Yes, being active is great for your physical health. But did you know that there are even more benefits to staying fit? Over the years, studies have shown that physical exercise impacts our mental well-being too. But the surprise here is that social scientists have revealed that there’s enough compelling evidence to show that regular exercise changes the way we think.
One thing’s certain: incorporating regular physical activity into everyday life provides many benefits, the most interesting of which proves to be a direct correlation between hitting the gym and increased performance at work.
Considering this, what can you expect as cognitive benefits from incorporating regular exercise into your routine?
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
Exercise proves to be an efficient mood-booster, the implications of which are a plus for your performance in the workplace. We know that high-performing teams and increased team effectiveness are driven by strong interpersonal communication and collaboration between co-workers. Here, we consider how an elevated mood could bolster team relationships; exercise directly impacts your success.
A study by Leeds Metropolitan University found: On 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. Just as important: Feeling more satisfied at the end of the day.Leeds Metropolitan University
If exercise is so good for us, what’s keeping us from the gym?
For the vast majority, time is a considerable factor, considering the drive for high performance; in a post-covid world, we’re feeling the collective pressure to perform as many businesses press hard to recover, leaving less time for activity. It’s no wonder exercise fell onto the backburner for so many – But let’s be honest, it’s really about prioritising exercise.
So, what is the solution? Well, exercise! Research continues to show that the mental benefits of exercise increase our ability to absorb information, increase productivity, and thus be more efficient in our day.
Fitness is a luxury
Many of us view fitness as a luxury, something people do when they have time on their hands. So instead of seeing fitness as a luxury that benefits only ourselves, consider it a necessity for peak performance at work and a part of your job. Without exercise, you’re likely to process information more slowly, be more forgetful and have a lower mood overall. This is likely to mean you’re less efficient at coping with daily stressors, making it harder to collaborate with your co-workers.
How do you make exercise a habit?
Experts say that how we feel during exercise can impact the overall benefits exercise provides. In addition, there is a knock-on effect when prioritising fitness; people also tend to make healthier food choices. Finally, making fitness fun is a step closer to developing your performance at work.
Be clear on what you want to achieve.
This comes down to SMART goals; instead of just going to the gym, focus on something specific. What do you want to achieve while at the gym? Psychologists define this as pivotal to mastering anything. Work with a personal trainer, join a group exercise class, have the proper training gear, and you’ll be more likely to see the results of your goals and be consistent over time.
Join a tribe
It is recommended that people seeking support join a group exercise class or any class involving socialisation that makes fitness more fun. This means you’re more likely to keep doing it and prioritising it when you’re held accountable by your co-workers or gym mates.
It is much harder to tell your new colleague-gym partner that you don’t have time for the gym tonight when they’re sitting opposite you. Likewise, we’re less likely to cancel a training session when others depend on us.
It doesn’t matter how you fit exercise into your daily routine. However, it is crucial to consider fitness as necessary for high performance at work and in life and prioritise exercise because of its many benefits.