In-Office Exercise

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Would you like to work more efficiently and have more energy at work How about improving your mental productivity and sharpness at work, at home, with pals

People often think of exercise as something to further their health and appearance. More importantly, exercise is something that can help you work more efficiently. Exercise will definitely help you at work in several different ways. Much of the work we do in the noughties is more tiring mentally than physically. We’re “stressed out. ”

Too often we turn to artificial means like coffee, cigarettes, and alcohol to keep going. There are better ways; the most important is exercise.

Some people still think exercise is tiring, maybe even excessively tiring. To the contrary, a reasonable amount of exercise, done consistently, actually adds to your energy levels – especially if you have a sedentary job, as more and more people have today.

Although it’s been difficult to prove in a scientific test, consistent exercise seems to help people feel more energetic. Researchers think that because walking improves circulation and increases oxygen delivery while reducing anxiety, it makes us feel more lively.

Ask anyone who has exercised for twelve or more weeks if he/she works better. The answer, sometimes after a little thought, is almost always “yes. ” This writer walks about seven miles a day and reckons the exercise has a very positive impact on work when he gets to and from the office on foot.

You may even find you sleep better at night when you move your body consistently during the day. And, of course, better sleep will contribute even more energy at work.

It’s safe to say that 15 or 20 minutes of exercise each day, whether it is walking or on-the-spot exercising, will increase your mental productivity.

Here is an experiment you can try that should prove the point. The next time you are working and feel drowsy, don’t reach for a cigarette, the coffee jar, or a place to nap. Instead, take a 15 or 20-minute walk or try some short, vigorous office stretches. Get your heart-beat going. Then, take a couple of minutes to relax before going back to work. The difference in how you should feel will be amazing.

Forgetting, for the moment, the long-term heart and blood circulation benefits of aerobic exercise, exercise helps make you alert and better able to deal with potentially stressful situations. Even thirty seconds of simple stretching itself can help you get back to your task feeling energised.

Your body and mind communicate with each other and continually affect each other. Any system that puts one above the other is wrong. Your body and mind will work together more efficiently with exercise.

Here’s a list of some of the health benefits you’ll score through exercise and physical activity. This writer thanks his local GP for helping him make the list as accurate and comprehensive as possible:

Through regular exercise you can:

Reduce the risk of premature death
Reduce the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease
Reduce high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure
Reduce high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol
Reduce the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer
Reduce the risk of developing diabetes
Reduce or maintain body weight or body fat
Build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints
Reduce depression and anxiety
Improve psychological well-being
Enhanced work, recreation, and sport performance

If you think that you’re too busy to exercise, then look again at the above and find the time! You should be able to find parts of your daily schedule that can be changed to free a bit of time. Begin, perhaps, by increasing your daily activity; walk to the post office or the shops or to work or take the dog for a walk. Or if you’re criminally lazy, take a walk up and down the stairs instead of that coffee break, walk on your lunch break or if you sit most of the day get out of your chair every 20 minutes and move around the office or the garden.

Schedule a specific time to exercise – people who work out in the morning are often more likely to stick to their programmes because work and family obligations are less likely to interfere. But once you schedule the time that works best for you, stick to it! Exercise while waiting for someone – for your children or your little brothers or sisters. Consider purchasing home exercise equipment, but before you invest make sure you will use it. Decent exercise equipment is expensive!

Physical fitness and exercise go hand-in-hand. Whether it is aerobic or anaerobic, walking or weight lifting, exercising relaxes you, makes you fit, makes you look and feel younger, and should be a lifetime habit for all families. Just bear in mind too that physical fitness is more than exercise. It is everything from proper sleep to proper nutrition and stress reduction to weight loss.

Frank Bolger

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