With the demands of work and family life, daily schedules can get hectic. Too often, exercise is one of the first things to get cut. Working out is seen as a luxury, not a mental and physical necessity. However, studies have shown that exercise actually increases productivity. Below are some of the ways that working out can actually improve productivity at home and in the workplace.
Increase energy and stamina.
Upping the heart rate leads to increased oxygen delivery to the organs and muscles, which leads to more energy throughout the day.
Sleep better at night.
Physical activity exhausts the body—in a good way. Many people struggle with winding down after a long day but when the body is fully depleted of energy, it’s easier to fall asleep faster at night. This leads to regular sleeping patterns and nightly deep sleeping that causes a person to wake up refreshed, rather than lethargic.
Solve problems by forgetting about them.
Exercise that requires concentration (things like Pilates, yoga, weight-lifting or aerobics) allows the mind to withdraw from the ongoing cycle of worry and stress and instead focus on the immediate issue at hand. Surprisingly, this shift of focus can actually help problem solving by unlocking later creativity for personal and work challenges.
Think more clearly.
Alternatively, repetitive exercise like jogging, stair climbing or biking can free up much-needed mental time to focus on family issues or workplace problems. Getting away from ringing phones, non-stop emails and coworker or child interruptions can allow time to concentrate on bigger issues, new ideas, or strategic thinking.
Break up the day.
Humdrum routines can zap inspiration and mid-day exercise is a great way to re-set the body, physically and mentally.
The challenges of daily life can get stressful and stress can lead to depression that makes small chores seem like monumental tasks. Working out combats stress and can siphon off aggression and frustration that would otherwise lodge itself in the body and could later accumulate to become depression.
Spend more time with the family.
Plenty of parents complain that their hectic schedules infringe on valuable family time. However, instead of replacing workouts with family lounging, fusing the two can create physical and emotional benefits for everyone. Children are full of energy and love to spend time with mom and dad so combining family hang-out time with age-appropriate exercise like brisk walks, backyard soccer or living-room aerobics can increase productivity by leaving more free time for errands.
Exercise does not have to be sacrificed in order to achieve maximum productivity at home and work. Instead, a well-balanced life that combines various types of exercise at various times can actually increase overall productivity as well as personal health and happiness.