5 Reasons Why Working Out Is Actually Good For Your Career
I know what you’re thinking: “I just spent two hours on the subway getting home from work, smooshed up next to 40 other cramped and exhausted commuters, after a grueling day of never-ending meetings, backstabbing co-workers, and tight deadlines. Tonight I will be hanging with a bottle of wine and some Gilmore Girls in my Lululemon Athleisure apparel, not hitting the gym.”
But aside from the fact that, as the name suggests, Athleisure was made for leisure and athletics, and it’s time for you to put those expensive running tights to use, it turns out there’s an even more compelling reason why you should work out.
The truth is, regular exercise can help your career. And that’s why working out should be as consistent as your 10am coffee break.
1. Working Out Improves Your Mood
Health experts agree that regular exercise is a powerful mood booster. When you engage in exercise, your pituitary gland releases endorphins, or chemicals that are known for blocking pain and inducing pleasure. It’s essentially the body’s naturally-occurring version of morphine.
Regular exercise reduces stress, improves self-esteem and staves off anxiety and depression. It also helps you sleep better at night. These factors will have a huge impact on your daily work by making you feel calm, upbeat and ready to handle anything.
2. Working Out Teaches Goal Setting
Embarking on a new workout regimen can be daunting, especially for beginners who might not be able to tell a bicep curl from a bench press. Incorporating fitness into your life, whether you’re training for a marathon, learning to surf, or want to lose 10lbs, takes some serious goal-setting, not to mention research, planning and commitment.
Does any of this sound familiar? Goal setting is a critical aspect of career development. It’s important to set both short and long-term goals for yourself. When you’re used to saying “I will go to the gym three times this week,” it’s not such a stretch to say “I will be in a management position in three years.”
3. Companies Love Athlete-Minded Employees
There’s a reason why companies love to hire athletes. Former high school or college athletes possess very desirable traits and skills. Teamwork, determination, the ability to handle constructive criticism, and a willingness to face obstacles are just a few of the predictors of workplace success that athletes tend to demonstrate en masse.
You don’t actually have to be a former quarterback to adopt these characteristics. In fact, making a concentrated effort to be like this despite not being part of the varsity squad says a lot about one’s dedication to improvement.
4. Working Out Teaches You How To Be Tough
You know what they say: no pain, no gain. The best way to see results at the gym is to break a sweat and challenge yourself, even if that means waking up early for that 7am spin class.
The same can be said in the workplace. Grittiness is one of the biggest predictors of success. When you develop mental toughness outside of the office, you can apply that motivation to your career. If you can manage to squat twice your bodyweight, you can nail that huge presentation.
5. Improve Your Mental Health
Depending on the industry, work-life balance can be tough. Whether your job is stressful or the hours are long, it’s essential to carve out time outside of work for your mental and physical health.
After spending the day staring at a screen, the last thing you should do is immediately get lost in a Netflix binge. Taking just a few hours per week to improve your fitness will have a positive effect for other areas of your life, including work. It’s the ultimate manifestation of “look good, feel good.”