In this 3rd and final installment of building self-confidence with the magic of motion, I’m going to expand on the amazing effects of combining particular movements from the disciplines of Yoga, Strength Training and High Intensity Interval Training.  As you read, take a not on where you currently lie in your journey towards rebuilding self-esteem and confidence.

Lowers The Stress Hormone Cortisol
Low levels of Cortisol (a stress hormone) have been linked to confident leaders, while high levels have been linked to weight gain and overwhelming stress. We’ll talk more about this later; just know for now, in order to feel confident you’ll need to keep cortisol in check.

Fortunately, studies like Harvard Health Publications show us that exercise reduces cortisol.[i]  In contrast, other studies like the one published in the journal Obesity in 2017 show that “exposure to higher levels of cortisol over several months is associated with people being more heavily, and more persistently, overweight.”

Gives You More Energy
Ever find yourself short on energy or confidence in the middle of the day and reach for a Rockstar, RedBull, Monster or cup of Starbucks? If you have, don’t feel guilty; most people rely on energy drinks and supplements to get through the day.

Unfortunately, similar to “Confidence 101” there is no “Energy 101” taught in school, which leaves many of us reliant upon advertisers whose primary objective can at times be deceptive, perhaps even brainwashing us to become addicted to their product.

But knowledge is power and while these billion-dollar companies barrage us with advertisements telling us that the solution to our lack of energy and confidence is their product, multiple studies actually tell us a very different story.

In a study, published in Psychological Bulletin, researchers analyzed 70 studies on exercise and fatigue involving more than 6,800 people and concluded: “More than 90% of the studies showed the same thing: Sedentary people who completed a regular exercise program reported improved fatigue compared to groups that did not exercise.”

The results clearly show that regular exercise increases energy and reduces fatigue and these effects were greater than the improvement from using stimulant medications, including ones used for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy.

It’s also important at this time we break out some sunshine serum and blast some light onto the dark side of energy drinks with a study from scientists at the McGovern Medical School in Houston. These scientists examined 44 nonsmoking young and healthy medical students in their 20s by testing baseline endothelial function then testing it again 90 minutes after the participants consumed one 24-ounce energy drink. Keep in mind, endothelial function relates to your blood vessels and is a powerful indicator of cardiovascular risk.

The Results?

Researchers found an acute impairment in vascular function after consuming just one drink. And according to lead researcher John Higgins, “that reduction can restrict blood flow and oxygen delivery.”

Since blood flow and oxygen are critical to moving, breathing and remaining calm, this certainly doesn’t bode well for getting high or creating a confident state of mind. Think about that next time you reach for an energy drink.

Builds Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
According to a study published in Sports Medicine, one of the most highly sought after performance enhancing substances, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced from exercise and sleep.[ii]  Another study from The New England Journal of Medicine reported a multitude of benefits from HGH including: improved lean body mass, bone density, skin thickness, and decreased fat mass.[iii]

But the benefits don’t end there as many experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola report that Human Growth Hormone gives you more energy, improves sexual performance and libido, helps you sleep better and repairs aging and degenerative body parts.

No wonder HGH is a banned substance for professional athletes. It gives you an extraordinary advantage over others. And fortunately, with the right exercise program, you won’t need to buy any pills or get injections to get high and confident on HGH.

Boosts Testosterone
Perhaps the biggest benefit of exercise is that it builds testosterone levels, which have been scientifically proven to make men and women feel confident.[iv]

When it comes to confidence, Testosterone (AKA The Big T) is one of your most powerful allies and… it’s not just for men.  Testosterone, an androgenic sex hormone is produced by the testicles and in smaller amounts in women’s ovaries.

Research from Harvard University, The University of Oregon and The University of Texas have discovered that powerful and effective leaders (men and women) not only share similar mindsets, but also similar hormone levels.

More specifically, researchers discovered that: “Powerful leaders tend to have higher levels of testosterone, which leads to more confidence, and lower levels of cortisol, which leads to better coping skills for high stress situations.” [v]

Since repetition is the mother of all skill and this is so important I’m going to repeat it:

“Powerful leaders tend to have higher levels of testosterone, which leads to more confidence, and lower levels of cortisol, which leads to better coping skills for high stress situations.”

And for all you single folks out there, did you know that studies show men and women can actually sense high testosterone levels and will be unconsciously drawn to mate with these partners?[vi]

That’s right… have sex with them!

From an evolutionary standpoint, women evolved to favor men with high testosterone levels since they were more likely to produce healthy children and protect them.

Studies also show that the Big T has been proven to create motivation, elevate mood, help maintain a healthy weight and improve blood flow throughout your body by directly stimulating the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NO).[vii]

Boosts Nitric Oxide
Another confidence superhero, not to be confused with nitrous oxide (AKA laughing gas), nitric oxide, is a molecule that both widens and relaxes blood vessels and arteries, increasing oxygen and blood flow throughout your body.

Nitric Oxide also improves memory and reaction time by transmitting information between nerve cells in your brain, improves erections, increases endurance and strength, helps you sleep and reduces inflammation.

While testosterone will stimulate the production of nitric oxide you can boost or ensure its production by eating certain foods like:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Pomegranate
  • Walnuts
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Garlic

Perhaps after viewing this list, you might even be inspired to stack the buffet table at your next party with some of these tasty treats and create the ultimate icebreaker!

While producing healthy quantities of the Big T is key, it’s equally important to understand how damaging it is when you can not produce enough.

Turns out, studies show that both men and women who have abnormally low testosterone levels often complain about depression, feelings of irritability, anger, and poor quality of life.[viii]

Undoubtedly, testosterone is a big confidence builder for both men and women, but how do you maintain production or get enough if you’re over 30, where your levels of this important hormone begin to drop?

There are four primary ways to increase the Big T as follows:

  • Exercise
  • Proper Diet
  • Supplementation
  • Proper Sleep

To address these areas it takes time, patience and most importantly the right coaching.  if you’re at all leary of coaches or had a bad experience in the past, any reluctance to get coaching could sideline you onto the couch and mitigate your dreams to a clicker and a bag of chips.  I like to call this couch crush because it crushes your dreams and sends you to the couch.

If you’d like to cut the chains of victimization or couch crush,  I recommend checking out a master program called “Get Fired Up,” which addresses all four of these areas by combining the synergy of Yoga, Strength Training and High Intensity Interval Training.  This combination is unique in that it affects not just your physical health, but your mental and emotional health with a science-based approach validated by experts across the globe.  To learn more about this self-paced online program visit: “Get Fired Up.”



[i] Exercising to relax – How does exercise reduce stress? Surprising answers to this question and more. Harvard Health Website

[ii] Godfrey RJ, Madgwick Z, Whyte GP. The exercise-induced growth hormone response in athletes. Sports Med. 2003;33(8):599-613.

[iii] Vance, M.L. Growth hormone for the elderly? The New England Journal of Medicine, (1990). 323(1), 52-4

[iv] Colin Camerer, Gideon Nave. Single dose testosterone administration impairs cognitive reflection in men. Psychological Science August 3 2017

[v] Sherman, G. D., Lerner, J. S., Josephs, R. A., Renshon, J., & Gross, J. J. (2016). The interaction of testosterone and cortisol is associated with attained status in male executives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(6), 921-929.doi.10.1037/pspp0000063

[vi] Lisa Welling, Benedict C. Jones, Lisa M. DeBruine, Finlay Graham Smith, David R. Feinberg, Anthony C. Little, Emad A. S. Al-Dujaili. Men report stronger attraction to femininity in women’s faces when their testosterone levels are high Hormones and Behavior 2008 Nov;54(5):703-8. doi: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2008.07.012. Epub 2008 Aug 7.


[vii] Zvara P1, Sioufi R, Schipper HM, Begin LR, Brock GB. Nitric oxide mediated erectile activity is a testosterone dependent event: a rat erection model. Int J Impot Res. 1995 Dec;7(4):209-19.


[viii] Gerald A. Lincoln. The irritable male syndrome, Fertility and Development 13(8) 567 – 576  Published: 08 February 2002


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