Feel Thinner and Stronger in 30 minutes


Exercise isn’t only good for gradual, long-term body benefits. According to new research, just a single 30-minute workout may be enough to help people see themselves as thinner and stronger. The positive effects seem to have staying power beyond the initial post-workout glow.

It’s well established that exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which can make people feel happy, so the researchers thought this might be the reason behind the body-image boost. But when they analyzed participants’ responses to questions about mood, self-confidence and self-perception, they found that women specifically thought of themselves as thinner and stronger after exercising—regardless of their mood or confidence levels.

Intensity seems to be an important aspect of feeling better. “We only see these body image improvements with at least moderate to heavy intensity,” Martin Ginis says. “Women have to feel challenged so they can walk away saying, ‘Wow, I am strong. I am capable.’”

Pushing yourself too hard, however—or jumping into a routine you’re not physically ready for—could backfire. All of the women in this study were regular exercisers. “I’ve also done studies with women who don’t usually exercise,” she says, “and when I give them a similar type of workout they can feel worse immediately afterward.”That’s why it’s important to choose activities that are demanding but within reach, so that they create feelings of accomplishment and empowerment rather than defeat and disappointment. “Pushing yourself in this way not only has physical health benefits,” she says, “but it can have psychological benefits, as well.”

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31 Jul, 2017

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