There’s no getting around it: your level of physical activity (or inactivity) has a profound effect on how well your brain works. My favorite book on this topic is Spark, by ground-breaking attention researcher Dr. John Ratey.
Like nutrition, exercise is often not considered as a way to improve productivity, but when your productivity depends on your ability to control your attention, exercise is a critical factor. For more on this, I turned to my friend and fitness coach, Megan Tull. Following are her thoughts on the matter…
Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity or building muscles. It has even greater benefits for your energy, mood, and even your brainpower! Exercising affects your productivity in at least four ways:
- Ease stress and anxiety – Exercising regularly helps you take charge of and reduce stress and anxiety. Aerobic exercise releases hormones that relieve stress and promote a sense of well being. Stress and anxiety are major distractions and by reducing them, you can become more attentive and present in the issue, task, or person at hand.
- Boost your energy – Increasing your heart rate several times a week actually adds time to your day! Start off with a few minutes of exercise each day and then build up to more and increase your workout when you get more energy. With more energy you’ll have more productive hours (even if you use them for leisure activities.) You’ll be more likely to socialize, read, or pursue a hobby, for example, instead of wanting to zone out of the couch and watch tv.
- Lifting your mood – Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as an anti-depressant medication. Exercise releases endorphins, which are powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel motivated.
- Sharpening your brain power – The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you to concentrate and stay focused at the task at hand, allowing you to achieve optimal results. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps reduce age-related decline.
Once you start experiencing not only the physical benefits exercise has to offer but, just as important, the mental benefits, you might find yourself motivated to continue each day. Once you make exercise part of your daily routine you will see that your life and business will become much more productive.
Megan is a wife, a mother, entrepreneur, public speaker and author. She owns two companies, Silverlining Concepts, LLC and Ultimate Bodies Pilates. She is a Life and Wellness Coach and Certified Peak Pilates Instructor/Fitness Expert. She customizes personalized packages to assist women in transforming their mind and bodies. Her specialty and her passion is to empower women with individual and group Life and Wellness Coaching to live authentic, joyful lives focusing on self care life balance and life purpose. Learn more at www.MeganTull.com, and Megan is offering a free gift for readers of this blog! Visit this page for more details.
For more on exercise and productivity, you may enjoy How to ADD Time to Your Day – Really!
I hope you’ve found this series helpful: 5 Ways to Improve Your Productivity with Attention Management:
- Controlling external distractions
- Controlling internal distractions
- Practicing attention management with meditation
- Learning how your nutrition and eating habits affect your ability to concentrate
- Learning how exercise contributes to focus and attention.
Thanks for reading!