I went to the gym today for the first time in a week due to a tonne of obligations (I usually aim to do something physical three to five times a week). It felt good to move. It’s time that requires me to be ‘in the moment’ because, during a Kettlebell class, I could get seriously hurt if I don’t pay attention to what I’m doing. My last two posts talked about productivity. This post is different – we’re going to talk about how taking a “time out” FROM work each day can help you be more productive AT work – and may even earn you a little extra cash.
What? Wait a second. How can taking time to work out make you more productive? And how can taking time AWAY from work help you earn more money?
- Increasing your blood circulation during exercise increases blood flow to the brain – making you feel more alert. Not only that, scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have shown that regular exercise also helps keep your critical thinking skills and learning ability sharp as you age. Even 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity will help you feel more awake, and thus able to better focus
- You sleep better. Getting enough sleep is something most adults struggle with, especially when juggling everything they have on their plates. Working out will help you get a good night’s sleep – and a good night’s sleep will help you be better able to focus during the day. Aim to try to work out earlier in the day if possible – if not, try to ensure that you leave at least three hours between your workout and bedtime. Otherwise, that better sleep will be elusive because your mind, heart and muscles will be primed for more movement
- Your mood will improve – exercise releases all these great chemicals into your body – Seratonin (a natural mood enhancer), Endorphins (the body’s “natural painkillers”), Dopamine (balances ones sleeping and waking cycles) and Epinephrine (our “fight or flight” nerochemical). Exercise balances out these neurochemicals and those that regularly move are less prone to stress, are better able to deal with daily pressures, have less chronic pain and are generally, happier people. Some studies have also noticed that people with mild symptoms of depression can see an improvement in these symptoms with regular exercise (but if you think you are suffering from depression, please see a doctor before starting an exercise regime)
- You may get earn more. A recent study by Cleveland State University professor Vasilios Kosteas noted that people who regularly hit the gym were likely to be making about nine percent more than non gym-goers. The study showed that the increased productivity that regular exercisers brought to their jobs made them more valuable to their employers. Add to that that people who work out tend to be healthier than their sedentary counterparts and employers may also see a decrease in health benefit costs from their fitter employees
So, when are you going to start taking time away from work so that you can be more productive when you’re in your office? Just promise me that if it’s been a while since you worked out, that you start slow or check with your doctor – getting injured isn’t productive for anyone.