Wellness Tips

Exercise & Body Image

What is “body image”?

  • Cognizant awareness with your body and of your body as you move

  • Perceptions about yourself and your attributes  

Body image can be both a motivator and barrier to exercise.

  • Participation in exercise can be influenced by perception of body image

  • Positive perception of one’s body image increases participation in physical activity

  • Stronger commitment to exercise engagement if there’s a positive relationship with your body

  • Motivator: appearance, body dissatisfaction, weight management,

  • Barrier: feel evaluated for your body, physique anxiety in social situations

How can you use body image image to help your physical health?

  • Shift the focus and mindset to feeling proud about exercising as you are being active and committing to healthy behaviors

  • Body image can influence the type of exercise you engage in, so it is crucial to find inclusive and supportive environments for exercise so you feel comfortable and have a high level of enjoyment

How can exercising support body positivity?

  • Improved body image and self-esteem through greater energy

    Notice your body as a whole, specifically thinking about how the body’s different movements work together to provide an overall function

  • Increased fitness

    • Be proactive and learn a new physical activity type -- there’s a diverse set of activities that encourage movement beyond the gym

    • Figure out what you’re capable of with your body through movement and that could shift your mentality away from appearance

    • Regular exercise allows you to focus on how you feel and how your muscles are working

  • Learn what you’re capable of!

    • Heightened body image through awareness of improved strength and endurance allowing you to feel more accomplished and effective!

    • Boost confidence through exercise as it helps with body adaptations and learning to do new things

    • Respect what your body is capable of doing and appreciate how it helps you move each day!