When it comes to exercising, we often tell ourselves that the sweat will pay off in the long run. We know that we are heading to the gym so that in a few weeks or months, we can feel that we’ve made progress. But a new study points to evidence that we may be getting a bigger short-term benefit than we expected.
Researchers wanted to see how exercise affected body image issues, so they took 60 young women and broke them into two groups. One did 30 minutes of cycling while the other group just sat around and read.
Then afterward they asked the women how they viewed their bodies. Those who did the workout had a significantly improved self-image and felt much more more positive about how they looked and felt more confident right away.
And, according to this article, it wasn’t because of endorphins:
... when they analyzed participantsâ€™ responses to questions about mood, self-confidence and self-perception, they found that women specifically thought of themselves as thinner and stronger after exercisingâ€”regardless of their mood or confidence levels.
And, the researchers also found that this kind of confidence boost only came after people did at least moderate exercise, but intensity definitely helped how much better they felt about themselves afterward.
So while it may be pretty rough in the moment, know that when you finally cool down and towel off the sweat, you’ll likely be much happier when you look in the mirror.