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Exercise in Small Dosage Can Be Enough to Boost Your Body Image

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Body image is a concept that’s open to several interpretations. You may want to look perfect as your ideal. You may be content with feeling good. It is as much about a toned & healthy figure as it is about the confidence that a desirable appearance brings.

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Either way, a healthy and lovely body image isn’t easily acquired. Or so everyone believed until the journal Psychology of Sports and Exercise published a recently developed study results. This study published in July 2017 in the said journal discovered that thirty minutes of exercise each day could affect the body image of women positively.

The research involved 75 young women (college aged) who expressed unhappiness with the way they looked. The study purpose was to discover the effect of exercise on body acceptance levels.

Every participant who volunteered for the study was given a form to acquire information about their body measurements, energy levels, stress situation, and exercise habits. The volunteers were also questioned on how confident they felt with their appearance, their exercise capacity, and whether or not they enjoyed the physical activity.

The researchers divided the group into two sections. One-half was asked to use a stationary bike for thirty minutes in an intense workout session. The other half was seated in another room and given a NatGeo magazine to read.

The volunteers filled the same questionnaire as earlier after the 30-minute long workout/reading session and once more after the next twenty minutes.

30-Minute Long Workout Makes Women Feel Better About Their Body Image

The researchers analysed all filled questionnaires for each volunteer and concluded that most women felt stronger, thinner, and more confident at the end of their workout session. The feeling lasted for at least the next twenty minutes as understood by the analysis of the third round of questionnaire.

While half the women showed signs of positive body image in some sense after the workout, the reading group’s results remained flat.

The study authors concluded that an exercise routine of half an hour or so is enough to promote feelings of confidence and appreciation for the appearance of women despite the fact that it doesn’t change the physical appearance itself.

The researchers also believe that the positive body image can last for over twenty minutes after the quick workout. However, they did not test for the same and hence can’t firmly state this part of their conclusion.

The Study May Be Onto Something, but a Lot Remains to Be Considered

The study group involved only 75 women. It was a small pool, to begin with. All the women who volunteered were college-aged which doesn’t account for other age groups. The conclusions can’t be repeated for men since no man was studied as a part of the program.

All the participants were averagely weighted. Their medical history was pretty much clean with no mentions of any major problems. Thus, the study can’t be considered when it comes to overweight/obese women who may have a serious health concern.

The one thing that this study conclusively establishes is that it is possible to shape your mental outlook with exercise to perceive things differently, boost your mood, and feel happier about your body image.

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