
Listen to a personal trainer
Personal trainers offer so much more than just assisting individuals with effective exercise and weight loss programs. They advise people on healthy eating, how to lead a healthy lifestyle and the mindset required to get there.
For example, “What is your reason for getting out to exercise in the first place? Is it so your clothes fit better, or to be able to ski this winter without dying on the slopes? Developing a strong mental image that is specific and positive will help motivate and guide your decisions,” according to personal trainer, Terry O’Hara.
Ultimately, when we combine a heathly, balanced diet with regular exercise in any capacity, it helps to lift our mood, make us feel more energized, and improve the way we look and feel, all of which positively affects our confidence and productivity at work.
This article has been edited.
Hadyn Luke is the Director at CMS Fitness Courses (CMSFitness). CMSFitness are specialists in health and fitness training. Based in Huddersfield, CMSFitness offer a diverse range of high-quality personal training and fitness courses in the West Yorkshire region. CMSFitness is recognised as a premium provider of health and fitness courses that offer a variety of commercial and government-funded training programmes for people of varying ages and backgrounds across Yorkshire. Connect with @CMSFitness on Twitter.