Does exercise help increase confidence?

Absolutely. Working out and seeing your body change definitely will help change your attitude towards yourself and even life. When you start feeling good about what you have accomplished your whole perception changes. As a personal trainer myself just seeing peoples eyes light up when the have lost that weight and body fat makes me even feel good. When you start looking and feeling better your whole attitude changes for the better. Have you ever met someone who said I have lost all this weight, dropped all this body fat and have more energy and I am miserable? Of course not because reaching these goals makes you feel you can accomplish anything. So work hard and feel great.
Mr. Donovan Green
Athletic Training
Exercise is great way to increase your confidence. It not only helps your posture, muscle definition, cardiovascular system, sex life, brain power, and strength, it will also put you in the sexy zone. How can you not feel confident and ready for the world? We feel the way we look and if you look out of shape then chances are you will be out of shape. Now change that picture to being in shape. How do you feel now? YES -- that is a great feeling. Keep that body looking and feeling great.
Exercise certainly can help increase confidence as long as you find some success in what you are doing. In order to find success in what you are doing you need to set realistic goals to help increase motivation and confidence. If you design your goals to be realistic you will be able to achieve them and will feel more motivated and confident to keep going and be open to trying new things. This increase in motivation and confidence will also spill over into other areas of your life. 
Confidence comes from a feeling of being in control and achieving what you set out to do. Basically, confidence comes from assuming control and taking action. So yes, exercising may make you feel more confident.  However, if you start off with realistic goals and a good gameplan for safe and effective exercise you will assuredly become much more confident when you start to see the health and fitness manifestations of you efforts.
I believe exercise has a cascade effect. When you begin, decide how and why you want to change and that will make you will feel invigorated. As you plan and stick to a weekly exercise schedule you will feel in control and have a more positive outlook. As you continue exercising and begin to reach your fitness goals and you will undoubtedly feel much more confident than when you first started. Confidence comes from taking action and enjoying your successes.
Darren Treasure, PhD
Sports Medicine
Exercise can certainly help increase a person’s confidence. As a person begins to successfully achieve increasingly more demanding physical tasks their self-confidence will rise. Initially, a person who is successful in sticking with an exercise program is likely to feel more confident about their physical ability. For example, they are going to be more confident about successfully executing their normal activities of daily living that involve a physical component such as walking and lifting. Over time these enhanced feelings of confidence may extend to a person’s overall sense of confidence as they experience enhanced body image and increased self-esteem.     
Exercise helps to increase confidence when there are realistic, attainable goals. Realistic and attainable goals help people to feel successful which in turn, helps them to feel more confident. The more successful a person feels the more confident they become.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.