Hey, it's Graham again from The Confident Man Project, and today you're going to learn about how to start an exercise routine and why that is important to your self-confidence. Well, exercise is an awesome thing. There really are very few downsides unless you do too hard and you injure yourself.

But exercise is good for your physical health, it's good for your mental health, it's a massive cure for depression and anxiety, it boosts your self-confidence, it helps you build muscle tone, it generally makes you more sociable. So there's really no downside. It takes a little bit of time, but if you don't have time for exercise then, well, your priorities are a little bit screwed and you really need to get that into gear and get it fixed.

So exercise is a good thing, and I'm going to suggest there are three ways that you can get some regular exercise and my favorite is the first one because it's the most fun. And basically that involves joining a team so that you can play a team sport that you enjoy.

Exercising by yourself is not all that much fun a lot of the time unless you're a bit of a lonely person, and being in a team means that you have other team colleagues that you can play with in the game that you're playing, participate with when you practice and just generally have a lot of fun with.

There a whole heap of team sports out there. There's football. There's basketball. There's volleyball, which was my favorite. There's baseball. There's cricket. There's just stacks of them, and any of these will get you physically engaged and mentally engaged with a whole bunch of people as you play against another team.

Remember the point is not to take the whole team competition thing too seriously but just to have a bit of fun and get some exercise while you're doing it.

Now, if you don't want to join a team and you'd rather go to the gym, you can do that but staying motivated is the problem and gym owners make a fortune by getting vulnerable people to sign up for 12-month contracts and then only show up for the first few weeks because it's kind of hard to maintain motivation when you're training and working out by yourself.

So what you want to do is either get yourself a gym buddy, if you've got a friend that's also wanting to get into shape, or you can find a personal trainer. A personal trainer is a good idea because they can teach you how to use all those funky machines in the gym that you would otherwise probably have to just pretend that you knew how to use and how to lift the weights so that you don't injure yourself.

I had a personal trainer and I still ended up injuring myself, but I reckon I would've done a whole lot worse if I hadn't had the trainer to just give me the basics of, like, what are you supposed to do here.

It's not a good idea to over-exercise individual muscles in your body without generally building all of them, and gym exercises often tend to focus on specific muscle groups which does make it pretty easy to overdo one part of your body without building the compensatory muscles on the other side or at the back or wherever they are unless you actually have a program where you know what you're doing that's been put together by somebody who has a clue about this stuff. And if you're a newbie at going to the gym, that's  probably not going to be you.

So I recommend you getting a trainer to help keep you motivated, give you a program and keep you on track, otherwise you can end up just blowing your gym subscription fee without actually getting some real results which is what it's all about.

Mind you, the third one is you don't actually have to go to a gym if you do know what you're doing or you want to do some research on the internet and you can follow other people's instructions or buy a book perhaps on personal training. Then you can go buy some dumbbells and do exercises in the privacy of your own home. You can do exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups that don't require any equipment at all, and you can also use some of the support structures around your house to do other exercises like pull-ups and all sorts of stuff.

I'm not an expert on this, but I do recommend that you become one so that you can get the exercise that you need. As I said, I reckon a team sport is by far the most fun, easiest way to go because you don't actually feel like it's hard work. It feels like good fun. And exercise is definitely something that in our culture we don't get enough of.

I recommend get out there this week, find a team that you can join or a gym that you can join up to with a trainer that you like and start getting into shape and notice how much it builds your self-confidence.

Graham Stoney

Graham Stoney

I struggled for years with low self-esteem, anxiety and a lack of self-confidence before finding a solution that really worked. I created The Confident Man Program to help other men live the life of their dreams. I also offer 1-on-1 coaching via Skype so if you related to this article contact me about coaching.