50 Ways Healthy Living Makes Us Feel More Comfortable in Our Skin

What brought you here? Maybe you were on the hunt for weight loss tips, nutritious recipes for your family, motivation and support—or all of the above. Whatever your goals, they probably fell into the bucket of adopting a healthier lifestyle, and the benefits of that go far beyond dropping a few inches or a couple of clothing sizes.

Getting healthy doesn't simply equate to dropping lots of weight, however. It means gaining strength and confidence, and moving through life with a poise and purpose you never knew you possessed. According to psychologist Lisa Bahar, healthy living includes five key elements: Getting proper nutrition for mood and body, exercising for your body type, recharging with adequate sleep, building mastery by challenging yourself daily, and taking care of your mental health and spiritual well-being.

The next time you find yourself stymied by a setback or discouraged by an inability to break through a stubborn plateau, remember there are dozens of good reasons to continue on your journey, speed bumps and all.
  1. "For me, exercise is like active mediation. It focuses me and releases all of my daily stresses, so when I look at myself in the mirror, I like what I see." Shane "The Balance Guy" McLean
  2. Good nutrition and exercise are contagious. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, you'll inspire those around you to do the same, and helping others is a powerful mood booster.
  3. "Healthy living is the foundation of all my relationships--familial, friendship and romantic. Running with a friend after work, trying a new tabata class at the gym with my boyfriend...these are the things that make me happiest and most confident. Without living a healthy lifestyle, I would miss out on so many key moments that make me comfortable in my skin every day." Kat Haselkorn, Body Conditioning Instructor
  4. You'll build more lean muscle mass and get stronger bones (especially if you incorporate weight training), which will make you feel stronger and stand taller. Plus, it reduces your risk for osteoporosis.
  5. "When one takes care of their health by creating healthy living, the vulnerability to negative emotions decreases, and positive emotions increase." Lisa Bahar, M.A., CCJP, LMFT, LPCC
  6. "Healthy living makes us feel more comfortable in our skin because it builds self-confidence. The first thing I work on with my clients is their posture. Rolling the shoulders back, lifting the chin, lifting the spine and pulling in the abdominals immediately sends a signal to the brain of confidence and feel-good waves. Not only will the person with good posture feel good, they'll send a message of confidence to those around them." Lizette Perez, Core Candy Fitness
  7. "Healthy living includes diet and exercise. When you eat good, you feel good, you perform good. Whatever you put into your body is what you will get out. If you clean up your nutrition, you will not only look better, but feel better, as well." Dr. Matt Tanneberg with Arcadia Chiropractic
  8. "Investing in myself on a daily basis makes others invest in me. It gives me power to walk with my head held high, because if I won’t treat myself poorly, I certainly won’t let anyone [else] treat me poorly. That power attracts others and affects them positively, until I become a little healthy ball of infective sunshine. So what I’m saying is, living healthy makes me a superhero." Dina Filice with Stellar Life Coaching
  9. Exercise helps boost your immune system, so you'll be less likely to get colds, viruses and other illnesses—and it's pretty hard to feel good about yourself when you're sick.
  10. "Healthy living makes me and my clients feel confident. The fact that they feel strong, fit, lean or simply ‘worked out’ in the morning seems to give them confidence in themselves." Franklin Antoian with iBodyFit
  11. "Healthy living allows for growth from bad choices rather than self-shaming. We [all] make mistakes (like eating mac and cheese when you're not supposed to eat dairy), but instead of perpetuating that bad choice by berating ourselves, we know learn to say 'no' to that unhealthy choice next time. Progress, not perfection. Gayle, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  12. "Feeling good about yourself starts on the inside. Your thoughts, and what you put into your body, all start inside and move out to make you feel good on the outside, which translates into feeling comfortable in your own skin. When you practice consistently healthy living (food, exercise, etc.), that amazingly good feeling on the inside shows on the outside." Melissa Leavitt, Certified Personal Trainer at Fit Armadillo
  13. "Choosing a healthy life connects my mind, body and spirit, allowing for peace and serenity." Dina Filice 
  14. "Healthy living is an alignment of mind, body and spirit. When they're in harmony, aspects of day-to-day living are less likely to overwhelm you." Lisa Bahar
  15. "Living healthy planted an internal value seed, and over the years it has sprouted into all areas of my life. That value has stimulated my confidence and has charged me to 'act from my power.' It’s also affected the people I love. Our action becomes an example. When people see the power behind healthy living, they want a piece of the pie." Dina Filice
  16. Staying active gives you a boost of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, the natural chemicals that enhance our moods and help us feel happier.
  17. "Exercise forces you to know your body. Through exercise, you gain self-knowledge and self-appreciation, which are both elements of feeling comfortable in your own skin." Melissa Leavitt
  18. People who work out tend to have better coordination, which means you'll have stronger motor skills for athletic activities and detail-oriented tasks.
  19. "I can breathe easier. I'm able to deal with my feelings and life. Being healthy creates a manageable coping machine. I can stop, inhale and let it go—and then continue forward—rather than holding my breath until life spins out of control." Gayle, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  20. Physical activity helps alleviate chronic pain symptoms, which helps you focus on the positive aspects of yourself—like your strong calf muscles, radiant complexion and shrinking waistline.
  21. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps to reduce and prevent symptoms of depression, leading to a more positive outlook in all areas, including self-image.
  22. "When I eat cleaner, I have more energy and fewer sinus headaches. My body feels better and I have less bloating. This make me feel more comfortable wearing my clothes and, in turn, more comfortable in my own skin." Fitness trainer Cheryl Russo
  23. Workouts help to relieve the stress of busy lifestyles, so you'll be more relaxed and in tune with your body.
  24. "Health reveals positive intentions. It's challenging, if not impossible, to have negative or poor intentions and live a healthy life. There are no short cuts." Lisa Bahar
  25. Exercising outdoors—whether it's running, walking, hiking, biking or yoga—increases your dose of vitamin D, which is a natural mood booster.
  26. "Adding some type of fitness routine, whether it’s a power walk, hot yoga or HIIT class, makes me feel energized. I feel I shouldn’t 'negate' my workout with poor food choices and will eat healthier, which in turn make me feel healthier. It gives me more of a spring in my step. And I tend to have better posture–I don’t feel as if my stomach is sticking out." Cheryl Russo
  27. If you struggle with anxiety, you may find yourself fixated on self-perceived flaws. Studies show that regular exercise helps keep this anxiety at bay.
  28. "When you follow a healthy lifestyle opposed to the alternative, you will look better. And the better you look, the more confidence you will have in yourself (and the more other people will have in you)." Fitness trainer Rachel Straub
  29. Daily workouts will help you fall asleep better at night and get more restful, quality slumber, which has a positive impact on all your waking hours.
  30. "I am investing in myself through healthy foods, which feels good all the way down to my cells!" Kendra Davies with Stellar Life Coaching
  31. "I'm taking the time to exercise, which stimulates feel-good endorphins and builds a strong heart." Dina Filice
  32. "Drinking more water flushes out the digestive system during the day. It adds more elasticity to the skin and also clears it up. It helps lessen cellulite. Just adding enough daily water helps me feel refreshed." Cheryl Russo
  33. "I feel like it helps elevate my self-worth. When my self-worth is in a healthy place, I automatically feel okay with myself wherever I am on the journey." Mariah, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  34. "Stepping outside of my comfort zone and pushing my limits physically through exercise becomes a daily reminder that the same effort and dedication will result in the same type of progress in other parts of my life as well. It reinforces the confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to, which benefits my career path, internal growth, personal relationships and more." Mike, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  35. Achieving a stronger mind/body connection through meditation and breathing techniques will help you expel negative thoughts and welcome positive affirmations.
  36. "When I practice healthy living, I feel comfortable that I'm doing everything I can to ensure that I get to see my kids grow up and to see my grandkids. This includes eating right, getting enough sleep and staying physically active. I feel that I'm valuing my body and giving it every opportunity to stay healthy, and that makes me feel very comfortable in my skin." Toby Amidor, nutrition expert
  37. With every completed workout and healthy meal, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment that will empower and inspire you to do it again, and again and again.
  38. When you're fit and healthy, you'll likely be more open to socializing with friends and developing new relationships, both of which can boost confidence.
  39. "It makes me feel good about myself because I love myself enough to do whatever it takes, and I’m at peace because I know I’m doing everything possible to live my best." Robin, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  40. "I feel I have integrity within myself and I’m proud of the choices I make. I end up talking to myself in a more kind and loving manner and liking who I am. I’m able to be more connected with people because I'm not self-obsessed with shame or guilt about unhealthy choices." Faith, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  41. "My self-esteem and value is raised through consistency." Dina Filice
  42. When you eat clean, healthy foods, you'll have more energy to spend on self-improvement activities, including career development, exercise, creative hobbies and personal relationships.
  43. "Although healthy living requires an ongoing effort, the more dedicated you are to achieving a healthy lifestyle, the better you will feel (emotionally, physically and mentally) regardless of any hardships." – Rachel Straub
  44. Quality sleep, which is an important component of healthy living, increases your overall sense of well-being.
  45. Many healthy, protein-rich foods include tryptophan, an amino acid that helps to produce serotonin, which helps to improve mood and promotes healthy sleep.
  46. "Healthy living makes me more comfortable in my own skin, in that I know I’m providing my body with what it needs, which then gives me a healthier self-image. This results in a better attitude toward myself, which leads to treating others better." Nayely, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  47. Research has linked exercise to a better work/life balance.
  48. "My mind isn’t agitated and I don’t have remorse about choices I’ve made that could have been healthier, so I rest more comfortably in my skin." Alex, client of Stellar Life Coaching
  49. Going to the gym or a group fitness class can be a huge confidence booster, as you get guidance and reassurance from the instructors or trainer, and validation from the new friendships you'll form.
  50. "Healthy living becomes my daily affirmation: 'I am worthy,' 'I am powerful,' 'I am valuable.'" Dina Filice 
What are some things you'd add to this list?