How Exercise Can Help Your Career | Get Promoted

Written by Charlotte Campbell

Exercise Can Help Your Career

When your work deadlines are looming and your “To Do” list is getting as long as your arms, working out can be the last thing on your mind. However, setting aside some time for the gym can benefit your work performance in a number of ways. Who knew those extra reps could help you climb the career ladder?

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Hitting the gym is better than clocking more hours at work


A 2007 study by Oregon State University tested primary school children on concentration, memory and behaviour. One group were given an extra school lesson, while the others were allowed to use the lesson time to exercise. Afterwards, the children who had exercised were found to have much better concentration and academic performance than those who had an additional lesson. So next time you feel a pang of worry that your colleague is racking up more work time than you, don’t stress.

to do list

Workouts can improve your attitude


If you find yourself getting wound up at work unnecessarily, a good workout can help shift your mood for the better. While you may not think you’re happy while you’re feeling the burn, everyone feels that post workout glow. A mixture of pride at your achievements and a hit of feel good chemicals called endorphins can leave a lasting positive effect on your outlook. So if you’re feeling stressed or snappy, exercise could well be the key to the cure. 

You’ll be better at tackling your to-do list


As well as making you feel positive, endorphins also hone our impulse control. This means you’ll be far more adept at ignoring unhelpful distractions and prioritising tasks. So if you’ve got a hectic day that seems impossible to get through without serious overtime, get up early and get your sweat on. You might just find your workload is done and dusted before 5pm rolls around.


Burn outs will back off


It may seem like a tough spin class might push you over the edge when your work life is hectic. But taking some time to work on the physical encourages the body to function well. Becoming physically tired will help you to reach a deep level of sleep, and we all know how much a good night’s rest can help us tackle a busy schedule. 

Confidence can climb


Hitting a personal best, or mastering a skill that you didn’t think you could do can skyrocket your self-esteem. Not only that, but when you feel physically fit on the inside, it helps us recognise how good you look on the outside. So whether it’s applying for a promotion or new role, to speaking up in a meeting, your gym time could give you the boost you need to succeed.

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Cardio strengthens your memory


An experiment published in American College of Sports Medicine  found that students who were asked to memorise a selection of letters, and then either run, rest or lift weights were significantly more accurate when they chose to run. So if you have a presentation you want to master, get your trainers on and recall it while you’re on the treadmill. 

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.

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