5 Reasons Why Weight Training Builds Self-Esteem
Weight training builds self-esteem like almost any exercise. When you do not enjoy cardio exercise or any particular sport, you may enjoy hitting the gym and lifting some weights. This might be the case for a number of reasons: you find the gym environment motivating, you get in the zone doing repetitions, you like the feeling of building strength, or you enjoy mixing things up. Whatever the reason for your preference for weight training (also known as resistance training or strength training), the outcome is that weight training builds self-esteem. Here’s how.
5 Ways Weight Training Builds Self-Esteem
1. Overcoming Challenges in Weight Training Builds Self-Esteem
Lifting weights can be extremely challenging, especially if you push yourself to your limits. Being able to overcome a challenge – be it mental or physical – is always rewarding. It raises your self-esteem because it reminds you that you have the power and ability to square up to an obstacle and tackle it. When you treat weight training in a disciplined manner, you practice overcoming challenges all the time. This strengthens you not just physically but mentally as well.
2. Making Progress Builds Self-Esteem
When you start weight training, you can decide to set yourself some goals such as a weight you want to be able to squat, deadlift, or bench press. The great thing about lifting weights is that you can constantly improve. You can see yourself making progress, be that lifting heavier weights, doing more repetitions, or perfecting your technique. This can boost your self-esteem because it’s a way of proving to yourself how you can achieve your goals and make positive changes in your life when you set your mind to it.
3. Beating Depression Improves Self-Esteem
Weight training can help reduce the symptoms of depression.1 Since a common symptom of depression is low self-esteem, it’s no wonder that so many people who suffer from depression and start lifting weights report improvements in their self-esteem. Weight training changes your brain chemistry, releasing endorphins, which helps to improve your mood. And when you’re in a positive mood, it’s easier to lift yourself out of a pattern of negative self-talk.
4. Losing Weight and Getting Healthy Improves Self-Esteem
You may struggle with low self-esteem due to your weight. You may judge yourself for being too fat or unhealthy. Weight training is a practical way to burn calories and fat and improve your health in all sorts of ways: it helps to fight osteoporosis, lowers your risk of diabetes, protects heart health, helps regulate blood glucose, prevents back pain, and improves your balance.2
5. Seeing Changes Helps Self-Esteem
It doesn’t take long to notice your body changing after you start a regimen of weight training. The fact that you can see yourself becoming more toned and muscular can be a clear sign that you’re able to discipline yourself, work hard, dedicate time and effort to a positive activity, and achieve results. Nevertheless, when it comes to weight training for the purposes of building confidence, it’s important that your appearance doesn’t become the sole or predominant source of your self-esteem.
You may view yourself as more attractive when you’re toned or muscular – and others may give you compliments about how you look – but this should be a side-benefit to working out, rather than the main motivation. Stable and long-lasting self-esteem doesn’t come from having big muscles. It depends on recognizing your virtues, skills, and positive qualities, and fully expressing them in the world.
- Reynolds, G. "Weight Training May Help to Ease or Prevent Depression". The New York Times. June 2018.
- Braverman, J. "13 Benefits of Weightlifting That No One Tells You About". Livestrong. March 2018.
Woolfe, S. (2018, August 8). 5 Reasons Why Weight Training Builds Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, January 24 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2018/8/5-reasons-why-weight-training-builds-self-esteem
Author: Sam Woolfe
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