Does exercise increase your confidence? Not exactly. Confidence is not the net results from exercise, it’s exercise itself.
A study at the University of Florida found the act of getting your body moving, not the resulting increases in fitness, that convince you that you look better. What’s more, the effects were more pronounced in women than men.
So, even if you don’t see tangible results, try tuning into how you’re feeling about yourself and your body image, because even A-list actors suffer from their own insecurities.
Melissa Benoist of the TV show Supergirl explains how regular training has improved her outlook and perceptions of what she’s capable of.
“I do a lot of boxing, Pilates and then some strength training,” explains Benoist. “There is a lot of core work and it’s quite ab-centric. Core strength is a big thing with this role, as there’s a lot of wirework so you need to be able to carry your whole bodyweight when you’re up in the air.
“Also, Supergirl is a puncher, so I’ve had to up my game in that area through boxing, and that was quite strange for me. Just learning the mechanics of a punch alone has been a real challenge. It’s exhilarating when it starts to click, and you make strides with your form and what you can do. It takes a while, but you have to keep trying.”
Hitting the right look
“With Supergirl’s physicality, I’ve wanted to bring a gracefulness and femininity to her strength,” she says. I grew up as a dancer, so my time when I was a ballerina certainly helped with that. But then the Pilates and building up my core strength really helps with the fluidity to her movements.
Pilates is a great help with that. My diet is typically balanced, but I do allow myself treats from time to time. I’m very big on balance with what I eat and my nutrition and I love fruit and veg!”
– READ MORE: 7 Ways To Make Your Healthy Habits Even Healthier –
A new sense of confidence
“It is very interesting for me, jumping between these two personalities – especially when it comes to the physical dynamics of the role,” she explains. “In my own life I’m a lot closer to Kara Danvers [Supergirl’s alter ego]: I’m a bit shy and weird. So for me, I’d say that being in the fight scenes and being authoritative and strong isn’t as natural,” she says laughing.
“I have to give myself a talking to, saying my shoulders should be back and strong. With her arc in the show and my training, it’s convenient because I am getting stronger and I’m adjusting and picking up things faster – and thankfully that fits in with Supergirl’s arc in the show and this world.
The hardest parts are tapping into that strength and confidence, but the training helps with that enormously. The training really informs that and allows you this sense of control.”
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