Exercise is one of the most important things you can do throughout your day. If you are feeling sluggish, it is one of the best things you can do to increase productivity. It can help with cognitive function, energy, and even lower disease risk. Through this, we hope to help you use exercise as a way to boost productivity and to lead a more healthy life in the process.
1. Exercise Helps You Stay Alert
According to Dr. John Ratey, author of Spark – The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, exercise can help you remain focused, and even increase your motivation for hours afterward. Dr. Ratey has even gone as far as to compare a short workout to known ADHD medications, like Prozac and Ritalin.
Likewise, a 2013 study titled The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities noted that people who were physically active were able to think more quickly than those who did not exercise, and were even able to reduce the cognitive reducing effects of aging.
2. Exercise Boosts Your Energy
Research from the University of Georgia and elsewhere has shown that despite sounding counterintuitive, daily exercise can actually reduce fatigue by up to 65%. When you are less fatigued, your productivity grows. Even short bursts of exercise, just 15 minutes, can improve productivity in the long run.
Exercise is also known to transfer glucose and oxygen throughout your body to be absorbed by the cells, which increases your energy. This is why many of the world’s most productive people go out for a morning run before starting their day.
3. Exercise Improves Brain Function
According to Hiedi Godman, Executive Director of Harvard Health Letter from Harvard School of Medicine: Exercise can reduce or eliminate brain fog. It also helps increase memory, and improve thinking skills.
It is thought that the blood pumping during aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus (the part of the brain that helps with memories). This increased blood flow allows for better and clearer cognitive function, and better concentration.
4. Exercise Reduces Disease Risk
We all know that getting sick can mean the difference between a good workday, and a missed workday, so it’s best to avoid sickness when possible. Evidence has shown that daily exercise can reduce the risk of all kinds of illness, and when you feel better, you will work better.
This not only is true for larger diseases, like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, but also for infectious diseases, like the common cold, and the flu. Not only can working out when you are sick reduce your symptoms but can even help prevent the cold and flu altogether.
5. Exercise Helps You Power Through Uncomfortable Situations
Exercise can help you tone your body, reduce weight, and it increases endorphins in your brain. These combined can help raise your self esteem and boost confidence levels, which means you are more comfortable doing things you might not feel comfortable doing otherwise.
Also, increasing endurance in exercise can train your brain to push through uncomfortable situations, allowing you to have more motivation and drive to finish a project or start up a new one. This helps you through sheer discipline and can be very beneficial in the workplace.
The Most Effective Way To Exercise
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we should be exercising for at least 75 minutes a day. Sadly, most people don’t even meet this minimum. Despite all of the benefits one can get from exercising, they often come up with excuses as to why they can’t exercise for that day.
A survey of exercise experts were asked what their clients used as excuses for not exercising, and 62% said they did not have enough time. For those who claim not to have time, we highly suggest HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, exercises. These exercises don’t take up much time, and require full effort.
We suggest the use of both a rowing machine and a treadmill for these exercises. If you are just starting out on a rowing machine, it might be best to do 5 to 10 separate intervals of 250 meters with a break in between each one. This helps increase cardio with little effort on the joints.
On a treadmill, sprint for a good 30 seconds, with a 1 minute rest period in between. It is best to keep moving during the rest periods to prevent cramping. Doing this will allow you to do over an hour of cardio in just 20 minutes, we are sure you have enough time in your day for 20 minutes.
If you do HIIT workouts more often, not only will you save time, and therefore can be more productive, but it will also help you be mentally more productive in the long run. And who doesn’t want to be more productive throughout their day?