Aside from keeping us in shape and healthy, there are some other impressive benefits of exercise that are sometimes overlooked. Some of which can actually help boost your work productivity and benefit your career.
If you have ever felt a little lethargic and like you are struggling to push yourself through the work day, exercise helps you to be more productive and successful in your work.
1. Giving You Energy
Of course, exercise helps to increase your energy level in a healthy way, instead of with unhealthy amounts of sugar and caffeine, and that energy is also instrumental in helping to boost work productivity. Since exercise stimulates blood flow to the brain, it can actually help you to be more aware and alert, allowing you to feel more awake and giving you a boost of energy to tackle the day and projects ahead of you. This doesn’t require an hourly run every morning; it can even be as simple as picking up gym equipment for a quick workout at home every day. By doing this, your workout can fit around your schedule and save you so much time. During your workday, it’s also a good idea to go outside and take a walk. You will find that even this will help you to clear your head, focus, and have energy to get through the rest of the day.
2. Helping You Maintain Your Mental Health
Speaking of clearing your head, exercise also has benefits to help maintain mental health as well. As you exercise, you release endorphins that reduce stress and anxiety, like serotonin and norepinephrine, which impact mood. Moreover, all of the added blood flow to the brain helps to heal itself and regenerate neurons. Reducing stress and being able to elevate your mood can help you to feel more positive and enthusiastic about your job and help you to handle the stress better, as well as avoid work burnout.
3. Helping You to Boost Your Immune System
Another important health aspect of exercise is that it helps to boosts your immune system. This means getting sick less, which is great for you, but also great for your career, since you won’t have to take as many sick days away. Along with assisting you to avoid the common cold or flu, daily exercise helps to prevent against developing certain illnesses and diseases in the future, keeping you healthy and fit well into your retirement.
Of course over-doing it or continuing your workout while sick can have negative effects on immunity, so you should use some common sense concerning this. But in general, a short workout on a daily basis is more than enough to keep you fit as a fiddle.
4. Helping You Sleep Better
Exercising, particularly outside, can help to improve your sleep quality in two vital ways. The first is that the physical activity, along with being outside and exposed to natural light, has an impact on your internal circadian rhythm which is responsible for wakefulness and sleepiness. Your body actually produces melatonin within this 24-hour circadian cycle and releases it when it is dark to trigger your body to prepare for sleep. However, having a limited exposure to natural light throughout the day as well as exposure to artificial lighting throughout the night can seriously impact the production of melatonin. Making sure to get outside and be active for at least 20 minutes a day can help to keep the circadian rhythm on track and your body producing enough melatonin.
The melatonin is responsible for triggering sleep, but physical exercise can also improve your sleep quality – giving you a deeper, more restful slumber and help you to snooze longer. It does so by releasing these anti-stress and anti-depressant endorphins as were discussed above, which help you fall asleep easier. Exercise also stimulates longer slow-wave sleep periods, which is the phase when your body repairs itself and is most at rest.
However, it should also be noted that because exercise also releases cortisol – the stimulant that is responsible for wakefulness or alertness and the body’s fight or flight mode. To see an improvement with sleep quality, exercise should be done earlier in the day and not within the couple of hours before going to bed.