8 Ways Exercise Helps You Focus at Work from 8 Ways Exercise Helps You Focus at Work

8 Ways Exercise Helps You Focus at Work

8 Ways Exercise Helps You Focus at Work

Flickr/Infocux Technologies

Working a 9 to 5 job has its ups and downs. Staying motivated and not distracted while sitting in an office all day can be difficult. Whether it be a video of a dog riding a skateboard or an article about the latest celebrity gossip, distractions are everywhere.

But what if the simple act of going out for a quick walk, or keeping up with your exercise and fitness goals during the week could improve your in-office performance as well. Multiple studies show that exercise can boost many aspects of our internal wiring that actually enable better focus and performance. 

To discuss all the reasons that exercise is so important to our focus at work, I chatted with two experts. Clint Fuqua is a fitness trainer, health coach, speaker and author who has seen first hand just how important staying active can be. Danielle Girdano, trainer and President of D’fine Sculpting & Nutrition LLC also had helpful information on the relationship between exercise and focus at the job. 

Both trainers agree that physical exercise goes hand in hand with mental exercise. You need one for the other and these 8 ways exercise improves your focus at work prove how.

It gets your brain active.

Flickr/dailym

“Physical exercise is just mental exercise expressed with the body in motion,” explains Fuqua. “Your brain is at it's most active when engaged with hand eye coordination and balance drills while having to communicate to other individuals.”

It increases learning ability.

Flickr/Giuseppe Milo

With an active brain, your focus can dramatically improve. Fuqua continues, “this both builds new neural patterns by increasing neuroplasticity for increased learning ability and connects the frontal cortex with the medulla for increased communication skills and focus while under stress or pressure to perform.”

It balances your body functions.

Flickr/Learn English at DCU

Exercise is important to a happy and healthy body. It does more than just strengthen, it balances your internal body functions as well. “Exercise increases the ability of your body to stay oxygenated and regulate hormone, blood glucose, and blood pressure levels for up to 36 hours after the activity has ended,” adds Fuqua. “Exercising every other day gives added benefit by letting your body recover for a day while it stays optimized for all regulatory activities for better focus every day.”

It strengthens the brain.

A stronger brain leads to stronger focus at work. “When someone exercises they strengthen the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45 and improve long term focus on detail oriented things,” explains Girdano. “When you work out especially between age 25 and 50, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the, hippocampus an important part of the brain for memory, concentration and learning.”

It creates new brain cells.

Flickr/Ross Websdale

Specifically cardiovascular exercise can increasingly benefit you at work and improve your performance. “Cardiovascular exercise creates new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improves overall long term brain performance,” says Girdano. “Studies have shown that a intense workouts increase levels of a brain-derived protein, known as BDNF, in the body. This protein helps with decision making, concentration, higher thinking, and learning.”

It improves blood flow to the brain.

Flickr/RelaxingMusic

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that short bursts of exercise are immediately followed by an improving blood flow to the brain. This creates an immediate boost in concentration and mental focus.

It increases energy.

Flickr/Edson Hong

Studies show that the more you exercise the more energized you become in turn. Exercise boosts your endurance and muscle strength that can also boost your energy and help you think more clearly.

It boosts productivity

Flickr/David Martyn Hunt

A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that those who exercised during the workday got more done at work, had greater work capacity and were sick less often. By devoting work time to physical activity, the employees had higher productivity.