One of my favorite ways to build confidence is through exercise. When we exercise, our brains produce, release and circulate 137503582 (2)chemicals called endorphins which help you feel happier and boost your confidence levels.

The best way to release endorphins (the brain’s naturally occurring opiates) is to do short, intense intervals to get your body in the anaerobic state—ever heard of “runners high”? Fortunately for those of us who aren’t runners, your body will still release endorphins and achieve similar results from taking a bike ride, hiking in the mountains or lifting weights.

Another great thing about exercising is that you’ll see your confidence start to improve when you start achieving the fitness goals you set for yourself.

Not in the habit of exercising? Make a goal to start today. It doesn’t have to be big—simply make a goal of taking a short walk every day. After accomplishing this goal for a few weeks, set a new goal to run a mile each day, then maybe a few miles each day. Slowly but surely you’ll see your confidence build up in yourself as you accomplish these goals that seemed impossible only a few months prior.

If you’re already a regular exerciser, good news! Penn State researchers found that our confidence muscles can be chemically strengthened by simply adding a few more reps to our daily exercise plans. Add two more sit ups to our traditional total or one more set of stairs to our daily climb…5 more squats, 3 more lunges and/or just one more push up will not only make the body stronger, you’ll get the empowering side effect of greater confidence too! If nothing else, go for a brisk walk every day and then try to sweat it out at least 3 times per week.

Remember—every day you have the ability to gain confidence through movement. Make small movements towards becoming a better, more confident you and “Get Your Awesome On!” today!

IMG_7034e-5About: Dr. James Rouse is a naturopathic doctor and expert in functional and lifestyle medicine. An author of nine books, host and founder of Optimum Wellness Media, and Ironman triathlete, James has coached Fortune 50 and 500 companies, MLB and NFL teams, several branches of US Government and consults for companies including BackJoy, SKOOP and Kroger Grocery. He has shared his message to audiences in the US, Europe and Asia.