The importance of fitting in exercise around work

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

It takes courage to start exercising and maintain a regular routine but in turn, exercise gives you the confidence that spurs you on to more courageous actions in the future.

A renewed sense of self-belief can go a long way in your work life as well as your social life, and with improved self-esteem you may even see yourself taking on responsibilities and rising to challenges at work that you may not have attempted previously.


Whether you've dropped a dress size after losing some pounds or bulked up before beach season, just knowing that you're helping to improve yourself can be a confidence boost. Many people use that boost as an incentive, particularly when friends and family start to notice the difference.

Health-on-Line employees are provided with onsite facilities courtesy of Gym 80, and owner Gavin believes that you "don't have to be skinny to be healthy" - it's the personal, positive environment that keeps people motivated as they work out.

Maintaining enthusiasm is hard, so it's important not to burn out at the start - Gavin advises you pace yourself, building to a time when you can train as frequently as you like.

>>Read more on how to boost your happiness and wellbeing.

Goal-setting (and achieving)

Before embarking on a new routine, fitness instructors often encourage you to set manageable targets.

Firstly, establish areas you want to improve: maybe you want to stay an extra hour after work each week, or be able to run that extra mile. Setting your own goals, or working on them with your trainer, can be hugely beneficial - a strategy which is also transferable to the workplace.

When you reach a personal goal, you take a step towards breaking down any self-doubt you may have.

However, make sure not to set your sights too high early on, as failing to reach them can be damaging. Start with small but frequent goals to get yourself going and you'll soon pick up momentum and reap the rewards.

Energy and posture

Have you ever felt lethargic at work or sluggish, particularly at the end of the week? Well exercise is a great way to combat this. It might sound contradictory but exercise does give you energy in the long term.

A team from University of Georgia discovered that regular, low intensity workouts like going for a walk can boost energy levels by 20% and reduce fatigue by 65%. 

Improved posture is another major benefit of regular exercise, particularly with regular back training. The results can lead to work being more comfortable, especially if you spend long periods of time at a desk, and can make an individual more efficient.

"If Exercise Were a Pill…"

Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant, states: "If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever." It is medically proven that people who do regular physical activity are at a significantly lower risk of:

  • heart disease
  • cancers, type 2 diabetes
  • early death
  • depression
  • even hip fractures.

A more conditioned heart, longer-lasting and more resilient muscle tissue, greater metabolic rate and reduced body fat are all a bonus. When you list the health benefits, you start to wonder why you would ever choose to put off exercise!

Exercise can help with the daily strains we endure mentally and physically. There are clear long-term benefits which are well publicised.

However, what is less well-known is the immediate impact of becoming more energetic and confident, two improvements that can have a positive effect on your work.

Make sure to check with your doctor before you start exercising, particularly if you have been inactive for a while. Gavin highlights the significance of "getting the foundations right". This includes correct posture, strengthening areas that are painful and stretching anywhere that feels tight.

If you are planning on joining a gym, get advice from instructors on your technique to prevent injury and take a look at this useful article from the NHS on common exercise mistakes.

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