We all know the health benefits of working out, but do you know exercising regularly can also benefit your work life?
Yes, you heard it right!
Exercise not only makes you fit but also makes you a better employee. Adding exercise to your daily routine can make you much more productive, promote mental health, improve your cognitive thinking, and be a good organizer.
Also, boost your enthusiasm level for working and sustain your relationship with colleagues and boss in a healthy way.
Remember that lazy morning when you don’t have enough energy to go to work. Perhaps you are pissed off or highly unmotivated- exercising every day can work like a miracle.
Some researchers have speculated that higher intensity workouts might not be as effective at improving your fitness. But a study recently found that a single session of high-intensity training improved cognitive function concerning attention and short-term memory tasks.
Exercising can help you gain clearer memory and thinking. It allows you to concentrate on the task at hand, said Andy- Cloom tech, Head of Marketing.
She further explained that daily working out could help you get better sleep. When faced with mental or emotional stress challenges in life, exercise can help you strengthen your resilience and make healthy responses. Regular exercise can also help strengthen the immune system and reduce the effects of stress.
What changes do working women feel when they start doing exercise?
The most significant change I experienced was a shift in mindset, the way I thought about exercise as self-care and me time, versus having to do it for physical appearance (which the younger me would have done for looks). It is rare that I start my workday without exercise, and I have made it a part of my daily routine from waking up, working out, getting ready, then off to work. If I miss a workout in the morning, it is easier for me to take time in the evening to do my workout, even after a long day. My family recognized it as a part of my lifestyle and, at times, asked if I had done my workout already or asked when I would work out if they knew I had not done it yet. That certainly contributes to accountability and consistency.
Not only do I feel strong physically, but I also feel strong mentally. I feel good when I go to work because of my newfound strength. The change is like once you take control of your life, you start to think differently and make your needs a higher priority. I usually brush things off, and I now find myself able to speak up if I have a concern that impacts me and asks for help when needed. It is very similar to what I said earlier about self-care; it changes your sense of self-worth in and out of work. Because I have invested in myself, I am better equipped to help others. And even though I said I don’t do it for looks, I admit, I love getting into my work clothes and seeing how they fit and look on me, a bonus confidence boost! Marcie, Director of Resource Development for a not-for-profit in Iowa.
Other working women have also shared how their work-life changed after they started working out.
1. Daily exercising = New ideas every day.
Daily exercise helps me be more creative, energetic, upbeat since the endorphins get released, and healthier since movement also stimulates the lymphatic system. I notice that ideas flow more readily when I get moving and afterward as well. Our bodies were designed to move, and it’s very unnatural to sit for long periods of time. When I exercise daily, I can work for a much longer time, both more productively and more joyfully.
When the blood flow increases due to the exercise I do daily, it increases the blood flow to the brain, so new ideas pop up, and new synapses form as new connections are made in my mind. So work becomes more exciting and fulfilling too! Many ideas for how to write my children’s books – including some titles – have come to me while I’m in a dance class or practicing yoga exercises! Bracha Goetz, Harvard-educated wellness expert and author of 41 books that help souls shine.
2. It aids productivity.
A stressful work week can take a toll physically and mentally. 2 years ago; I was extremely stressed with work. This led to sleeplessness, stress eating, weight gain, sciatica, and loss of focus. I thought I had no time to exercise, and putting it forcefully into my routine would leave me more drained. Well, I was wrong. The doctor had advised that working out was the only way to heal my body.
I started with just 30mins of yoga three times a week. In the first week, I noticed that I was already sleeping better. I was waking up fresh and was more active at work. My concentration levels also improved over time. I slowly increased the frequency to 5 times a week and started swimming lessons over the weekends. It was evident that I was snapping less, making fewer mistakes, and my posture improved.
Better posture has reduced my back pain, and thus I no longer loathe long calls and meetings. I am generally happy, energized, and better motivated to work. I have gotten back in shape, and being able to wear the best work dresses has also added to my confidence. Smriti, Founder of Yogic-Experience
3. It is the best way to clear negative thoughts!
Exercise is the cornerstone of my existence! Every morning I roll out of bed and jump into my sweats and walking shoes that sit right by my bed so that the first thing I do is get dressed and go for a 35-60 minute walk, depending on the day! Gratitude! Walking first thing in the morning, seeing the sun through the trees, hearing the birds chirping, and seeing the squirrels, kitties, and pups in their yards bring me so much joy and happiness. My head is clear, my thoughts are streaming in a way they never did before, and I feel alive. This makes my day so much more productive; my brain is revved up, starting the morning with a walk and gratitude.
Later in the day, I usually go to the gym or do a home weight/strength/stretch workout. My body feels stronger, tighter, and more agile, which has given me more confidence, not just in the way I look but in how I approach business, people, and life in general. I feel more independent, stronger as a woman, a mother, and a friend. Able to take on the world! There is something about taking that time for myself to make my body strong, my mind strong, and healthy that cannot be done in any other way. I cannot imagine going back to a sedentary lifestyle, not ever! Who knew exercise could change everything in your life! It does! Kim Hopkins, Shero Founder | Live In The Moment Acting |The Working Actor Formula
4. It keeps you stay focused.
When I’m consistent with exercise, I feel much more focused. Even if it’s just for a little while, the daily movement seems to reduce that brain fog feeling. My brain just feels sharper and more capable whenever I exercise.
I also notice a change in how my body feels when I have to sit at a desk all day long. Exercise helps iron out all of the minor aches and pains. This mixes in with the increased feeling of focus to give me a better work experience overall.
My daily routine changes when I exercise because I have more energy. Even if a workout is taxing and intense, I always feel more alert and alive afterward. This helps me have the energy to do other important tasks outside of work and focus on some creative projects.
A stressful workday can completely wear me out if I don’t exercise. A steady exercise routine is critical to my energy levels and much better than caffeine or any other type of stimulant. Lorraine Lam, Founder, SnowboardHow
5. It definitely improves your mood.
Changes that I felt in my work-life when I started doing exercises include improved moods in working. I felt better about my appearance and myself when exercising regularly, helping me boost my confidence and improve my self-esteem in the workplace. It stimulated various brain chemicals that helped me always feel happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. I feel the need to bond with others and get a true sense of connection with other people in my job. I find myself talking about people I work out with as my fitness family because it gives me a sense of belonging and builds relationships that can be true friendships and sources of support in my future career.
Since I began doing daily exercises and physical activities, I have become happier and have fun while doing things I love. I’m more disciplined at what I do and now stick to my daily routine, including a two-hour workout session. It gives me the chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors, meet new people and engage in activities that bring perfect happiness to my life. Besides, I go to the gym with my team, which makes me feel a strong sense of being more significant than myself and become more optimistic. My almost perfect routine makes me feel more empowered about facing life challenges in different ways.
Daily exercising has improved my performance by boosting my energy and strengthening my muscles to work more efficiently. Workouts get rid of laziness, allowing me to tackle more daily chores without procrastination. I also feel my brain is functioning better. I handle different tasks in a day without getting so exhausted. These days I fall asleep faster, get better sleep, and deepen my sleep as exercises make me more energized to go to bed early. Katherine Brown, the Founder & Marketing Director of Spyic
6. It keeps you calm and energized.
Daily exercise completely helps regulate my mental state. When I wake up, my mind can start to scatter with all of the things I need to do that day. When I hydrate, breathe, and head outside for an early morning run, my mind is already starting to clear. After I return from my run, shower, and have a smoothie, I feel refreshed and energized. A big part of that, I think, is feeling like I’ve already conquered something that day, which is a huge confidence boost to kick off the rest of the day.
Early morning runs don’t work for everyone, so it’s about finding what works for you. Lisa Odenweller, Founder and CEO of Kroma Wellness
7. It helps you overcome daily-barriers
I started noticing that I started getting weaker and feeling a lot less effective only in my early 40s. To tell the truth, that was a huge emotional hit for me to feel that way. And so I started doing short full-body workouts 4 days a week. It took me just 30 minutes to perform a set, but I managed to burn my abdominal fat (around 3 pounds) in less than 2 months. While that was only visible progress, I should also admit that my wish to do something productive and the concentration needed for that grew sevenfold. Feeling more energized and fit gives me more energy to deal with my projects significantly faster, avoid any distractions, and stay in the flow more consistently. I realized that regular exercise makes it easier for me to overcome all sorts of complications that appear in my head quite often. Monica Davis, Founder & Editor-in-Chief
8. It makes you strong and mindful
Daily exercise is a complete mood booster for me. I work from home, and leaving the house to exercise is so helpful, especially during the pandemic. It breaks up the monotony of the day. It helps me clear my mind, and honestly, I work out to be happy. On days I don’t exercise, small tasks can feel so overwhelming. I feel down about the world’s issues, racism, sexism, and climate change, and it’s hard to get motivated, but exercise, even for 30 minutes, helps me. I feel like I can accomplish my personal and work tasks, but I feel like I can make an impact on the world. As a business owner being self-motivated is what keeps me working, exercise is my not-so-secret weapon.
I have a chronic illness, and some days I absolutely can’t exercise; it’s such difficult, and mindful practices, timers, stretching, and coffee are things I use when exercise isn’t an option.
On days the days I exercise, I’m much less likely to have coffee. I’m privileged in that I’m self-employed to work out most days even if I wake up late. I hope employers will be more flexible with start times, so women caregivers and everyone else have more flexibility and options to exercise, improve their mood and help their hearts. Janelle Scales (she/her/they), Black Woman AntiBias Consultant
9. It keeps you peaceful
I would turn to yoga when I needed to relieve stress and it helped me in every phase of my life, especially during the trying time of starting a business when I had no money, home, and job! Mind, body, and spirit are what yoga is all about, and it is truly the reason I was able to work as much as I could. The funny thing is I do my best work on the floor, where I can get into a relaxed and focused state of mind, similar to what I feel when I’m practicing yoga! Gayle Martz, founder of The SHERPA Pet Trading Company, and author of “IT’S IN THE BAG: How to Turn a Passion Into a New Business”
10. It keeps you happier and less-stressful
Working out for me has always seemed like a chore, more so than anything else. Because of this, I always avoided it, but at the end of the workday would feel sluggish and unmotivated. During the pandemic, I decided to change how I viewed exercise and thought of it as more of an escape than a chore.
I changed my mindset as I needed an outlet for my stress and needed to feel energized. I started out by walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes a day, and since then have progressed to 45 minutes and added some minimal weight lifting. I have noticed a boost in my mood, and it has changed my relationship with many things, including work.
I find I am more motivated when working and always pushing myself to continue my personal growth as a founder, and it has helped me to alleviate a lot of the stress I was facing. Exercising has changed my mental health for the better, and I am proud of myself for sticking with it. Karen Lee, Founder of Smart Robotic Home
11. Your level of confidence increases
One of the main changes a working woman starts feeling when they exercise is a new level of confidence. Confidence from possibly a better physique but more confidence in their strength and discipline to make these healthy lifestyle changes. A working woman has a whole nother level of stress, as many times she may be a mother as well. Feeling like she is taking on the world, exercise is a great outlet, and it works as a natural antidepressant. A study showed that individuals who exercised had a moderate to a large improvement in their depression. (Kvam, S, et al., 2016)
Some changes I’ve felt in work-life are less fatigue and not being so tired during the day. Also, fewer cravings for junk food since exercising, especially weight lifting, helps balance my blood sugar. I sleep better and have an easier time going to sleep because I’m a “good tired” at the end of the night like I should be. It helps me with my anxiety that may be caused by working and balancing life as a working mom. Yoga has helped me feel less tight and sore when picking up my kids, working, or cleaning the house. Even if I don’t make it to the gym that day, doing 15-20 mins of yoga before bed is crucial. You don’t realize how much soreness and stiffness you walk around with until you stretch and loosen up your muscles and alleviate a lot of pain. Megan Santiago, Holistic Momma