Everyone defines success differently. Whether you define it monetarily, by level of productivity, getting ahead, or in terms of happiness, success is something that we each strive to achieve. It is inevitable, however, that along the way you’ll hit some bumps in the road. Nonetheless, sometimes all it takes is an exhilarating workout session to re-focus you on your own journey to success. Exercise is proven to improve productivity in the workplace and to increase energy, alertness, and stamina so that you are better able to kick-butt at whatever you set out to do.
Studies have shown that fitness is actually directly correlated to productivity. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine elite trainer Juliana Garcia-Halloran, “when your body becomes more active, internal mechanisms like metabolism and blood flow increase. It’s like you’re waking your body up from inside.”
“A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise,” adds Patrick O’Connor, PhD, co-director of University of Georgia’s exercise psychology lab. “But if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.” By performing simple cardiovascular (cardio) exercises, you increase blood flow throughout your body, supplying your brain and the rest of your body with the oxygen and energy it needs to use throughout the day. As a result, your brain is better able to perform and your ability to stay creative, alert, and concentrate increases. Other studies show that incorporating exercise into one’s daily routine can improve cognitive function by activating the tiny neurons in the hippocampus, which is the brain’s “memory-center” and is a critical area for the process of learning.
If you’ve ever been stressed out or anxious, then you know the feeling you get when your muscles tighten up: you can’t sleep, you’re too nervous to eat and all you want to do is escape all your worries and responsibilities. “Running away from your problems” may actually be your best solution! Exercise is scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to handle stress, anxiety, and even some cases of depression. Additionally, exercise causes the body to release chemicals called endorphins—a.k.a, “feel-good chemicals.” Through activity, the body relaxes and as a result, the mind does too. Having a fresh, clear mind every once in awhile is very important in order to be on top of your game and perform the best that you possibly can. The secret to mental wellness may just be a few burpee jumps away!
You’ve all heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” The same applies here: you are as good as you feel. When you feel great, you perform great. However you choose to define success, all successful people have one thing in common: their ability to push themselves to the limit in order to accomplish their goals. I’ve always been a go-getter; I’m not the type of person to give up when things get difficult. That is why I stress the importance of incorporating fitness into daily life—to strive for absolute success—and to ultimately workout towards a more productive future.