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Monica Wright

Get moving to boost your self-esteem

How physically active are you? Being active has lots of benefits. It helps you look and feel your best. It keeps your body healthy, improves sleep, and fights stress. Plus, it can boost your self-esteem. That’s right — moving more may help you improve your overall opinion of yourself. Sounds good to us!

Monica Wright is a professional basketball player for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. And she wants to help you feel more confident about your talents and abilities. She knows that staying active is a great way to do just that. Check out Monica’s tips for moving more and feeling great.

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How old are you?

I am 26 years old.

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How long have you been playing basketball?

I first picked up a basketball when I was 11 years old. I was playing for a small recreational league in Northern Virginia, and I was terrible. It took a lot of time and hard work to become the player I am today.

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What’s been the highlight of your career as a professional basketball player?

The highlight of my career was winning my second WNBA championship in 2013 against the
Atlanta Dream. Nothing beats bringing home the trophy at the end of the season.

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When you’re not on the basketball court, what’s your favorite way to get active?

When I’m not on the court, I love to swim, lift weights, kick box, and “walk the mall” (a.k.a. shopping).

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Why do you think it’s important for girls to get plenty of physical activity?

I think it’s important for girls to get plenty of physical activity because it initiates a healthy lifestyle from a young age. That means it’ll be easier to stick with good habits throughout your life. Your body will thank you.

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How does exercise make you feel?

Exercising doesn’t always feel good while you’re doing it. But for me, after I’m done, I am proud of myself. I feel like I’ve accomplished something. I know I’ve done something that will better my health and body in the long term.

Plus, exercise relieves stress, and it helps you look and feel your best. That goes a long way in how you feel about yourself. Being fit makes me feel more confident.

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For girls who don’t love exercising, what’s your advice on making it more fun?

Try to incorporate exercise into a fun activity that you wouldn’t mind doing. For example, I love shopping, so I would go to a mall and walk. Then I would squeeze in some squats and lunges before I made my purchases. You can also make plans to exercise with friends. Start a pickup game of basketball or soccer. Or grab a friend and go for a walk or jog.

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Do you have tips on how girls can work more physical activity into their daily lives?

I would say take initiative and build some sort of exercise into your daily schedule. Make it a priority. That way it’s harder to make up an excuse not to do it. Maybe you’re the kind of person who has to exercise first thing so you get it out of the way. Figure out what works best for you and make it part of your day.

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What advice do you have for girls on getting active and sticking to it?

I had a coach that used to tell me, “It takes 21 reps of doing something to make it a habit.” Try exercising for 21 days straight and see how easy it becomes to make it part of your everyday life. Just remember that if you haven’t been active in a while to start slowly. Set a goal for yourself and work toward it.

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Besides getting regular exercise, what other ways can girls boost their self-esteem?

I like taking time to relax and pamper myself. I like getting my hair and nails done, but more importantly, I would recommend focusing on your own inner beauty. Know and remind yourself daily of how uniquely beautiful you are. Avoid comparing yourself to anyone else.

Whether you already have healthy self-esteem or not, regular physical activity is important. Check out our Fitness section to learn more about why fitness matters. Then check out these ideas for getting started and staying active. Plus, here are tips for boosting your self-esteem

Content last reviewed January 01, 2015
Page last updated January 01, 2015

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.