How many T.V. commercials and magazine ads promise weight loss as the main benefit of exercise? What if exercise not only helped you lose weight, but also raised your self-esteem?
It seems like only yesterday when I had the privilege of working alongside Dr. Wynn F. Updyke at Indiana University 3 year study of Physical Fitness, Self Esteem and Academic Achievement of Elementary Inner City School Children. I was convinced based on my own experiences that higher levels of self-esteem could be a result of increased exercise and personal fitness.
Self-esteem means "appreciating one's own self-worth and importance, having the character to be accountable for self, and acting responsibly toward others."
Years later my team and I are wrapping up a model fitness program for SOS Village in Chicago. I am surprised and deeply disappointed to discover that most of our participants still face the same fitness and health risks that I encountered with Dr. Updyke’s research.
Measurements revealed high body fat, weak grip strength, hydration levels below normal, poor endurance and decreased strength.
That didn’t stop the “Right Fit” team! We were ready and prepared for individualized, hands-on training. Fun and motivation would be necessary to develop healthier habits for all participants. Whatever the “special need,” successful instruction depended on individual customization of fitness goals and objectives. By the end of the program their results made it clear that fitness scores improved and attendance, interest and commitment had increased. Although we did not measure “self-esteem” there was a new sense of pride and commitment. The biggest question asked was “When are we coming back?” Whatever the research, I remain convinced that passionate people combined with the “right fit” fitness program will markedly change lives and improve self-esteem!
Two for the price of one …powerful stuff!
Copyright © 2017 Suzanne M. Gray.