When you’re not productive, getting some exercise is the last thing you think about:
most of us associate it with many negative connotations such as pain, sweat and exhaustion. We don’t like to spend hours in a gym and we certainly hate to force ourselves into monotonous activities like jogging or treadmill workouts. Exercise makes you tired is the perception, so how can it help you to be more productive?
Exercise gives you more energy throughout the day
All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from a chemical we call ATP. ATP is produced by mitochondria, which are cell components. Mitochondria increase with exercise, so we get more energy that way. Especially aerobic exercise leads to a greater concentration of the mitochondria. Both body AND mind get a boost from exercise.
Exercise to focus
So, when you spend the first 30 minutes of your workday doing an activity-routine that includes running, rebounding and balancing, you’ll improve your brain in the short term: it raises your focus for two to three hours afterwards. Can you imagine that? You’ll eat your frog in notime! 😉
Exercise and endorphins
Exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins keep the brain cells young and healthy; so in fact, exercise will improve your memory. You will be able to think creatively and have more endurance.
Endorphins are also known as nature’s mood elevator: they will help you to maintain a harmonious relationship with your colleagues and that boosts productivity too.
A great book about this subject is “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain”, written by John Ratey in 2008. He states that we turn on our ‘thinking brain’ when we run, jump or cycle to get the heart pumping.
Run and get things done!
This all sounds really nice, but how much exercise do people need exactly? There is no firm answer, but it actually is very modest: the general guideline is about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per day, or three hours per week.
Although it really sounded terrible at first, even moderate exercise helps us to get more productive.