3 Ways Exercise Can Improve Your Performance at Work
Most people exercise to lose weight, look better, or to improve their physical health. But did you know that all that stair-stepping, cycling, and weight lifting can boost your performance at work too? Time spent at the gym or zipping through the park can mean more productivity and ultimately success in your career. So, the next time you want to take a day off from rowing or racing, get motivated by the prospect of being a better worker.
You will give yourself the necessary edge to make smarter decisions, implement your tactics more usefully and productively, and stand out from the rest. Exercise is the key to not only being fit, but to becoming a force in the workforce. Here are 3 ways exercise can improve your performance at work. Get moving and move the needle!
Improves Your State of Mind
Exercise not only works the body, but it improves your brain as well. When we choose to keep our bodies healthy, it benefits our state of mind and our ability to think productively in the process. According to Carson Tate Working Simply, "People who are physically active score better on cognitive tests than people living a sedentary lifestyle."
As per Livestrong, "Regular exercise can help curb feelings of anxiety and depression. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making the stresses of work easier to handle."
Granted, the stressors will still exist, but with a clearer mental state, you will be able to tackle issues, break through barriers, and deal with confrontation and roadblocks more efficiently. You will be more constructive and imaginative, allowing new ideas to surface and not letting petty annoyances trip you up.
As Carson Tate notes, "When your brain is performing at full capacity, you can focus, concentrate, and make better decisions, all essential if you are going to be more effective and efficient."
Fewer Sick Days
Folks who exercise regularly are healthier people overall. And healthier people miss less work since they don't need to use sick days due to feeling run down and weak.
According to Livestrong, "Regular exercise that includes power walking, running, weight lifting, swimming or jogging can help reduce your risk of developing certain types of illness and disease. Exercise reduces your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease – all of which can interfere with work productivity."
There are times when we don't feel like exercising, but doesn't a game of tennis sound much better than a day of a high fever and a stomach bug? Get out there and move your body to keep it illness-free and ready to get the job done. Missing work won't get you to the next level. You need to be present to be productive!
Keeps You Energized
Even after exercise, those who keep active remain full of power throughout the day. According to Carson Tate Working Simply, "Exercise enhances your body's ability to transfer glucose and oxygen throughout your brain and body, thus increasing your energy level. Your energy level is the foundation that determines how much you can get done in the day."
Whether you prefer to exercise in the morning, at lunchtime, or after work, just be sure to get that workout in. You will notice a shift in energy and alertness that will benefit your work performance. Business Insider suggests, "Instead of having caffeine, exercise. Exercising pumps more blood into the brain, helping you be more alert and focused. This means you will be better-equipped to work on a difficult project later in the day if necessary, assist a new client or employee and generally accomplish more during the day."
Exercise for career excellence. Now get moving!
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.