Why You Need Exercise for Career Success

Exercise has been proven to have more benefits than just that of physical health. Did you know it also helps you in your career? 

I know, I know. You’ve probably seen way too many articles on the benefits of exercise. They always go something like this: you’ll cut the risk of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks… etc etc. I won’t be parroting more facts to you that you’ve already heard– here’s an amazing twist to the benefits of exercise.

Work, work, work, work

When you step into the reality of being a fully functional adult, you soon come to realise that free time to do whatever you want to (like binge series, go for a hike or simply just chill) becomes a rarity. The busyness of life snowballs and never quite seems to slow down. 

Exercise is one of the first activities to take the backseat. You’re exhausted after a long day of work. You need that extra hour of sleep in the morning and honestly, getting to the gym or getting into exercise clothes to go for jog is just a mission.

Exercising isn’t just for getting fit, looking fit and being able to climb a mountain every now and then. Getting fit is vital for success in every aspect of your life, especially in your work life.

It’s Science

Recent studies have shown that regular exercise helps thinking and memory – both vital aspects of performing well and productively in any job. Not only does it help with that, but it also helps lower stress and anxiety as well as helps you get a good night's sleep. Again, vital aspects for performing well. 

While the benefits of exercise are blatantly clear – getting the motivation to actually get up and get active is often a difficult barrier to overcome. However, this article by Psychology Today suggests that it isn’t the motivation that’s lacking – it’s avoiding the discomfort that keeps us from exercising. 

And this makes a lot of sense. The first morning you decide to wake up at 5am to take a jog, what usually prevents you from actually going through with it? The dark outside and the comfort and warmth of your bed. Your comfort beats the idea of any disruption to that comfort.

Just do it

What’s more appropriate than the Nike slogan here? What may seem an extreme discomfort and annoyance today, may seem like the norm in 2 or 3 weeks. You won’t even notice the dark or cold. You’ll be so used to it, you’ll just do it. 
Easier said than done, I know. Here are some tips to help you overcome your unease at the thought of discomfort:

  • Do a physical activity that you enjoy. Whether it be dance classes, hiking, lifting weights or playing a sport. When you really don’t feel like it, take a walk outside in nature. The sunshine and fresh air is bound to make you feel better. And you won’t get sweaty or feel over-exerted.
  • Stretch. This is a great way to ease into exercise and to feel good. You never know, you might be the next yoga expert. Find a friend who wants to exercise with you. Accountability goes a long way.
  • Think long-term. I’m pretty sure you want to be able to enjoy life and experience as much as you can for as long as you can. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle makes this possible.

If you simply don’t enjoy exercise, find something that doesn’t feel like exercise. Whether it be ballroom dancing, Zumba classes, walking through a park or playing Wii Sport. Just get your blood pumping and your muscles moving!

Still Not Convinced?

To take it back to the basics – exercise directly impacts your performance,  success and levels of happiness. You’ll be able to concentrate better, you’ll be less lethargic, your levels of stress and anxiety will be lower, resulting in a happier you. A happier you means that you’ll work harder. 

Some research even shows that companies are more likely to hire you if you exercise because it is known that people who exercise are more productive. That’s right, exercising puts you one above those who don’t in the recruiting process. 

And if you’re really still not convinced, here are 19 of the most successful people in the world who stay fit and exercise because they know that it directly impacts their careers.

- This post comes courtesy of the wonderful people at EduOne who were kind enough to share their insight into growing a career and the role of health and exercise in that journey

Image Credit: Bruno Nascimento