Body Con: Body Confidence, that is

Everyone’s body is different. Unfortunately, self-confidence can be hard to achieve if you’re envious of somebody else’s physique. But Valley wants you to forget everybody else, and embrace your body. After all, it has to last your lifetime.

Keeping a healthy diet and staying active can boost your confidence. This being said, it is more crucial to work out for your body type. Valley talked to Amy Soergel-Foster, the owner of a gluten and allergen-friendly store called Naturally Soergel’s in Pittsburgh and an instructor at Barre Code with a Masters in Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh, to understand the importance of working out for your specific body.

“Working out for your own individual body type is so much more important than thinking you need to kill yourself on a treadmill for hours on end,” says Soergel-Foster.  “Because your body can only respond to what it’s inherently designed for, recognizing this can be a game changer.”

Overworking your body can lead to injury, not to mention frustration if you cannot keep up with an intense workout. Go at a pace that is good for your body.

Working out can also do amazing things for your heart and mind. Soergel-Foster says that working out plays a major role in stress release in her life. In fact, she says that it’s the only thing that effectively manages her stress throughout her day.

The important thing is to work out in order to be healthy, not just to look good. Working out has so many more positive benefits than just toning your body.

For example, “It also boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, especially when you achieve your goals, see results and feel yourself getting strong,” says Soergel-Foster. “Besides, strong is the new skinny.”

Try out these simple exercises that you can easily do in your home, on the beach or really anywhere this summer. Take them at your own pace, and decide how many reps works for your body and your confidence!

1. Plié Squats: This move mostly targets your inner thighs, quadriceps and buttocks but can benefit many other areas of your body if you keep your whole body engaged. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and feet turned out. Keep your pelvis tucked, back straight and core tight, then squat away while feeling like a graceful ballerina.

2. Crisscross Leg Drop: This will target yours abs, specifically the lower region that can be tricky to engage. Lie on your back with straight legs up in the air. Drop your legs to about six inches above the ground. While your legs are at this angle, crisscross your legs back and forth for an extra challenge for your core.

3. Swimmer: This move will target your lower back and shoulders. Lie on your stomach and lift your legs and arms off the floor until you feel your back is engaged. Then, simply paddle away.