Exercise is good for more than just improving your health and your waistline. In fact, regular exercise is what’s known as a “keystone habit,” meaning the benefits extend far beyond the physical ones. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and brain power too.1,2
In addition to the physical and mental benefits of exercise, did you know it can also improve your performance at work? Fitter people have been shown to be more productive and produce better work overall when compared to their sedentary counterparts.3,4 How can your fitness program help you perform better at work and push you further in your career?
Improved Energy Levels
When you exercise you stimulate the production of cells in your body that produce ATP—the body’s energy currency. This means you literally have more energy that can be used to exert yourself physically, but also mentally as well.5 You will think faster and clearer, leading to improved productivity over the course of the day. Additionally, early mornings won’t slow you down nearly as much as your sedentary co-workers, so you will get more done throughout the day.
Better First Impressions
Whether right or wrong, people put a lot of emphasis on first impressions when making judgments about people.6 When you first meet someone (think job interview), both parties try to gauge the other person using very limited information. Having a fitter appearance can portray positive qualities to others, including: self-determination, persistence, long-term goal setting and having a vision, as well as a certain level of self-control. All of these qualities are positive qualities to have in the workplace, and new acquaintances will associate you with these qualities in other situations and contexts. (This is known as the halo effect).
As noted above, exercise improves your brain’s performance. Regular physical activity can boost memory and learning, as well as reduce stress levels.7,8,9 These benefits will allow you to think more clearly and make better decisions throughout the day.
Improved Self-Esteem And Confidence
Studies have consistently shown that fitter individuals have higher levels of self-esteem and confidence than their overweight counterparts.10,11,12 What does this mean for your professional life? With higher levels of self-esteem and confidence comes an increased willingness to challenge yourself and take on big projects. By challenging yourself not only will you continuously improve your skill set, and thus increase your value, but you will also create more opportunities to impress the higher-ups with your work.
Improved Ability To Handle Stress And Overcome Obstacles
As mentioned above, exercise can help lower stress levels and improve your mood. Not only will you be better equipped to cope with the stressful demands of your job, but setting and working toward your fitness goals will put you in a better position to overcome obstacles in your professional life too. Everyone eventually faces setbacks in their fitness program, and part of the process is finding solutions and overcoming these barriers. Finding ways to overcome these obstacles will translate into better work, and less stress, when sh*t hits the fan in your professional life.
Regularly engaging in exercise will allow you to develop skills that can carryover into your professional life. It is no wonder that many of the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies are involved in some sort of fitness program. If you want to shoot for the stars and set lofty career goals, making time for your workouts will help you realize those dreams.
Starting a fitness program requires change, which can often be hard for most people. Tune into the latest podcast episode where you will learn why we all have an innate tendency to avoid change, and how you can fix this to set yourself up for success.
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