Our lives today are as technically advanced and comfortable as they ever have been. If we want something delivered to our doorstep, it will arrive that day, or the next at the latest. If we want fresh food, we don’t have to wait for the right season, instead we have supermarkets that stock our favourite fruits and vegetables year round. We can access our loved ones no matter where they are in the world at the touch of a button. So how in this modern society can our happiness, self esteem and confidence be so worryingly low?
When I was 16 years old, Instagram & TikTok didn’t exist, so the ‘norm’ was created by who we were physically surrounded by. My family and friends were who I looked up to, asked advise from and generally spent my time with. Nowadays, it isn’t unusual to spend 5 or more hours per day on our phones, looking at social media and the internet. The problem with this is that we are now exposed to (often inaccessible) physiques across the whole world on a daily basis. What was once considered ‘normal’ to be an average size is now far from it.
The problem with this is self-comparison. It is in our nature to compare ourselves against what is considered socially normal, as we want to feel accepted or even admired. It is innate within us to feel part of a group, share the same moral codes and look like we belong.
There are a number of ways to improve self esteem and confidence, but from my experience training clients for more than a decade, exercise is a fantastic way to feel better about yourself. It doesn’t matter what the exercise is, but the act of turning up to do something just for you to improve your health, fitness and wellbeing has a tremendous impact. Starting (or re-starting) an exercise regime is often the hardest part. The barrier I have heard too many times is ‘I am not fit enough to start training’. Everyone starts at their own starting line and their journey won’t be the same as others.
My advice is to always start small, with something that doesn’t feel unachievable. A 10 minute walk around the block, a 20 minute yoga session, or 30 minutes of resistance training are all perfect methods to start, or re-start. Once you have accomplished this, you can look to progress. In 6 months from now you will thank yourself for starting when you did, but you will wish you started even sooner.
Caroline Williams, a science journalist, puts it very well: “The research shows that people’s self-esteem and confidence changes without there being any visible or measurable differences in muscles. In some ways, it’s an inside job. It’s releasing this power that we don’t know we have and we feel better because of it. To me, that’s a much better reason to exercise – we should change the focus, especially for women, from getting ‘toned’ to exercising for how it makes us feel and how it improves our lives in general.”
Spring is here, which is the perfect time to get outside and get moving. There is nothing too small you can start with, other than not starting at all.
If you need a helping hand to get started, reach out by contacting me at email@example.com or on my instagram page @Robcarr11 and I will be happy to help.