How to use exercise to boost your self-confidence

It’s a well-known fact that exercise releases endorphins (there’s nothing better than that post-workout high), but we wanted to find out whether exercise can have any longer term wellbeing benefits. We quizzed our resident personal trainer Ben Binderafter our #HFMBootcamp session this week to find out how working out can boost your confidence and why HIIT trumps yoga in the mindfulness stakes…

1) Starting out is often the hardest part, do you have any tips for getting over those pre-workout nerves?
You just have to speak to yourself, psych yourself up, challenge yourself to do it and don’t let the nerves beat you. Even if it’s just telling yourself you can do one last rep, focus on the end goal and picture the finish line.

2) How much time should you dedicate to exercise to really feel the benefits?
Ideally 30-45 minutes a day every day.

3) Is that really feasible for everyone?
Of course, you just have to make the time for it.

4) Does it matter what time of day you work out?
It’s all dependent on the person. It won’t affect your results but obviously in the evening you might feel less energetic after a long day, working out in the morning can help you to focus better at work too.

5) How has exercise helped with boosting your own confidence?
It’s shown me that I can break down different barriers because once I started I just stuck with it. The biggest concern for me now is the number of people suffering with depression and the high rate of male suicides. I’m convinced that fitness can help get rid of those feelings by giving them a focus and rebuilding their confidence.

Ben Binder is HFM's resident personal trainer

6) Mindfulness is really popular right now, is there a way of combining it with exercise?
Definitely, HIIT training is great for this because you have to stay focused and give your all to it. There’s no worrying about anything else, you’re just focused on pushing your body and constantly thinking about finishing!

7) That’s surprising, you’d assume it would be something more calming like yoga or pilates?
In a yoga class you might have a clear mind, but you’re not necessarily breaking down any walls, you’re just blocking out your problems. If you’re showing yourself constant progression (for example cutting your 30 seconds rest between reps down to just 25), you’ll take this mentality with you outside of the workout. It will transfer into other areas of your life, you’ll be in a better mind-set for the rest of the day and you’ll perform better at work, too.

Check out Ben's Facebook page for fast and easy workouts and keep an eye on our Instagram account @hellofashion_uk for a BTS account of our #HFMBootcamp

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