The benefits of regular exercise are countless. Exercise improves your mood, decreases feelings of anxiety and depression, helps with weight loss, is good for the heart, muscles, and bones, and reduces the risk of chronic disease. You probably already know all of this, but it’s worth repeating as a reminder for you to get back in the habit of visiting the gym. Exercise also increases energy levels, improves brain function, promotes memory and thinking skills, and helps one sleep better—all actions that will enhance your performance at work. Yes, exercise can make you a more focused and productive employee. Here’s how to use your workout to your professional advantage.
Do cardio in the morning. To get your metabolism going and your energy up, start with a quick 30-minute morning cardio session. Jump rope, do a circuit of high knees and jumping jacks, go for a run, or take IGNITE. Getting your blood flowing for 20 to 30 minutes will make a difference in your wellbeing. You’ll burn everything from the day before away, and you’ll feel as if you’ve accomplished something and be ready to tackle what’s ahead.
Lengthen and strengthen the body at lunch. We don’t recommend doing any strenuous workouts on an empty stomach—hold the grueling exercises for later in the day. To increase energy for the afternoon’s tasks, do a series of activities in your office. Do a seesaw lunge where you walk forward into a forward lunge, then push the front foot and swing it backward landing you in a back lunge. Repeat several times then switch legs. Squats, squat lunges, and squat holds are other great options.
Connect the mind and body to focus. If you’re feeling scatterbrained and like you can’t concentrate on one task, do movements that will connect your mind and body. Try a stretch: Grab your right wrist with your left hand and pull or bend over into a forward fold. Wake the mind up by connecting it to your body, then go back to your desk with more clarity.
Work while working out. Many people say they don’t have time to work out because they have too much work! If this is you, why not try combining the two activities? Answer emails while on the elliptical, research projects while climbing the stair master, or read proposals while on the stationary bike.
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