Why exercise can make you a better employee.

I’ve never been one of those people who loves to work out and lately, I haven’t been feeling my best.  I have succumbed to the winter blue’s, lacking energy, motivation and that constant feeling of not having enough sleep. This has impacted upon my feel good at home but also my creativity at work.

Even though I’m not exercise-obsessed, I am obsessed with feeling my best and getting back into a regular exercise was my new challenge after falling of the exercise wagon some months ago!

So, I decided to bite the bullet and make a change. So, I went all guns blazing and started early morning gym sessions with a wakeup call of 4.30am. Why an earth so early I hear you ask?  Well, for me the only time I could fit a workout in around my crazy schedule.  So it’s all about finding a way that best fits with you and your circumstances.

Fast forward 6 weeks and surprisingly, I am feeling great.  By the time I start work at 9am I have already finished many of the jobs that I would normally do in the evening, freeing up more precious time with the family.  Apparently, I am much nicer to be around and less ‘naggy’.

I feel great mentally, at work I feel more focussed, alert and productive.  My confidence levels are high, as I am getting more done and physically, I feel much better.

So whether like me you are just looking to find your motivation again, here are some ways exercise can benefit you and make you a better employee.

Find your happy

The happier you are, the more productive you can be. Depression is linked to low levels of certain “feel-good” chemicals in the brain including serotonin and dopamine. Regular exercise has been shown to boost levels of these chemicals, and by doing so can help to improve mood.  According to research by D.G. Myers, happy employees have lower medical costs, work more efficiently and have a better attendance record.

Fewer sick days

There’s loads of research out there that shows regular, moderate exercise enhances the immune system. This can help reduce your risk of developing certain types of illness, particularly upper respiratory tract infections and colds. Which means fewer sick days off work!

More energy

Exercise can improve your muscle strength and boost endurance, giving you the energy, you need to think clearly, stay focused and come up with new and innovative ideas.

Alertness

Studies have shown that even short bursts of exercise can help to keep your mind brisk and alert. When you exercise, you are increasing blood flow to the brain, which can help sharpen your awareness and keep you focused on the task in hand.

Motivation

Exercise stimulates the brain’s pituitary gland to release chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins trigger a euphoric feeling that will help to spur you on, both during exercise and in the workplace afterwards.

Stress management

Regular exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, improve sleep and boost self-esteem. It is thought that even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

My gym time has become non-negotiable. Not only am I getting healthy, I love that I’m getting back to feeling my best, that I have more energy, and I have a better sense of emotional wellbeing.  This has proved positive not only in my personal life, but also in my workplace.

That’s my workout motivation. But it might not be yours. The key is to find your ‘why’. A gym or class may not be your thing. You may love running. Just keep trying until you find it. There’s no time limit on finding your workout motivation.  It’s never too late to work on a healthier version of you.