Fitness and Work Success
By Zac Shaw
I find that exercising has a myriad of benefits that help me be more productive at work. Aside from the obvious benefits of preventing weight gain, improving basic health measures, and combating various health conditions, I’ve personally benefited in several other ways. Below, I’ll explore a few of those benefits and how they make me more productive at my job and even as a husband and father.
Accomplish Something Hard
I like to get my workout in first thing in the morning. It’s the only time of day that I know I won’t be interrupted by work or family. Getting up before 5am is probably more difficult than most work tasks I will do during the day. The same is true with hitting a Personal Record on some lift, doing a high intensity training session that leaves the lungs burning, or slogging through a lengthy run. Before most people are even awake, I’ve accomplished something significant and the momentum of that can carry me through the day. Having a difficult conversation or working through a challenging project may not be the same in a physical sense, but the resilience learned through exercise on a daily basis can certainly be used in other avenues. Overcoming little things like waking up early or doing a hard workout add up. Regularly overcoming obstacles of any size provides the resilience to overcome important ones.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I tend to build momentum in a positive way or a really negative way. Does this sound familiar? You wake up late because you stayed up too late the night before. There is very little time before you need to leave for work or jump on your first Teams call, so instead of preparing a healthy breakfast, you grab something quick and packed with sugar. For me, this then leads to more unhealthy, negative choices and a huge energy crash or lack of focus for the day. However, if I can start the day with a positive, like exercising, then I find myself making good decisions throughout the day. It’s easier to choose healthy food and that, combined with the energy that exercise gives, allows me to better focus on my work responsibilities. One good decision leads to many more. Before you know it, you’ve put together a highly productive day because one good decision snowballs.
Staffing can be a stressful industry. For that matter, most industries can be incredibly stressful at times. Add to that the other stresses that come with living life and one could easily become overwhelmed. Finding a way to deal with this stress is vital. While I love the stress relief that an intense workout can give, I find that a simple 15-20 minute walk outside works wonders. The benefits of exercise are for everyone, even if high intensity sessions aren’t. On the most stressful of days, I try to take a quick walk around lunch. Getting outside and into the sunlight, moving a little, and elevating my heartrate have tremendous benefits. What’s great is that most people, regardless of age or fitness level, can do this. Just by taking a few minutes to relieve stress and clear my mind, I can completely refocus my brain on the work at hand.
Entire books are written on the benefits of exercise, so I know I didn’t touch on nearly everything. The few benefits listed above are just a few that I see in my everyday life. Find a physical activity that you enjoy doing (running, yoga, lifting, biking, etc.) and make it a non-negotiable in your life. If you make it a habit, I can assure you that it will help you build resilience by accomplishing something hard, gain momentum by making good decisions, and relieve stress by getting your body and mind moving.