In 2021, on a “New Years’” whim, I started working out. All of the significant health benefits plus the pandemic weight gain made me think it was a good idea.
What I didn’t anticipate was the surprise side effect of supercharging my work ethic.
On the days I got in a killer workout, I found I was getting through all my work goals. Sometimes I was even able to work ahead of schedule.
Surely I wasn’t alone in this experience, so I dug into why my workouts improved my productivity while sitting at a desk. The answer lay within the brain itself.
Exercising regularly increases your mobility and brain function. Exercise has a direct link to your brain. As you age, your body generates fewer brain cells (neurogenesis). However, new research has shown that exercise can help prevent this degeneration of brain cells. This being the case, older individuals with a workout regime would have a higher brain function giving them a workplace advantage, while remaining stagnant most of the day.
Other great cognitive benefits of exercise include:
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
More benefits and their details can be found here.
When I get writer’s block, I go for a walk. Unbeknownst to me, walking releases chemicals that help me get out of my funk.
Likewise, working out before going into the office has skyrocketed my creativity and stamina. I was able to comfortably sit and work, without excess energy demanding to be used. This helped me to overcome resistance to completing my work.
Everyone experiences stress. The more responsibility I had at work, the harder it was for me to unwind and sleep. I was hyper-focused on all my tasks and what could go wrong.
Exercise saved me.
Exercise is physical stress that relieves mental stress. That statement may not seem logical. How can adding another stressor help me?
It’s all in your neurochemicals. Exercise reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins, which together help you relax. Without extra tension on your mind and body, sitting and completing tasks for hours on end can be done with ease.
It may seem strange that working out INCREASES energy.
But science shows that physical exertion spurs your body to produce more mitochondria inside your muscle cells. Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells because they create the fuel for your body.
Working out also boosts our oxygen circulation. The increase in oxygen supports the mitochondria’s energy production, allowing your body to function better by using your energy more efficiently.
Working out optimizes your body for peak performance. Everyone needs to train their physical wellness and productivity habits, not just athletes.
I never thought that training my body in the gym would optimize my desk work. But the extra energy and focus I received mentally were game-changing.
We all want someone reliable in our lives.
Committing to working out 3-6 days a week is huge. If you constantly try and give up, you’re training yourself to be unreliable. This habitual cycle of failure bleeds into your work. If you can’t even trust yourself to be reliable, how can your colleagues and employers trust you?
Starting small and keeping a commitment that will help you feel and work better is the start.
“You can’t trust yourself” may seem dramatic, but when I achieved my fitness goals for the first time this year, I kept more commitments in every aspect of my life.
To keep workouts constantly in my schedule I needed a time management system. Having the management system allowed me to keep existing commitments with ease, and budget new commitments into my time without overcommitting. This allowed me to work two jobs at once and still have a lively social life.
All Workouts Help, Even Short Ones
You don’t have to become the Rock and live in the gym. Starting small with going on walks three times a week is a great start. Getting up and moving doesn’t have to be this daunting and time-consuming task.
You can make it a social activity. You can work out with groups. Not only is exercising with others great for accountability, but it also makes it fun. This was an accidental, but beneficial addition to my social life.
Get up, get active, and optimize your productivity at your desk.
Want to learn more? Here are some sources on how working out makes you more productive!
3 thoughts on “Why Working Out Is Necessary For Any Desk Job”
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