How keeping fit outside the workplace can benefit you inside it

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown period, keeping fit has seen a major increase in popularity, becoming more important and influential than ever. Exercise is no longer just a way to lose weight or look good; it is now becoming a much-needed hobby for people, a way for them to maintain routine and improve both their personal and professional lives. 

As adults spend around one third of their life at work, it is essential that what they do in their spare time can benefit them at work, too. Here are just a few ways keeping fit outside the workplace can benefit you when you’re back inside it.

Improves productivity, creativity and overall brain function

With an increased workload, it may seem difficult to find the time to be physically active; however, when you exercise regularly, you can also increase your productivity, helping you to get work done faster. The NHS guidelines recommend physical activity every day in any capacity; even if this is simply going for a walk, it helps to clear the mind and get the creative juices flowing. 

Exercise releases endorphins, meaning that employees can have more self confidence and energy which inevitably increases their mental agility and positive attitude in the workplace. One study showed that even after just 15 minutes of exercise, individuals could concentrate better and had lower stress and a sharper memory. 

Exercise improves time management skills. This, in turn, helps workers to meet deadlines faster, making for happy employees and a happy boss, too. #

Improves mental health and reduces stress

Physical health is intrinsically linked with our mental health. A bad mood or poor mental health restricts how we process new information, reduces our ability to use what we know to form solutions and has us repeating unhelpful behaviours. 

Therefore, it’s important to improve the physical in order to benefit the mental. Exercise not only releases endorphins but also ‘serotonin’, otherwise known as ‘the happiness chemical’. It reduces stress and so can improve your relationships with your co-workers and help you to solidify your future with your employer.

Healthline outlines how mental fitness is just important as physical fitness, providing tips on how to incorporate mental exercises into the daily routine to reduce stress and become more productive.

Less likely to develop health problems

If your job is physically demanding, it’s obvious that keeping fit outside of the workplace will benefit you inside it. If your job is office-based or, as many have found during the pandemic, you are now working from home, then it is doubly important to exercise. 

Sitting down for prolonged periods of time is linked to increased risks of numerous health problems, both mental and physical. These preventable illnesses and poorly-managed health conditions are costly for employers and employees; from hiring temporary staff to cover absenteeism to statutory sick pay. 

Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight, limits the risk of many medical or chronic conditions and improves cardiovascular health and the strength of the immune system. Furthermore, excess financial strain on both the employer and employee is diminished – especially if the former also provides the latter with a range of perks and savings

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