'Our mental capacity is directly linked to our physical regimen' - Experts find exercise can boost your performance at work

'Our mental capacity is directly linked to our physical regimen' - Experts find exercise can boost your performance at work
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  • At the beginning of the year, many of us vowed to stay active one way or another.
  • However, as time goes on, we fall off the bandwagon due to responsibilities and work.
  • It turns out, including exercise into your daily routine can better work performance.


At the beginning of every new year we set goals that we aim to achieve throughout the next 12 months, one of them is usually being more active or joining the gym. However, with little incentive going to the gym moves lower on our priorities list as the year gets going.

If you’re in need of more motivation, here you go: studies have proven that exercise can help your perform better at work.

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“Exercise proves to be an efficient mood-booster, the implications of which are a plus for your performance in the workplace. We know that high-performing teams and increased team effectiveness are driven by strong interpersonal communication and collaboration between co-workers,” says Kerry-Anne Mathieson from Ignite Fitness.

A study done at the Leeds Metropolitan University found that on days when employees visited the gym their experience at work changed. They reported managing their time more effectively, being more productive and having smoother interactions with their colleagues. Just as important: they feel more satisfied at the end of the day.

Psychologist Ron Friedman further highlights the importance of exercise to gain that mental edge required at work.

He says, “It is also important to note that our mental capacity is directly linked to our physical regimen and what better place are the implications of exercise more relevant than our performance at work?”

These are some of the cognitive benefits of incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine:

- Improved concentration

- Sharper memory

- Faster learning

- Prolonged mental stamina

- Enhanced creativity

- Lower stress

While many of us may be aware of the mental and physical benefits of keeping active and going to the gym, its still not easy. In between dropping off the kids in the morning, trying our best to ensure high performance at work and performing whatever household duties we have outside of work, gym is not ususally that high up on our priority list.

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So, what is the solution? Here are some expert tips to help you make exercise and keeping active a part of your day-to-day:

Make exercise part of your job

Instead of seeing fitness as a luxury that benefits only ourselves, consider it a necessity for peak performance at work and a part of your job. Without exercise, you’re likely to process information more slowly, be more forgetful and have a lower mood overall.

Make exercise a habit

Experts say that how we feel during exercise can impact the overall benefits exercise provides. In addition, there is a knock-on effect when prioritising fitness; people also tend to make healthier food choices.

Be clear on what you want to achieve

What do you want to achieve while at the gym? Psychologists define this as pivotal to mastering anything. Work with a personal trainer, join a group exercise class, etc.

Join a tribe

It is recommended that people seeking support join a group exercise class or Arena class involving socialisation that makes fitness more fun. This means you’re more likely to keep doing it and prioritising it when you’re held accountable by your co-workers or gym mates.

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