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7 min read

Blog title: 4 benefits of exercise for your work life

The benefits of exercise include boosted productivity, enhanced creativity, and improved mental health. Learn how this can impact your professional life.
From Team '23

Tempo Team

We all know regular exercise is good for overall health and well-being, ensuring we look and feel our best. But there are more benefits. Exercise does excellent things for your work life, too.

Whether you’re throwing a Frisbee, taking a walk, or stretching in yoga class, exercise builds laser-sharp focus, improves mood, and increases productivity. Simply put, working out helps you work better. Here are the benefits of exercise for your work life and the science behind them.  

Why is exercise important? 

Exercise is crucial for physical, mental, and emotional health. However, studies show only 28% of U.S. adults are getting enough exercise. This inactivity reveals a significant gap in our national health behaviors, with much of the population missing out on the benefits of regular exercise. 

Regular physical activity does more than just boost your heart rate. The benefits of exercise include enhanced mental agility and emotional resilience – particularly vital in today’s high-pressure work environments. Exercise contributes to clearer thinking, more effective problem-solving, and an increased ability to manage stress and recover from mental fatigue. Basically, it helps you do more work – and do it better.

8 benefits of exercising

Embracing a regular fitness routine over a sedentary lifestyle can dramatically enhance physical well-being. Here are eight compelling reasons to get moving: 

1. Controls weight 

Engaging in physical activity is an effective way to manage weight. Exercise increases the calories you burn daily, helping prevent weight gain and facilitate weight maintenance.

And it’s not just about hitting the gym. Small actions, like choosing the stairs over the elevator at work, provide significant benefits over time. 

2. Increases stamina 

Greater stamina does more than enhance your workout performance. It equips you to handle the tasks of day-to-day life and work without feeling winded or tired. Regular exercise increases your endurance, helping you stay productive throughout your busy day. 

3. Prevents illnesses 

An impressive health benefit of exercising is an improved immune system, providing a solid first line of defense against illness and disease. Robust immunity helps you feel better, reduces how often you get sick, and prevents you from missing work, hobbies, events, and time with loved ones. This makes exercise an essential strategy for preventing disease, including cancer, stroke, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and diabetes. You’ll maintain your quality of life long-term.  

4. Improves sleep 

Quality sleep is foundational to efficiency and effectiveness at home and work. Raising your heart rate during the day helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better, meaning you wake up ready to tackle the day. Just avoid vigorous workouts close to bedtime, as intense energy expenditure late in the evening might make it harder to sleep. 

5. Enhances mood 

Exercise provides psychological benefits, including significant improvements in mood and reduced depression and anxiety. Any amount of exercise, from a brisk walk to a swim or a quick gym session, releases endorphins – feel-good hormones that can turn a stressful day around. 

6. Helps you have fun 

Exercise is a fun way to mix up your daily routine. There are types of exercise to suit all energy levels, including light hikes, aerobic exercise, team sports, dance classes, and intense cardio sessions.

You can also make exercise a social activity. Moving with a partner or friend can give you more confidence to explore.   

7. Reduces pain 

Regular physical activity can help manage and reduce pain. Exercise strengthens muscles and improves flexibility, which can alleviate discomfort from chronic diseases and conditions like arthritis. Exercise also plays a vital role in muscle health and growth; try strength training to maintain muscle density as you age. 

8. Boosts skin health 

Exercise improves blood circulation, nourishing skin cells. It may also reduce the appearance of skin aging, improve venous leg ulcers, and prevent psoriasis.

4 ways exercise improves your work life 

Did you know that the average American spends approximately 18 hours of each workday sleeping, eating, or working? This highlights the limited time available for other activities like exercise.

As packed as your day might be, carving out time for physical activity can transform your work life. Here are four ways exercise can benefit you professionally:  

1. Increases energy levels 

Regular exercise improves your cardiovascular health. It makes your heart and lungs work more efficiently, increasing stamina and energy throughout the day. When your energy levels are higher and blood flow to your brain increases, you can handle demanding work tasks and solve problems more enthusiastically.

2. Enhances attention and learning 

Exercise boosts cognitive function because the increased blood flow bathes brain cells with the oxygen and glucose they need to function. Plus, exercise releases hormones in your brain that activate a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), critical for brain cell growth, mood regulation, and learning.

Researchers scanned the brains of people who exercised one hour a day, three days a week over six months. The study found that the hippocampus (which controls memory and learning) actually increased in size, allowing participants to perform better at tasks requiring recall and concentration.

3. Boosts productivity and focus 

People who exercise regularly have better information processing, attention, and concentration skills. Moving your body has ripple effects, enhancing your focus on tasks so you can manage your workload more efficiently. An active body fosters an organized mind, helping you prioritize effectively, meet deadlines, and submit high-quality work.  

4. Enhances creativity 

Light and moderate exercise can spark creative thinking, particularly if the activity lets your mind wander. Spending time away from the immediate pressures of work lets your brain make new connections, leading to breakthroughs and innovation. Regular physical activity also offers mental clarity, which can help you approach problems from fresh perspectives.  

10 easy ways to get more exercise  

Integrating more exercise into your daily routine is easier than you think. Try these 10 simple ideas at home and at the office:

  1. Deskercise: Do simple stretches, light aerobic activity, or chair exercises while working. It’s an easy way to get your blood pumping, and you can complete work tasks while you’re at it.

  2. Walking meetings: If you have a full calendar, suggest walking meetings. Exercising outdoors with your colleagues gets you out of a stuffy conference room and into the fresh air. 

  3. Active commuting: Bike or walk to work instead of driving. For remote workers, a short walk around the block before and after work can mimic a commute and prepare you to start work. 

  4. Stand more: Invest in a standing desk or set up a high counter if you work from home. Standing to work can reduce the health risks associated with prolonged sitting.

  5. Schedule activity breaks: Set alarms or calendar reminders for 5-minute breaks throughout your day. Use these breaks to walk around your office or do quick exercises, such as jumping jacks. 

  6. Yoga and stretching: Start or end your day with a 10-minute yoga or stretching session. Both are relaxing and doable in a small space like an office. 

  7. Use exercise apps: Download a fitness app. Many apps offer 5- and 10-minute workout routines that easily fit busy schedules.

  8. Park further away: When driving to work, the store, or a friend or family member’s house, park farther away from the entrance than you need to. It’s an excellent way to get some extra movement. 

  9. Lunchtime fitness: Do a quick workout or go for a brisk walk during your lunch break. This splits up your day with physical activity, which can help boost your energy levels and revitalize yourself for the afternoon. 

  10. Evening walks: Take a walk after dinner. You’ll squeeze in some additional steps and unwind, making it easier to transition to sleep. 

Final words  

Exercise is a powerful catalyst for enhancing your work life. Daily physical activity provides extensive benefits, elevating energy levels and sharpening focus.