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Working out is a Swiss army knife for our well-being: It does so many amazing things for our body, which in turn impacts how we carry ourselves.

According to a recent study published in Health Psychology, when you’re having an off day the best way to combat your mood is to amp up your workout: Doing 10 extra crunches, five more squats, or an extra 20 minutes of yoga when your ego is weak strengthens your feelings of control – and ultimately, your self-confidence.

Here are other ways working out is a huge confidence booster:

1. Working out gives you a sense of accomplishment

Few things are more refreshing than making your way through an intense, invigorating workout session. There’s a sense of pride that comes with the achievement, especially if it’s a workout that pushes your boundaries. When you look back on that first try and compare that to where you are now, you can’t help but feel proud.

2. Working out enhances your well-being

It gives you a boost of endorphins that help to relieve stress and strengthen your immune system. Working out becomes an anchor of sorts – no matter how hectic your day, it’s the ultimate “me time” activity to depend on. Having an unconditional, consistent activity to look forward to is always a confidence booster.

3. Working out makes you feel like a hot tamale

We can’t forget about the incredible way working out boosts our body image: Every workout session takes you one step closer to the ideal look you want to have for yourself, making you feel as good on the inside as you do on the outside. You’d better start practicing your strut!

4. Working out makes you more productive

My favorite thing about working out is how it clears my mind and helps me conquer my day with ease. It gives the mind and body a chance to reconnect. You become aware of your strengths and limitations and how you’re going to use them – putting a limit on any fears that might be holding you back, whether professionally or personally.

5. Working out changes the way you face challenges

The more I suck at a workout, the more it becomes a vendetta – I just have to keep doing that particular workout until I master it (blame it on always being last in elementary school gym class). This attitude has since trickled into everything I do, and I feel much more confident in my ability to tackle any challenges that show up on my plate.

6. Working out improves your posture

When we feel stressed out, we have a tendency to hunch over protectively, when in fact we’re doing more harm to our body than good. Poor posture leads to improper blood flow and organ compression – working out strengthens your posture, keeps your body aligned, and makes you feel more energized.

Handling your stress in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your body is one of the top ways to become a fiercely confident person, and working out goes hand-in-hand with that goal: When you trust in your ability to bring it on, everyone will.

How does working out enhance your life?

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Image: jason