Why Exercise Makes You Work Smarter
Working out isn’t just for jocks. Even 30 minutes of exercise per day can boost your productivity in the workplace. Want to work smarter? There are lots of ways to exercise towards that goal:
It may seem counterintuitive, but moving more gives you more energy. Regular exercise, even at moderate levels, improves your endurance and muscle strength. These changes give you enough energy to innovate, be creative, and think more clearly. Take 15 minutes and get up from your desk; run the stairs or just walk outside. Your body’s cells will be producing more energy.
Exercise is essential to your wellness lifestyle because it improves your impulse control. This is because physical activity triggers the production of endorphins like the neurotransmitter GABA in your body, and these aid your brain in its prioritizing functions. After you exercise, you are better able to sort out your priorities, ignore distractions, and focus on the task at hand.
More exercise makes your brain tougher too—your memory improves with physical activity. Research from the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that students who took exercise breaks could remember things more accurately and quickly than students who took other kinds of breaks.
You may think that being busy hurts your productivity, but research shows that just the opposite is true. In fact, exercise boosts productivity. If you’re worried about taking time out of your workday to exercise, consider that employees who do tend to be more cooperative, more efficient with their time, and more productive overall.
Fight brain fog and inability to focus with exercise. Dr. John Ratey has shown that exercise raises your brain’s ability to focus for two to three hours. In fact, the research shows that you should exercise just before you have an important task such as a speaking engagement or presentation. There are longterm benefits too, such as reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. This is because the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to improve itself, increases with blood flow and certain proteins. All of these benefits inure from from just a little activity.
Boost Your Mood
Exercise prompts your body to release endorphins, which raise your spirits. Regular exercise also releases serotonin in your brain, helping fight feelings of sadness and depression. In fact, researchers have found that regular exercise actually helps fight even clinical depression and anxiety.
The Bottom Line
Exercise is for everyone, not just the muscleheads. Your goal can be to do any number of simple things to get your heart pumping for 30 minutes most days. You can do it and you’ll be glad you did.