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Tired of living your life in a constant caffeine craze? Sure, coffee is great for a quick energy boost, but once you start feeling the caffeine crash, you need another cup - then another - and unfortunately that’s how so many of us make it through the work day. Recently, studies have shown that the best way to get that midday boost is not a cup of joe, but rather an afternoon workout. Research suggests that exercising in the middle of your day improves productivity, cognitive abilities, and moods—all while working on that summer beach bod!
Everyone knows that working out improves your health and physical appearance. But here are a few more ways that working out can improve your work game:
The benefits of working out are, of course, physically rewarding. But the positive effect it has on your cognitive skills alone are worth it. Regular physical activity boosts memory and the ability to learn new things. Research shows that workers who make time to exercise show improved concentration, sharper memory, quicker learning, prolonged mental stamina, enhanced creativity, stress reduction, and improved attitude. But how exactly does exercise affect your brain? Studies show it’s all about getting sweaty. Breaking a sweat increases production cells in the hippocampus which is responsible for memory and learning. So get ready to glisten! Exercise can also boost your brainpower by stimulating the growth of new brain cells. So get those endorphins pumping and then head back to work. You might be a little bit smarter when you come back from lunch.
We’ve all heard that exercise gives us endorphins, and endorphins make us happy. Endorphins are known for being related to positive moods and an overall enhanced sense of well-being. Studies confirm that the best way to lift your spirits is to lift some weights! Let’s face it, when you’re in an emotional funk, you’re less effective at work. It happens to the best of us. But making the most of your lunch break to exercise not only improves your mood for the rest of the day, but will provide lasting effects. So get a boost, whether from hitting the gym or the pavement, and get more done at work.
Fitting some form of fitness into your day can help productivity skyrocket and even boost job satisfaction. One study found employees who spent 30 to 60 minutes at lunch working out saw an average performance boost of 15%. Workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their sedentary peers. They end up making more out of the time they spend working, because they don’t fall into that all too familiar “after-lunch slump,” or suffer from yet another a caffeine crash.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress can cause a vicious cycle of negative effects on both your mind and body. However, just 20 minutes of exercise a day allows your body to release those warm and fuzzy chemicals that boost your sense of well-being. It also suppresses the hormones that cause stress and anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association, “physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people.” The more sedentary we become, the less efficient our bodies are when responding to stress.
So the next time you feel yourself starting to snooze at the screen, take a walk or do some jumping jacks at your desk. Okay, the last one could garner a few strange looks, but you catch the drift. Get moving! If you need some more midday workout inspiration, check out this article on 7 Midday Workouts to try During Your Lunch Break. Taking the time to workout during your lunch break will help you look and feel better. Plus, your boss is guaranteed to be impressed with your afternoon job performance.