One Surprising Action You Can Take Today To Increase Your Productivity

You’re busy.  With a capital B.  Your to do list stretches endlessly into the distance.  If only there were a few more hours in the day.

You’d love to find the time to exercise.  Someday soon.

What if there was a way to exercise AND be more productive?

It turns out that the two are linked.  Research conducted in Melbourne, Australia in 2011 has found a direct link between exercise and productivity.

Growing brain cells

It was once thought that after childhood our brains were unable to change and grow.  Scientists who initially proposed that the human brain was capable of change, growth and repair were belittled.  However, it is now known that exercise produces a range of physiological effects including increasing the blood flow and oxygen to our brains and stimulating growth factors to help our brain cells grow.

“You have the power to change your brain.  All you have to do is lace up your running shoes”  Dr John Ratey.

One experiment showed that after just one session on the treadmill, participants improved in higher level thinking process such as creative thinking.

How to supercharge your productivity AND reduce your stress levels

The study in Melbourne had interesting results.  Two groups were compared, with both groups increasing their exercise to at least 10,000 steps per day from an average of 3000-5000 steps per day.  One group also attended the gym three times a week to do a resistance based workout.

The reaction time and working memory (required to do complex tasks such as reasoning, judgment and decision-making) improved in both groups.  The group who also attended the gym, however, arrived at decisions much faster, had double the improvement with working memory and improved their bioage by an average of 5 years.  They also had increases in alertness, energy levels and accuracy and a reduction in anger levels.  Productivity gains have been estimated at $2,500.

Tips for getting started

  •  If you’re not currently exercising, start with a small goal, even 10 to 15 minutes three times a week
  • Find a way to enjoy your exercise sessions.  Find something you love to do, exercise with a friend or listen to music
  • Consult a fitness professional for a personalized plan as you develop the exercise habit

Who would have thought that exercise was the magic bullet to increase productivity and energy levels and reduce stress levels?

Take the first step today.

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10 thoughts on “One Surprising Action You Can Take Today To Increase Your Productivity

  1. Love it Claire – I find it so easy to make excuses and stay longer at my desk when I know that I should get out and about but it’s nice to have some evidence! Maybe that will help me make it happen. First step for me – a short bike ride! 

    1. Hi Jo,
      It’s all about small steps!  You’re right that it can be so easy to stay working and then not find the time to exercise.  Hope you enjoyed your bike ride 🙂

  2. I always liked how I felt after working out, but I didn’t realize the benefits were so tangible. I definitely notice it helps me release stress, which is all the more reason to exercise more often.

  3. Hi Claire, 

    Thanks for this post and congrats for publishing in STOTW, woohoo!

    I for one has experienced the productive benefits of including exercise in my daily regime. Apart from my twice a week gym sessions, I followed the recommendation of the Chinese medicine doctor that I consulted, and has now included a ten minute exercise routine (yoga, belly dacing, shiva nata – I rotate them so i won’t get bored) every day, before breakfast.  Those ten minutes alone are enough to energize me the whole day.

  4. Hi Claire!
    Woohoo! Great post and totally agree…small steps all the way! There’s nothing wrong with thinking BIG but it takes small steps to achieve and reach those BHAGS!

    Cheers!

  5. Hi Claire!
    Congrats on guest posting on STOTW… good for you!! Great article too. I’m like Jo… always find excuses to keep working. But you make very good points here and you’ve convinced me… daily exercise it is 🙂 Thank you!

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