We hear it all the time. Exercise is good for you. It lowers your risk of heart disease, increases your energy levels, decreases body fat, increases strength… the list goes on. Outside of these health-related reasons, it occasionally becomes difficult to find a link between exercise and YOUR personal and professional life. Athletes train to improve performance in their sport(s). Many in the labor force work in careers that aren’t physically oriented and can’t associate exercise with improved job performance. So ask yourself, why should you train? How does it apply to what you do daily? Here are 2 evidence-based answers for you:
- EXERCISE MAKE YOU SMARTER. Aside from the intelligent decision to improve your overall health, exercise can actually improve your executive function and increase your cognitive ability. A study by Scott et. al. examined 120 subjects in a large correlation study examining links between exercise and cognitive function. The results found significant evidence that subjects with higher VO2 max scores scored higher on cognitive tasks (3). In other words, the fitter you are, the more efficient your brain works!
- EXERCISE MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF. A study by Costigan et. al. found that bouts of intense exercise during the school day improved psychological well-being and perceived appearance in high school students, in addition to improved cognitive function (2). Another study by Caudwell and Keatley found that, surprise surprise, subjects with a more positive body attitude will be more likely to continue exercising (1). From these two studies, it’s not a stretch to find that more confident people perform their jobs more confidently. Long story short, take a short break from your day and improve your mental well-being long-term!
People in office settings often take certification courses and seminars to improve their job performance. Knowledge is an important tool to have when pursuing success in your career but is ultimately rendered useless without the ability to use that knowledge efficiently and effectively. Take some extra time throughout your day and work week to invest in yourself and the function of your brain.
- Caudwell KM, Keatley DA. The effect of men’s body attitudes and motivation for gym attendance. J Strength Cond Res 2016; 30(9) 2550-56
- Costigan SA, Eathers N, Plotnikoff RC, Hillman CH, Lubans DR. High-intensity interval training for cognitive and mental health in adolescents. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016; 48(10) 1985-93
- Scott SP, De Souza MJ, Koehler K, Petkus DL, Murray-Kolb LE. Cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with better executive function in young women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016; 48(10) 1994-2002