Exercise Is the Ultimate Productivity Hack, Study Shows Why You Should Get Up and Get Moving

When you think of how to advance your career, you probably default to the tried-and-true tips: dress for the position you want, not the position you have; be the first to arrive and the last to leave; and network, network, network. But there’s one other strategy that can help you get ahead – and get in shape at the same time: exercise.

A new study by Fit Rated looked at the connection between working out and professional success and came to some surprising conclusions. Many types of exercise, from walking and running to yoga and weight-lifting, can increase your focus, productivity, energy, creativity, and problem-solving. What’s more, working up a sweat appears to prevent the dreaded afternoon slump. Fitness is a boon for those in charge, too; managers were more patient with their employees if they’d exercised.

The best time to reap the benefits of exercise? In the morning. But if you can’t squeeze it in, during the day is good, too. And if you think there’s just no time in your day for a sweat sesh, think again. (Just add up all the time you spend scrolling through social media on an average day; it’s probably more than enough for a workout, and you’ll feel better afterward.) Over half of respondents in this study exercised during their work breaks, even if it was only for a few minutes. It isn’t hard to take a quick walk or do some in-office moves like push-ups, squats, and calf raises. Those who did these easy activities reported feeling more relaxed at work.

Your workplace may even have programs or facilities to make it easier to get your blood pumping during your workday. Does your job have an on-site gym? Use it! If not, ask about health club discounts or the possibility of getting a treadmill desk. You could also rally your coworkers to pitch in for a group fitness class. Every little bit of movement helps.

Even if exercise doesn’t directly correlate to your climb up the corporate ladder, you’ll still be healthier, happier, and a lot more fit because of it.

Cover Photo: Peter Dazeley (Getty Images)

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