Throughout high school, I was extremely active and played sports. I was in the best shape of my life, and I had all the energy in the world. However, somewhere throughout my journey to adulthood, I replaced being active and working out with coffee cups to keep me awake.
It was not until after my college graduation grew nearer that I realized my energy level when I was younger directly correlated with how active I was. After three and a half years attending college in the heart of busy Atlanta, the benefits of walkability in cities made sense to me as an adult.
Benefits of Working Out
Productivity and energy will improve with a consistent workout routine. And that workout routine can be as simple as walking to and from your job every day if you live in a city that is pedestrian-friendly.
Beyond having increased energy, there are several other benefits to working out, including lowering your health and life insurance rates.
1. Working Out Makes You Alert and Energized
It is a commonly known fact that exercising regularly keeps you healthy, but what most people do not know is that it can also improve productivity while working. Many busy professionals often express how they do not have the time to exercise, and the ironic thing is that working out is something that could actually improve their work effort.
Exercise can enhance your productivity at work by making you alert and energized. Being alert and having energy can give you more time in your day to work because you have fewer moments where you are unmotivated or moving slower because of low energy.
When you exercise, blood can circulate better to your brain, making you more aware and alert. In addition to blood circulation, a protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is triggered by exercise, which boosts your cognitive abilities.
Having more energy equates to being more alert while working. For people who work at home, it may be beneficial to exercise because your environment may naturally decrease your energy levels. Here are various quarantine exercise tips from experts to help those who work from home stay healthy and energized.
2. Working Out Improves Your Physical Health
One of the reasons you feel restless, unmotivated, and numb at work is that you may be physically unhealthy.
When you are as healthy as best as you can be, your quality of work will improve. When you have a reduced body weight, your heart does not have to work as hard to circulate blood throughout your body.
Being in good cardiovascular health also gives you the stamina to keep up with the physical and mental demands associated with your job.
Alternatively, the risk of injury while at work or outside of work is diminished when a person is physically fit. When you are injured, it is hard to perform in the role of your job at the same pace as you would without the injury.
It is good practice to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. Even if those 30 minutes consist of speeding walking around the mall, you can still grow physically healthy and, in turn, be more productive.
3. Working Out Supports Mental Health
Not partaking in healthy habits throughout your life can decrease mental health and make it difficult to overcome negativity and live happily. Improving your mental health directly connects to your productivity at work because most, if not all, jobs require some form of mental concentration.
Just as exercising encourages your body to release the protein BDNF, it also causes your brain to release serotonin. Serotonin is a critical hormone that stabilizes our mood and feelings of happiness. This hormone helps people to relax and improves their state of mind, so when faced with common obstacles in the workplace, they can handle those stressors better.
Exercise is also a great stress reliever. It is normal to be easily stressed when working in a high-paced or demanding job, and exercising can be a tool used to release built-up stress.
Being less stressed can even result in better relationships with colleagues, friends, and family. You are less likely to fight with those you love if you’re able to let some of your stress out by physically working out.
The Best Low-Energy Exercises for Productivity
Exercising regularly is something that is recommended for various good reasons.
Moving your body daily could prevent illness and disease, enhance your mental health, and help you grow healthier faster when you do become ill. Though exercising consists of you burning calories, working out does not have to be high-energy exercises.
Light jogging, walking, running, swimming, and yoga are low-energy exercises that get the job done as well. If you’re nervous about starting a routine for exercise, try to incorporate a few easier workouts first.
1. Walking for Exercise
Despite not being a high-energy exercise, walking still gets your blood pumping. And according to a research study conducted by Stanford University, walking can increase a person’s creativity.
One easy way to get in a walk every day is a short break during lunch or before you even start the workday. You should try to walk at least 30 minutes in the morning or during your lunch break.
Having increased energy, alertness, and creativity can help you combat the moments you feel sluggish and drained during the workday.
2. Yoga for Exercise
Yoga and meditation can help you be more successful by enhancing your ability to focus. Yoga’s physical benefits revolve around increasing your strength and flexibility, while the mental benefits include improved self-esteem and the ability to deal with high levels of stress.
Mental and physical stress on the body creates too much of a stress hormone called Cortisol. Too much of that one hormone leads to a hormonal imbalance, resulting in depression and anxiety. A ripple effect causes an inflammation-promoting chemical called Cytokines to release.
This is the chain reaction that results in your body aching during high-stress situations. Yoga helps to relax the mind and comforts the body to eliminate when the hormone, Cortisol, is released.
3. Low-Intensity Aerobic Exercise
Partaking in high-intensity exercises are great for losing weight and for becoming physically fit, but they can also leave you feeling tired if you exert too much energy during it. High-energy workouts should be done an hour or two from your bedtime.
Here are some examples of low-intensity but high-energy aerobic exercises:
- Pedaling on a bike
- Using a rowing machine
- Swimming laps of the pool
- Going for a long walk on a treadmill or stair-stepper machine
Working Out Helps You Be Productive
If you are feeling sluggish and stressed because you’re not very productive, try adding a workout to your daily routine. Even if it’s just taking a brisk walk every day, exercising on a regular basis can increase your energy levels and help you to be more productive.