If you look around, you may notice that many successful people have one thing in common: they include regular exercise in their daily routine. It is well known that staying active has benefits for all aspects of your life, beyond fitting into those skinny jeans from ten years ago. Did you know that exercise improves work productivity, too? Being more productive & alert at work allows you to finish tasks faster and can even contribute to getting that work promotion sooner. Here are several work benefits that you can gain from incorporating regular exercise into your life.
Alertness & Energy
One of the many benefits of exercise is that it increases alertness & energy in the workplace, allowing you to sharpen your awareness and tackle your next project with more accuracy and clarity. In fact, a study by Jim McKenna at the University of Bristol shows that exercise consistently resulted in improved work performance.
Next, staying physically active can increase energy levels. More energy means that you are more awake at work and tasks can be completed correctly and to the best of your ability. Do you ever feel the afternoon energy crash at work? Choosing to exercise can give you the energy boost you need! This is due to enhanced transfer of glucose and oxygen throughout the brain and body. A study at the University of Georgia monitored three control groups over a period of six weeks: one group that did light regular exercise, one of moderate exercise, and a third with no exercise. The results show that both of the exercise groups reported to have more energy compared to the group that was inactive.
Optimum physical health
Apart from improving alertness and energy, exercise gets you into the best physical health which in turn improves overall work ability. Benefits include reducing body weight as well as the risk of medical conditions. In addition, exercise improves cardiovascular health enabling you to have more stamina to meet the physical demands on the job, and to meet expectations of work duties while reducing risk of injury. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week.
Improve mental health
If you’d like to be more productive at work, one way is to improve mental health. Regular exercise lowers the risk of developing anxiety and depression. Physically active individuals score higher on cognitive tests than people who don’t exercise, according to John Medina, author of Brain Rules. Furthermore, there is a clear connection between physical activity, brain function and reduced stress in the workplace. During exercise, the brain releases serotonin which is a neurotransmitter responsible for stimulating mood and emotion. As a result, working out will improve the mood and the state of mind so that you can handle work stress easier. Dealing with stress constructively will also allow you to maintain good working relationships with coworkers.
Getting sick from time to time is a normal part of life. Exercising regularly can help reduce the chances of getting sick. Power walking, running, weight lifting, swimming and jogging are all activities that help reduce the risk of illness and disease. For example, physical activity lowers the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease. Furthermore, exercising improves immunity. Avoiding getting influenza or the common cold means fewer missed work days.
Spark some creativity
Stuck or stalled on an idea? Can’t think of a creative solution? Go for a walk around the office or outside. In the Journal of Experimental Psychology, a study showed that creative output increased by up to 60% with walking. So next time you get stuck, get moving and let the creative juices flow!