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We’re all busy people with lots of commitments, but if you can add just one more to your day, you’ll be more productive in the long run. What is it? It’s exercise. Although it may seem counterintuitive to add more responsibilities to your day and life, getting active will help you to accomplish more in less time.
Here are five ways that exercise can bring a boost to your productivity.
Exercise Improves Your Memory
By getting active, you can actually safeguard and heighten your brain health.
A study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that exercise stimulates areas of the brain that are concerned with memory function. When you’re active, your body releases a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps memory circuits to work better.
When you can keep your to-do list in check and prioritize your time, you’ll be more productive with the time you have.
Exercise Reduces Stress
It doesn’t matter what kind of activity you do — whether it’s yoga, jogging, swimming or weight lifting, it can be an excellent stress reliever.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins — feel-good neurotransmitters. These will help improve your mood. It’s the feeling people get when they go on runs, and it’s commonly called runner’s high.
Not only that, but exercise is also a form of meditation. It allows you to focus your mind on the activity at hand and away from irritations at home or work. You are given a reprieve from regular sources of anxiety, which allows you to get some perspective and distance from it.
If you can reduce your stress level, you will be better able to apply yourself to your work and other tasks.
Exercise Increases Your Focus
Physical exercise can increase your focus long after you put down the weights or untie your running shoes.
A study in the British Medical Journal discovered that 10 to 40 minutes of exercise can lead to enhancements in concentration. It’s believed this is caused by increased blood flow to the brain through physical activity.
If you can focus more acutely and for a longer period of time, you will be able to work more effectively on a project and complete it in less time than it otherwise would have taken.
Exercise Inspires Creativity
In order to solve problems in your work and life, you need to be able to think creatively. Exercise can help you with that.
A study out of Leiden University in the Netherlands observed that people who are sedentary are less creative than those who get active four times a week. It is believed that movement during exercise helps a person to dislodge mental blockages.
Being physically active is a natural cognitive enhancer, which will help you to overcome a lack of inspiration and increase your productivity.
Exercise Builds Momentum
It’s hard to fight inertia. Once you’re standing or sitting still, it can be difficult to get moving again, whether you’re at home or a work.
If you add exercise into the mix, you’ll get your body in motion. Then all you have to do is stay in motion and move on to the next task you need to get done. By creating momentum through exercise, you are bumping up your velocity.
It can be hard to figure out how, in your busy life, you’re going to be able to also fit in a workout. But if you can squeeze in just 20 minutes a few times a week, you’ll discover you have less stress as well as more time, focus, creativity and energy to live life to the fullest.