If you’re concerned about your body image, engage in a bout of exercise. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that just one 30-minute exercise session makes women feel stronger and thinner.
“Women, in general, have a tendency to feel negatively about their bodies,” says study senior author Kathleen Martin Ginis, professor in UBC Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences.
“This is a concern because poor body image can have harmful implications for a woman’s psychological and physical health including increased risk for low self-esteem, depression and for eating disorders,” she said. “This study indicates exercise can have an immediate positive effect.”
Researchers compared the body image and physical perceptions of women who completed 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise with those who sat and read. Women in the exercise group had significant improvements in their body image compared to those who didn’t exercise.
The positive effect lasted at least 20 minutes post-exercise. In addition, the research team found that the effect was not due to a change in the women’s mood, but was linked to perceiving themselves as stronger and thinner.
“We all have those days when we don’t feel great about our bodies,” says Martin Ginis. “This study and our previous research shows one way to feel better, is to get going and exercise. The effects can be immediate.”
According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one half of North American women experience some degree of body image dissatisfaction, and the problem has grown over the last three decades.
Many previous studies have found that exercise has a positive effect on other aspects of mental health including lifting depression and easing anxiety. A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine found that exercise was comparable to antidepressants in treating patients with major depressive disorder.
The exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous to be helpful. A recent study from the University of Connecticut shows that if you’re sedentary, just getting up and moving around can reduce depression and make you feel better about yourself.
The information herein on "Exercise Makes Women Feel Stronger, Thinner" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional.
Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.
Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.*
Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.
We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
We are here to help you and your family.