The link between fitness and work performance
posted by Roisin McNamara on
Working in the recruitment industry in Ireland is a very fast paced environment and can have a high burn out rate. I’ve found a huge benefit to my well-being, since committing to regular exercise. Whether we’re recruiting for engineering jobs, science jobs, R&D jobs or supply chain jobs in Ireland I’m definitely better equipped to deliver.
Research has now shown the effect that exercise has on brain structure. Here is where I get a bit “sciency”… Research has shown that exercise (a brisk walk, a run, boot camp classes, cardio etc.) balances neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain. To be put into simpler terms it means influencing brain activity related to mood, attention, learning and motivation.
Exercise also helps the brain and body cope better with stress, great news for people who work in high pressure environments (Can I get an amen) That’s why you’re likely to feel calmer, more alert, more motivated and better able to focus after exercise.
Its all well and good reading articles and the findings of research based on exercise and work related performance, but how accurate is it?
This is where yours truly comes in.
Before last year I was never a big gym goer. Sure, I liked going for long walks but the idea of running on a treadmill in a packed gym never really appealed to me. I made up too many excuses as to why it wasn’t the right time for me to get in shape “work is too busy at the moment, I don’t have the time and the time I do have to myself I want to spend with friends and family” (sounds familiar right?)
The turnaround point for me was when I suffered a nasty back injury (bulged/slipped discs – ouch!) and was out of action for a couple of weeks. Crutches were my new best friend and the simplest of tasks were a nightmare to achieve. It was at this time that I decided that I needed to do something. I never wanted to experience this pain again, I wanted to make myself strong, and I did just that.
I looked into local gyms in the area. Now, as I said before I did not want to be left to my own devices with a treadmill. I wanted to be involved in a different gym, to build strength, to be motivated, to be in classes with likeminded individuals, and to beat personal targets. And I found it.
Boot camp classes have been the best decision I’ve ever made, trainers are second to none and make training fun, and sure, you’re hardly able to walk after leg day but its 100% worth it. And I’m getting stronger which was the main goal. Being able to deadlift 100kg at 5 “3” with a history of back problems is an achievement in itself. Training 4 days a week isn’t a chore, I honestly love every moment I spend there
So how does this tie in with my work performance? Before I started training I was tired, had no motivation and wasn’t in the best of health. Fast forward to the present day and I’m in a new job with CCP Recruitment which I love, I’m motivated, I’m pushing myself to do better every day, I stay late to catch up on work because I want to, not because I have to. And I feel better too (mentally and physically).
Let’s keep things simple - If you’re consistent, then you'll get some great rewards (in work and in the gym). If you are not consistent and keep making excuses then you'll end up with very little reward (again, in work and in the gym)
It can be ridiculously simple when you've a plan and the necessary motivation to do it
If you decide for a minute to take a step back and make a decision on going forward then you'll make amazing changes (I’ll say it again – work and gym)
Focus on consistency, feeling good and enjoying your training and work environment.
These actions have made me a way happier person and has given me a new lease on life. I didn’t want to be just average, I want to be the best.
If you take the plunge and get involved with a training programme, a team or even making the decision to go for a brisk walk a couple of times a week you’ll soon throw your excuses out the window.