Exercise is most frequently associated with health benefits such as lower blood pressure, a healthier body weight, or even just a better looking physique.
But just as powerful as exercise is for our body and health, it is equally impactful on the way we think.
Scientific studies have indicated that the strength of our mental capacities is linked to our level of physical activity. Not only does it make our minds sharper and quicker, exercise has a direct relationship to our performance at work.
With exercise incorporated into your daily routine, you can expect to experience better levels of concentration, faster learning abilities, a better memory, improved creativity, and perhaps most importantly lower stress levels.
Besides these benefits, exercise has also been demonstrated to elevate our overall mood thus providing an additional boost to our work performance.
There is also evidence showing that exercising during work hours further increases our performance, as demonstrated in a Leeds Metropolitan University study.
The study examined more than 200 employees and asked them to self-evaluate their performance daily. The data was then analyzed on an individual basis to determine how exercise affected their daily work. On days the employees visited the gym, they reported managing time more efficiently, increased productivity, and even better interpersonal interactions with coworkers and clients.
If exercise has so many amazing benefits not only to our health but also to our career, why are not more people finding ways to add it into their lives?
As you know, the number one reason for not exercising is lack of time. While deadlines may bombard you, the scientific evidence keeps coming in support of adding it to your routine.
Since exercise makes us better at work, a total shift in mindset has to occur. Exercise can no longer be viewed as a personal luxury/indulgence but must be considered something that actually will promote increased productivity and performance. In that light, it is something professionals must do.
If exercise is considered a part of our work itself, we will be more likely to do it. To help you get this vital activity into your daily routine, these three scientifically-backed tips can help you get started.
1. Find a Type of Exercise You Like
Now more than ever, exercise does not have to be boring.
If running on a treadmill or sitting on a stationary bike, bring tears of boredom to your eyes, you’re not limited to those activities.
Every year unique forms of exercise keep being developing including Zumba, CrossFit, and hundreds of other ways to stay fit. You can run, swim, bike, play tennis, or even rock out behind a drum set.
If you enjoy the activity, you’re likely to engage in it more often.
A recent study revealed that how we feel while exercising also affects the results and finding one you like actually makes a difference.
The study shows that when exercise is something we do for fun rather than as a chore that “needs to get done,” we get a lot better at resisting unhealthy foods afterwards. This is because we don’t use up our willpower reserves to get ourselves to exercise.
2. Make Exercise Social and Dependent on You
As you’ve probably experienced before before, exercising in a group can boost your levels of participation while making it more fun.
When you find a fun social exercise environment, you’re more likely to keep doing it and find sustained benefits.
When you and a friend are planning on going to the spin class together during lunch, it also gets a lot harder to back out of the commitment.
But new research has demonstrated that every group class/activity might not provide the same benefit. When other people become dependent on our participation, we are much more likely to follow through.
Consider a yoga class. While you are in a group environment, each individual is working alone in the presence of others. Whereas if you’re part of a team, such as during doubles tennis or a game of football, your participation becomes integral to the activity.
The team’s success depends on you and if you bail on it, others will suffer.
3. Focus on Improvement & Invest in the Activity
The difference between “just working out” and mastering a task is enormous.
When mastery goals become a focus, you’ll be eager to attain a new level of competence at the form of exercise. This encourages you to work harder and improve.
Another way to boost your commitment level is to buy the right clothing, invest in a coach, or sign up for the class.
By putting up some money, you’ll be more committed, while increased improvement will keep you coming back for the long haul.
As you’ve now seen, the scientific research is in and exercise will make you perform better at work. Thinking about exercise as part of your job, will make it more connected to your workplace. That makes it easier for you to decide to make time for it and to incorporate it into your daily routine.