When it comes to finding happiness at work, there are plenty of things you can do to fall in love with your current career. But working out to improve your career? You may not have heard of that one. Building better relationships with your coworkers or simply getting organized are common ways to improve your work life. In my opinion, though, the best way to improve not just your work life, but many different aspects of your life, is by exercising.
So how exactly can hitting the gym make your work life better? There are certain qualities you pick up as a consistent exerciser that follow you into other areas of your life. Once I got into a regular fitness routine, I found I was able to fall asleep much easier, had more energy, and even made time during my lunch break for a quick run. In my daily life I had a lot more energy, confidence, and time management skills than I'd ever had before — and I don't doubt that that's because I started running and lifting weights several times a week. Working out is awesome for your health, but see some of the ways it can boost your professional life in no time.
1. You'll Be More Focused
Did you know that the more you work out, the more blood is pumped to your brain? Thomas Crook, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and memory researcher, told Active that more blood means more chemicals that enhance functions like memory, decision-making, and problem-solving: all key ingredients for a productive work day.
2. More Consistent Moods & A More Positive Outlook
It's easy to get in a funk when things aren't going great at work, but whether you're dealing with a difficult co-worker or are doing a project you don't love, staying consistent with your workouts can help to stabilize your mood and even give your a more optimistic outlook on the situation! According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects."
3. You'll Have More Energy
"If you choose to work out, generally you will make better food choices, thus fueling yourself for more productivity," Ashley Borden, a celebrity fitness and lifestyle consultant, tells me in an email. "If you are eating high salt, fatty, greasy foods all day, there is a very high chance you will feel nauseated and have low energy." The healthier you are, the healthier you'll want to be!
4. Your Time Management Will Improve
Once you're locked into a fitness regime, you'll do what you need to do in order to complete your sweat sesh for the day — whether that means waking up an hour earlier or going for a run on your lunch break. That kind of dedication and attention to time will no doubt roll over into your work life. "You must schedule and honor your workout times like a doctor appointment. They are non-negotiable and just as important! Pre-schedule your training times the week before and fill in the rest of your life around it," says Borden.
5. You'll Be Prepared For The Worst
Sticking with a daily fitness routine gives you a "routine-specific" mentality, according to Heather Jackson in a blog post for exercise resource center Fitness19. Consistency will become a comfort to you, and you'll want to find it in all aspects of your life. And when that consistency is disrupted? You'll be ready. Ashley Borden says keeping your workout must-haves with you will become second nature. What does she suggest you keep at your desk, in case you need to get in a last-minute sweat session? "Gym shoes — Not a pair from 1985 that you haven't worn in a decade, a good pair that you would be just a happy working out in — a sports bra, yoga pants or shorts, socks, and some resistance bands."
6. You'll Develop More Confidence
I don't just mean you'll feel stronger, but you'll also have more confidence in your abilities. According to Benna Crawford for LIVESTRONG, "Just the success of creating an exercise plan and sticking to it allows you to enjoy a sense of achievement," and with that comes feelings strong and positive, which are attributes of self-esteem. This will allow you to take on more of a leadership role at work and even take some creative risks!
Time to get your fitness on — for the sake of an awesome work day!