It’s no secret that sitting for long periods negatively affects our physical health. We spend more and more time being inactive during our leisure time, staring at screens and working jobs that encourage sedentary behaviour. This routine can quickly become monotonous, leading us to feel uninspired and bored with our day to day lives.
Exercise helps us keep our hearts and our bones strong, fight illness and disease. Exercise also positively affects our mental health, memory, learning alertness. There is even research suggesting improving our fitness can have very positive effects on our confidence and creativity.
Just a little bit of exercise each day can have a significant improvement on how we feel. Aerobic exercise and exercises that incorporate mindfulness are very effective. However, if you enjoy higher intensity exercise, like HIT, you’re more than welcome to do that also.
Neuroplasticity means the brain has ‘the ability to change and improve throughout a person’s lifetime, particularly when exposed to consistent, targeted exercise and engaging stimuli.’ Physical exercise is a great way to exercise your brain. So, if you want to increase confidence or creativity, consider getting active.
Many people struggle with self-esteem and confidence issues. Sometimes, these issues are tied to your appearance and how you perceive your body. Social media is often linked to the rise in body image issues and society’s increasing obsession with appearance.
Exercise is a great way to improve your confidence. This may seem unusual but working out can really change the way we feel and think. We know that it can positively affect our mental health and even increase workplace productivity.
Over time, exercise allows you to strengthen and tone your body. Regular exercise gives you an improved physique. Seeing a noticeable difference in your physical appearance is a great way to raise your self-image.
When you exercise, you are doing something good for yourself. This is something to be proud of! The simple act of creating an exercise routine and sticking to it can provide you with a sense of achievement.
Physical activity has an almost immediate effect on your mood and lasting positive effects on your mental health. Consistent exercise can help reduce long-term feelings of anxiety and depression. Feeling good promotes feelings of self-confidence!
There are many examples of creative people using exercise to boost their imagination. Philosopher Henry David Thoreau stated, “the moment my legs begin to move my thoughts begin to flow – as if I had given vent to the stream at the lower end and consequently new fountains flowed into it at the upper”. Similarly, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche advised, “Sit as little as possible”.
In 2013, the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience published a study looking at the impact of physical exercise on convergent and divergent thinking. In the study, researchers found that regular exercisers are more creative than their sedentary peers.
Convergent thinking and divergent thinking are the two components of creative thought. Convergent thinking refers to being able to provide a single answer to a problem. Whereas, divergent thinking involves exploring many possible solutions for a problem.
To determine whether there was an association between regular exercise and creative thought, researchers had 48 athletes (those who exercise 3 or more times a week) and 48 non-athletes (exercise less than 1 time per week) perform a test. The first task measured convergent thinking. Participants were asked to find an association between three unrelated words. For example, “time,” “hair,” and “stretch” are connected to the word “long”.
The second task measured divergent thinking. Participants were asked to list as many possible uses for six common household items (for example, “pen,” “towel,” “bottle”). Researchers scored participants on flexibility, originality, fluency and elaboration. Researchers found that the regular exercisers did better on both tasks compared to those who didn’t regularly exercise. Overall, the study revealed that there was an association between exercise and creative thinking.
Exercise has a surprising impact on our confidence and creativity. Moving around changes the way we think and in turn, promotes positive feelings. Positive feelings such as confidence, self-esteem and happiness can significantly improve our quality of life.
If you want to boost your confidence and imagination, staying active is a healthy and fun way to do it. The best thing about regular exercise is you are not only strengthening your muscles, but also your mind!
Ceed can help you understand the importance of healthy habits such as exercise. Feel free to explore our range of services here.