If you’re stuck in a career rut, you’ve probably explored multiple options. Maybe you started looking for new positions or promotion opportunities. Maybe you enhanced your résumé and practiced a few interview skills. Maybe you’ve gone as far as trying to find satisfaction elsewhere, giving up on finding it through your job.
What if there was another way?
What if you could give yourself a career boost simply by looking inwardly?
They say our worst critic in life is our inner self – the ego. It’s wired into our DNA to want to feed this ego, so how we feel about ourselves greatly impacts our mental ability to pursue our goals. The solution to work happiness isn’t a mystery or something unattainable, it simply begins with a solid fitness plan.
Even if you hate exercise, or have “no time” to commit to a solid fitness plan, there is proof that regular exercise helps you achieve more in your life, and specifically, at your work place.
1) Decrease Stress to Increase Productivity
Here’s the thing: stress is real, especially on the job. While stress can have positive benefits, over time, as it builds, it leads to measurable negative results. Too much bad stress can have physical effects like headaches, fatigue and sleep problems. Furthermore, it can cause a lack of focus and motivation, as well as anxiety and social withdrawal. None of these is conducive to a productive day on the job.
Physical activity lowers levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Combined with the fact that it releases positive endorphins, regular exercise is sometimes considered a cure-all for stressors in life.
When stress levels decrease, productivity can increase. The negative symptoms associated with stress will dissipate over time with a regular fitness routine, so your productivity on the job could increase, leading to a natural career boost.
2) Save Your Sick Days for Relaxation
Some jobs reserve sick days for when employees are truly sick, but others allow it for flexible time off. This means more time to get away and destress from your working environment. Next time you think about skipping the gym, remember that working out helps keep your immune system healthy.
This means more workouts could potentially translate to relaxing days off work.
3) Physical Exercise Enhances Your Mind
According to a Harvard study, regular exercise releases brain chemicals that are critical for enhancing memory, concentration and mental sharpness. Another study found that after three months of a regular exercise program, the brain begins to form new neurons with stronger connections between them, leading to improved overall brain functions.
When your brain functions improve, you’ll be more equipped to take on the workday, whether it’s in your current role or something new. You’ll also tackle projects with greater ease, leading to an enhanced feeling of accomplishment on the job.
4) Enhance Your Mood
Maybe you were excited when you started your current role. You couldn’t wait to get started with your new responsibilities. Over time, it became mundane. You grew sick of your position and started looking for new possibilities. What if your current role didn’t actually become mundane, but instead you simply stopped seeing all of the positives?
A solid fitness plan might enhance the way you feel about yourself and your job. The more excitement you demonstrate at work, the more opportunities you may have. Instead of focusing on the negatives at work, commit to a new fitness routine. The benefits to your mood might be enough to push you to the next level professionally.
5) Look Forward to Something Other Than Lunch Break
When the caffeine isn’t kicking in, or when your brain just feels like it’s crashing every few minutes, all we tend to focus on is the lunch break. Lunch breaks usually allow us to take a breather away from our work, but according to studies, a midday workout proves to be much more helpful in terms of boosting productivity.
Scientists say that fitting in a quick workout will increase work stamina and ramp up your energy. If your workplace doesn’t offer a more flexible work schedule, it never hurts to ask whether or not you’ll be able to fit in a midday workout.
6) Learn to Push Your Limits
It’s never too late to set some new goals and push your limits. Think about where you’re at and where you want to be. Are you fit but want to increase your endurance? Could you lose a few pounds? Do you want to compete in races or other fitness competitions?
Whether you’re better off with working out in the comfort of your home or prefer the good old local gym, remember to set goals that feel just a little out of your reach. Then, when you reach them, you learn that limits are mostly self-imposed. This translates to other areas of life, like your career, as well. Reach for new heights!
7) Switch Things Up
Speaking of reaching for new heights, try your hand at a form of exercise that doesn’t feel like working out. Walking the dog, dancing, martial arts, beach volleyball – just trick yourself into committing to a healthy workout without feeling like it’s just another chore. This way, you can switch up your workout plan whenever you feel like you’re bored or not stimulated enough.
It will make exercising a lot more interesting, but most importantly, it will help you expand your mind into a new way of thinking.
Instead of focusing on your career alone when you feel like something has to change, start with something else, something with tangible benefits, such as your fitness. You’ll be amazed how a solid fitness plan could give you the career boost you’ve been searching for.
Do you have a solid fitness plan? How has it benefited you
Author: Anum Yoon
Anum Yoon is a writer and blogger with a passion for money management and a productive lifestyle. You can also find Anum on her personal blog, Current on Currency,