Work Hard: In And Out Of The Gym
In Japan, there is a modern business trend that looks to the past for inspiration. Inside board rooms, workspaces, and factory floors, you’ll find employees at all levels practicing business bushido. Steeped in the ancient tradition of the warrior, business bushido preaches the value of hard work, loyalty to the company, commitment to quality, and personal growth. It’s a mindset that helped many Japanese businesses rise to global success in the 1970s and 1980s.
While we won’t encourage you to bring a samurai sword to work or the gym, we will encourage you to bring the same mindset you bring to your workouts into your next business meeting. Why’s that? It’s because study after study has found that regular and disciplined exercise can make you more productive and successful at work. Don’t believe us? Then it’s time to join Axis Labs as we explore how your reps could help boost your revenue.
The Importance of Fitness
In our day-to-day lives, fitness plays a larger role than many realize. More than just a lean physique, staying fit keeps us healthy, allowing us to do more and live longer. With regular exercise, you’ll have more energy to complete projects at work, and reps at the gym. You’ll feel mentally and physically stronger. Being a regular at the gym means you have a healthier immune system and you’re less likely to develop chronic illnesses like Diabetes. If nothing else, getting frequent exercise means you’ll sleep harder, meaning you're better rested for the next day.
That’s all fine and dandy in our lives outside of work and the gym, but if you’re looking to enhance your business acumen and turn heads at work, how does exercise help? Check it out.
Exercise Keeps You Alert
We’ve all been there. You get to work, eyelids still droopy with sleep and the last remnants of morning breath on your tongue. You stumble to the break room and pour yourself a cup of cheap coffee and start the workday. But by mid-afternoon, your demeanor hasn’t changed, no matter how many foam coffee cups now litter your desk.
We all struggle to stay alert at work sometimes, but the secret to finding the energy you need to focus can’t be found at the bottom of a coffee cup. Instead, it’s in the gym. Exercise stimulates blood flow to your brain. With more blood flow, your brain has the resources it needs to stay alert and focused. You’ll feel more awake at work, which means you can complete projects more accurately, saving you headaches later.
Another reason that exercise improves your mental acuity is that a certain part of your brain is engaged during your workout. The hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory. When you exercise, the neurons within this part of the brain fire up. An active hippocampus means your cognitive functions improve, which helps with spatial learning.
Quick Tips For Staying Alert at Work
When it’s already been a long day and you’ve only been at work for 20 minutes, don’t reach for an energy drink. Instead, grab a coworker and go for a quick walk around the office. Often, just a few minutes of light exercise is all it takes for you to regain your mental focus and clarity, helping you get through that stack of paperwork or loading up those shipping pallets.
You’ll Feel Less Stressed at Work
When nearly every job listing out there casually states that you’ll have to work in high-stress environments, you have to wonder just how stressed out everyone at that job must be. But that doesn’t mean you have to be. Your trips to the gym could help you feel more relaxed at work, even when everyone around is pulling their hair out.
The workplace, whatever it may look like for you, is a source of stress. In fact, for nearly half of all Americans, it’s a significant source of stress in their lives, even when they’re done for the day. While you might have developed stress-management strategies to make your workday a little easier, organizing through calendars and color-coded folders will only do so much. But exercise can go a long way in helping you stay stress-free at work.
Exercise has a neurochemical effect on your brain. With regular aerobic exercise, your body starts to reduce its levels of stress hormones. Cortisol, in particular, is your body’s built-in warning system. When you get stressed, the amount of cortisol in your bloodstream increases, keeping your body in a heightened state of alert. That means you’ll struggle to calm down after a tense day at work. But exercise releases endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that your brain releases when you feel good. For the runners out there, they talk about hitting their "runner’s high" after a certain period of prolonged aerobic exercise. This means their brain has released the endorphins, which not only helps them feel mentally better but physically better too. Endorphins are natural pain-killers that help your body relax and recovery after an intense workout.
When you’re less stressed at work, you can more clearly identify problems and solutions. You’ll feel more level headed when dealing with Janice in accounting when she gets on your case about a late payment request, and you’ll feel more creative when working.
Quick Tips for Busting Stress at Work
If you’re working a fast-paced job or have short breaks, consider high-intensity interval training. These are collections of workouts that can be done very quickly and don’t require any special equipment. There are a ton of smartphone apps that can walk you through a HIIT workout while you’re waiting for your coworkers to get back from the coffee shop or after your lunch break. The rush of endorphins will help keep you feeling calm even on those crazy days.
Exercise Can Help You Learn New Skills More Quickly
Say you just got a promotion and you have to learn a new computer program. Or you suddenly have to learn a new task to get through the workday. Whatever it is, you’ll want to learn these skills quickly in order to stay on top of your workload. Detailed notes do their part to help you retain the information, but hitting the gym for a few extra minutes each week might be just as effective.
Studies have found that regular exercise can help increase your brain’s capacity for prioritizing tasks and projects and even improve your memory. Why is that? It’s for nearly the same reasons as to why exercise keeps you more alert. Your hippocampus controls the learning and memory parts of your brain. With time, your hippocampus begins to shrink. This is a natural process, but it has frustrating consequences, like shortened attention span or a sense of forgetfulness. But with exercise, you can actually help increase the volume of your hippocampus. This leads to improvements in learning and memory.
More than just beefing up your hippocampus, exercise helps repair your body in other ways. By reducing insulin resistance and inflammation in the body, along with encouraging growth in other areas, your body is more ready to learn and retain new information. That’s because your brain is developing new blood cells, which helps to maintain your existing brain cells.
Quick Tips for Improving Your Working Memory
Our brains are naturally ready to identify and play with patterns. That’s why having an exercise routine is so great for your memory. Consider exercises that involve slow and focused movements, like tai chi. By memorizing these distinct patterns and motions, your brain will be able to memorize other things at work more quickly.
So, How Much Exercise Do You Need to Get That Promotion?
While some of you are likely waiting for us to say something like "be able to lift five times your own body weight," or "run a marathon every day," the reality is that just doing a little more than many of us are already doing is enough.
Many researchers suggest that you get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. That’s only 150 minutes every week. Some already get much more than that each week, and if that’s the case, this isn’t a sign that you should suddenly dial back your training schedule. Stick with it.
In addition to how often you exercise, it’s also important to consider when you’re doing it. There’s a growing body of research that suggests that your brain will benefit from a work out when it’s completed before or even at the same time as a learning activity. A study found that not only did workers feel they performed better at work if they exercised during the work day, but they also felt better about their work and their general well being. So what does that mean for you? It means if you can squeeze in a few reps at work, you’ll probably feel better about that presentation you’re about to deliver.
Enhance Your Workday Workouts With Axis Labs
When you’re ready to take your performance at the gym and at work to the next level, you’ll need all the support you can get. Offer your body the supplements it needs with the pre-workout and recovery products offered by Axis Labs. Carefully researched and crafted, and lab and gym tested, our products can help you make the most of every workout. Browse our complete lineup of products then order your own today.
While you’re at it, check out our exclusive Facebook group, All Axis Pass. Not only will you find a great community of fitness enthusiasts, but you’ll also be the first to know about exclusive offers and new product releases!