This is a contributed post/
Many of us at present are working from home, taking online classes, exploring growth opportunities, and setting new personal records. We all want to step up our game by being more productive and fruitful, keeping our creative juices flowing, and staying physically fit.
However, this pandemic has compelled most of us to reduce our usual outdoor activities and stay within the walls of our homes, thus limiting our opportunities to maintain physically active lifestyles and psychological wellness.
How can we optimize our productivity levels and brainpower? The answer is exercise. And there are many ways to exercise at home and many reasons why we should continue to. But don’t fret because these don’t always require huge workout equipment.
Besides, these exercises are suitable for both youngsters and boomers. So, let’s find out the whys and hows!
Exercise is key to optimum wellness
We are all aware that exercise contributes to better health. It allows us to ensure physical fitness and maintain healthy bodily systems. But beyond the physical perks, did you know that exercise and productivity go hand in hand?
A recent study from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management noted that people who exercise during their workday are 23 percent more productive on those days than they are when they do not exercise.
Do you sometimes feel worn out that accomplishing daily tasks seems like an uphill battle? Well then, consider exercising. Exercise is a natural way to help your body and brain recuperate and power up.
Aside from regulating blood sugar levels, exercise ramps up blood flow to the brain, thus providing it with essential nutrients such as oxygen and glucose. In addition, exercise releases endorphins into the body. These chemicals help alleviate body pain and stress and give you a mood boost that may continue for up to two hours post-exercise. All these outcomes enable productivity and better brain function.
Many also struggle with “brain fog,” which involves difficulty in concentrating, mental clarity, or memory problems. Good thing, exercise can also help one overcome this. Exercise thickens the brain’s cerebral cortex, which allows us to have improved memory and thought processes.
In the long run, continuous exercise can also help lower your risk of having chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Worth all the sweat and muscle soreness, right?
What are some of the exercises to improve productivity and brain function?
It is no secret that by simply walking, you can already improve not just your physical health but also your mental health. Multiple studies show that brisk walking for 30 minutes per day can help you refresh your mind and lift your mood.
It can also boost a person’s immune cell production and circulation, which means greater protection from illnesses.
Did you know that dancing also ranks as one of the best exercises? Dancing is not only fun but also a way to get physically fit and mentally healthy. When you dance, you involve your motor, intellectual, and emotional brain functions.
This is by memorizing the dance steps, recognizing beats, synchronizing movement with music, and feeling the rhythm. Dancing also improves cerebral health; stimulates nerve growth factors, which are proteins that are vital to maintaining sensory neuron health; and sharpens memory.
3. Weight lifting
Many people think lifting only heavyweights delivers results. However, lifting light weights can also help you increase your maximal strength and improve your brain function.
Studies show that resistance training, which includes weight lifting, can enhance our cognitive functioning. This includes mental abilities such as learning, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and more.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia also found out that light weight lifting twice a week is helpful enough to decelerate brain shrinkage and lesions, which contribute to better overall brain function.
While even lightweight lifting may require a huge chunk of our energy, its benefits outweigh the cost. Therefore, it’s worth the try. And having a pair of dumbbells would be a plus! I
If you’re on your menstrual cycle and find it hard to lift a weight, you can also try these exercises that might help with period pain.
The Burpee exercise is a conditioning move in which a person does squat thrusts with an additional stand between repetitions. This full-body exercise is for strength training and mind strengthening. It helps burn calories and increase your lung capacity.
Additionally, it improves your brain and body coordination with its abruptly changing movements.
5. Active stretching
While we normally stretch our arms and bodies when our work deliverables seem back-breaking, doing stretches actively and consistently also helps improve our overall brain health.
Active stretching exercises such as repeatedly extending your leg and reaching to touch your toes as well as quad, hamstring, butterfly, and calf stretching can go a long way.
Aside from helping ease muscle tightness and tension, stretching increases blood flow and circulation to your muscles and brain. With good stretches, hormones — which regulate your metabolism, insulin, mood, and attitude — are also delivered better throughout your body. All these benefits enable you to refresh your mind and stay productive.
Sharing is Caring
OVER TO YOU
You need to build good habits to have a healthy lifestyle. Take a holistic approach to better your health by adding exercise into your daily routines. You can also find inspiration in the aspects of personal growth, finance, and productivity by visiting this freebie library.
You also have the freedom to find the best time for you to do these exercises. After all, what is indispensable is that you see progress and you remain consistent. It might also help you build this habit of regularly exercising if you look at it as a beneficial recreational activity rather than a taxing task. With exercise, your perspiration can also fuel your inspiration.
QUESTION: What exercises do you do at home to stay productive? What can you add to these exercises?
More about the Author
BashSarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated in his works. Connect with Bash on Instagram and Linkedin
Angela Ricardo Bethea says
Definitely need to be active since I’ve been just staying at home most of the time because of Covid. Those are some great ideas and will try some out.
I need to be better about weight lifting! I’ve heard it’s so important.
Karla Elisabeth Hopkinson says
I love walking and it always helps me feel better mentally and physically! Great blog post!