Building My Self-Esteem with Exercise

January 30, 2024 Sean Gunderson

In my self-esteem journey, I've turned to exercise as a constant companion. Whether it's yoga, sports, weight lifting, or biking, the benefits of physical activity have been my steadfast allies. What I have come to realize, however, is that the positive impact of exercise goes far beyond the physical realm; it extends deep into the subjective domain, influencing the way I perceive myself. Ultimately, I've found that exercise boosts my self-esteem. 

Building Self-Esteem with Exercise

One of the most profound effects that I have experienced is the enhancement of my body image. As I engage in various forms of exercise, I cannot help but notice the transformation happening within me. It's not just about shedding a few pounds or building muscle; it's about feeling a profound connection with my body. This connection, in turn, has a remarkable effect on my self-esteem. I find myself appreciating the strength and resilience that my body possesses, fostering a positive self-image that transcends physical appearance. 

Beyond the external changes, exercise and self-esteem have a direct impact on my inner wellbeing. The release of endorphins acts as a natural mood booster. I have witnessed firsthand how a good workout can elevate my mood and create a sense of wellbeing that permeates every aspect of my life.

Exercise Builds Self-Esteem and Overall Wellness

During my time as a personal trainer at a gym, I often emphasized this transformative aspect of exercise to my clients. It's not just about physical fitness; it's about building mental resilience and shaping a positive self-concept. Exercise becomes a powerful tool for personal development, offering a pathway to enhanced self-esteem that goes beyond societal expectations. 

Moreover, I have discovered the ability of exercise to focus my mind during challenging subjective states. When faced with anomalous thoughts or emotions, engaging in physical activity becomes a grounding force. The rhythmic movements and the concentration required provide a channel for redirecting my thoughts, helping me to regain control and stability. This coping mechanism has proven invaluable.

In conclusion, I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to add some form of physical exercise to their wellness toolkit. It's not just about sculpting the body; it's about sculpting a positive self-image and building resilience from the inside out. Embracing exercise and self-esteem has been a transformative journey for me, contributing significantly to my overall wellbeing. So, lace up those sneakers, find an activity that resonates with you, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment through exercise. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

APA Reference
Gunderson, S. (2024, January 30). Building My Self-Esteem with Exercise, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 25 from

Author: Sean Gunderson

Sean Gunderson (they/them) has a wealth of lived experience with mental health issues and, after publishing their thesis, "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Psychiatric Survivor: Exploring the Paradigm Shift in Mental Health," became an advocate for embracing the ongoing scientific paradigm shift in the field of mental health. Find Sean on Facebook, X (Twitter), LinkedIn, and their site

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