Do you want to know how to improve your body image? You aren’t the only one. Nearly half of Brits (43%) feel the need to ‘’get fit” before joining a gym because they fear standing out. The truth is, the gym is a community of individuals striving to improve themselves—physically, mentally, and socially. There’s no predefined “gym look.” The gym is for you and wherever your fitness path takes you.
Nonetheless, having a great body image is a massive overall confidence boost. Improving your body image starts with cultivating self-acceptance and embracing yourself, even if there are still things you want to improve. Self-acceptance and staying static are not the same things. In this blog post, we’ll explore various ways to improve body image and highlight some areas that may do more harm than good.
Cultivate a confidence-boosting social media
We’re going to start with the most obvious one, and one that will be on every single “how to improve body image” list. Social media can be a double-edged sword when it comes to body image. While it offers opportunities for connection and inspiration, it can also perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards. Remember that social media is a curated highlight reel, and comparisons are often unfair and unproductive. Follow body-positive influencers who promote self-love and authenticity, and consider unfollowing accounts that make you feel inadequate.
Your friends matter
The company we keep can significantly impact our body image. Surround yourself with friends who value you for who you are, rather than solely focusing on external appearances. Cultivate a supportive circle that promotes body positivity, celebrates diversity, and encourages self-acceptance. Having a strong support system can help challenge negative self-talk and boost your confidence. The gym can be a great place to meet like-minded people, who feel positively about movement and prioritize things like strength, endurance and overall health and wellbeing.
Practice self-care and mindfulness
Nurturing your mental and emotional well-being is paramount in improving body image. Engage in activities that promote self-care and mindfulness, such as meditation, journaling, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Developing a positive relationship with yourself, focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, and practising self-compassion can help reshape your perception of your body.
Embrace the gym
Engaging in regular exercise not only improves physical health but also boosts mood, self-esteem, and body appreciation. Investing this time in yourself allows you to do something positive for your body, that works towards other goals like building muscles. You’ll also get the added social benefit from surrounding yourself with other people who are working on themselves and appreciating what their bodies can do.
Prioritize your overall health
Shifting the focus from appearance to overall health and well-being is a game-changer in improving body image. Instead of obsessing over numbers on a scale or striving for a specific body shape, prioritize nourishing your body with balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and self-care practices. By valuing your health, you create a foundation for body appreciation and self-acceptance. Knowing you’re doing something right for your body that doesn’t focus on aesthetics can indirectly help you feel better about how you look too.
Remember, improving body image is a journey unique to each individual. It requires patience, self-compassion, and a commitment to self-growth. Embrace your body’s uniqueness, appreciate its capabilities, and recognize that beauty transcends societal standards. By harnessing the power of gyms, navigating social media mindfully, fostering supportive friendships and communities, prioritizing health, and practising self-care, you can cultivate a positive body image and embrace confidence from within.