People come to me for exercise advice and to help them achieve their lifestyle goals. One of the most common reasons given for not participating in regular physical activity is that they just can’t find the time to do exercise in their busy lives. Now I can defiantly empathise with them, as I know the time pressures when you have a family with young kids and work long hours. However, the evidence show that regular exercise should be included as part of your daily routine, just like brushing your teeth.
When I say exercise, I don’t necessarily mean hitting the gym. Exercise can be completed in as little as a 10min block, and can be done anywhere. The exercise I’m referring to could be walking to work or with the dog, using the stairs at lunch time or going for a stroll at the local park.
If we look to our kids as the perfect example, children who play sport achieve many advantages over their inactive peers. Some of these benefits include academic improvements, increased concentration, lower levels of depression, increased self-esteem and a general improvement in social well being. All these benefits have a substantial impact not only in the individual areas but also their general performance across all areas of their daily lives.
Just like with children, physical activity has many similar benefits for adults. Regular exercise can improve your concentration, memory, ones ability to learn, your creativity and reduce general stress levels.
As one increases their strength and fitness and reduces their weight, a person’s self-efficacy will prove. Increased self-efficacy has been linked to increased performance and productivity in the workplace. A study in England found that in workers on days that they exercise compared to days they did not exercise had improved time management, productivity, and general job satisfaction. This study was reinforced by a study in Sweden where they found that people who spent 2.5 hours a week out of their 40 hour work week exercising, had improvements in productivity and reduced sick leave.
Stress can have significant impacts not only on work productivity but also on your home lives. When people are stressed, hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are increased, exercise has been shown to reduce these hormones as well as increase the good hormones such as endorphins.
In summery, performing exercise regularly for as little as 10 min at a time can have significant benefits to not only your work but also your home life. For advice on safe and appropriate exercises for your individual circumstances, speak to your local Exercise Physiologist.