Need an extra reason to hit the gym this week? Beyond helping you stay healthy and feel good about yourself, exercise can improve your productivity and your finances.
Physical activity has been associated with long term benefits, including:
- Preventing chronic conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer
- Improving strength and balance so we can stay more independent as we age
- Promoting children’s healthy growth and development
Now a growing body of evidence suggests regular exercise also:
- Makes it easier to concentrate
- Sharpens our memories
- Helps us learn faster
- Let’s us stay focused longer
- Boosts our creativity
- Reduces our stress
- Makes us happier
Each of those cognitive and mental health benefits, in turn, can contribute to our productivity at work. More productive employees are often rewarded with promotions, salary increases and bonuses. More productive business owners may win more clients and grow their company faster. Earning more means we can save and invest more to grow our wealth, and plan with confidence for a financially secure future.
Understand the benefits but pressed for time?
Fitting exercise into your day may be easier than you think. A recent McMaster University study found that one very intense minute of exercise a day yielded a “significant” health benefit.
If you don’t want to go all out for 60 seconds, work these four simple exercises into your day:
- Bicep curl: Hold two heavy books and lift your arms slowly with your elbows close to your sides—repeat 15–20 times
- Tricep desk dip: Stand facing away from a well-secured desk or table with your palms on the edge, lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees and then push back up slowly until your arms are straight again—repeat 12–15 times
- Wall sit: Lean against a wall with your knees at 90 degrees and hold for up to 60 seconds
- Seated leg raise: Raise one or both legs (for added challenge, loop a purse or briefcase over your ankles) and hold for 5–10 seconds—repeat 12–15 times
Even small changes to incorporate exercise into your routine can have a positive impact on your health and your wealth.
Please check with a medical professional to ensure these health strategies are right for you.
Read more on this topic:
- Physical Activity, Public Health Agency of Canada
- Regular Exercise is part of your job, Harvard Business Review
- The 1-minute workout: How to get fit in 60 seconds — McMaster study, CBC Hamilton