Run to a better Salary
When you hear the word “exercise”, its natural to think of the physical benefits: the stronger heart, the lower blood pressure, the six pack abs and, of course, the active wear! There is no doubt that exercise has numerous physical benefits, but it also produces a more powerful mental and emotional state. And this benefit is felt almost immediately (certainly sooner than developing that 6 pack anyway).
The link between physical exercise and mental performance
There is a direct link between how active you are and your brain power, and nowhere is this relationship more important than when you are trying to perform your best at work. Studies have found that regular physical activity is associated with:
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
What about actual work performance?
Exercise enables you to soak in more information, work more efficiently, and be more productive. One study found that on those days when employees visited the gym, their experience at work changed. They reported managing their time more effectively, being more productive, and having smoother interactions with their colleagues. And something just as important: They went home feeling more satisfied at the end of the day. Seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it? Excuse the pun!
Who has time for exercise during the day?
Everyone really. When you say, “I don’t have time”, what you’re really saying is that you don’t consider it a priority. Given the significant impact exercise has on your physical health and mental performance, it’s a good time to start shifting your priorities around. Instead of viewing it as a personal indulgence, or something you’d like to do if only you had time, consider exercise as an integral part of your working day.
The concept of “sweatworking”
You’ve heard of networking, but sweatworking takes things to a whole new, healthy level. Besides the stress-buffering impact of activity; simply walking and talking gets your creative juices flowing, giving a whole new spin to the idea of “…giving your idea some legs”. Studies have found that creativity can be increased by up to 80% following some activity, and even a 30-minute lunchtime walk can be effective in helping employees feel less stressed, less fatigued and more alert, improving their ability to cope with their given workload. Essentially any time lost by exercising during the day is made up for with improved productivity. You start working smarter, rather than longer!
Sit less, move more
If the concept of enjoying a lunchtime workout is out of reach, embrace the idea of simply sitting less and moving more. Even amongst those employees who are regularly active, spending hours of their day sitting is linked to lower work productivity and decreased mental well-being. Research shows that in work environments where employees are encouraged to take regular movement breaks, the typical indicators of lost productivity were reduced – so clearly productivity improved.
Tips to ensure your workday activity works for you:
- Pick an activity you enjoy. You’re far more likely to stick with something you look forward to doing.
- Dress appropriately – a walk around the block at lunchtime isn’t the best idea in heels, so pack your takkies!
- Avoid making your ‘reward’ that of having an unhealthy treat. Any health benefits would quickly disappear as fast as the doughnut.
- Have FUN. One of the benefits of exercise is a boost in happy hormones which in turn adds to both health and productivity.
Regardless of how you go about incorporating exercise into your routine, reframing it as part of your job makes it a lot easier to make time for it. Remember, you’re not abandoning work. On the contrary: You’re ensuring that the hours you put in have value.