Isn’t it awesome when a hobby is not only making you happy, but will also increase your success at work? We all know that doing sports is benefitting your health and appearance, but there’s a little more to it. If you work out on a regular base, you’ll automatically gain new soft skills and important strengths - which is like a level-up for your job! Sounds great, doesn't it?
But how exactly does your work benefit from you doing sports? Here’s 5 ways how working out regularly will influence your career:
It will lower your stress level - enormously!
We all know the feeling of work building up pressure, messing with our heads by rising our stress level. A bit of it can be very motivating, kicking you to get stuff done or to help you focus on a task. However, often enough our stress level rises too high, especially when there’s a big project in the launch and there’s just way too much work.
Even though it will probably lower eventually, sports can help you speeding up the process. It doesn’t matter if you go for a run, swimming, to the gym or play basketball on the field with some friends: Just get your body working.
What happens in your body when you stress out
Here’s why: Stress emerges in the so-called prefrontal cortex. This part of your brain is processing all the information you receive during the day, reducing it to the relevant data. Moreover, this data influences how you (re-)act on daily tasks. So what happens when there’s too much data to process? If you spread yourself too thin, your brain will be overexerted with the amount of information. Hence, processing it in a slower way or not at all - it will freeze like your phone when you open too many apps. The result will be anxiety and stress.
Sports will help you reduce your stress level
Normally, if you found yourself in a situation scaring you, you’d run. Just imagine being on a climb when a storm comes up. You’d want to get down to the ground as fast as you can, you’d run away. It’s a routine anchored in our DNA, so your body affects on it by preparing for movement.
When you find yourself in a situation of stress at work though, you’ll try it to sit it out - which is not helping at all. Listen to your body and actually run. It will relief the anxiety and re-activate your brain. So, doing sports to help reducing your stress level, is actually the natural way of doing so. You’ll feel better fast and will manage to climb that mountain up to the top!
You’ll end up having more power than before!
Working all day will leave you tired in the evening, increasing the urge to sit on the couch with a movie and a quick dinner before going to bed. A repetitive scheme. To be honest: This will probably leave you even more tired than before. Sitting a lot, dealing with boring or demanding tasks throughout your job costs a lot of energy.
Sports on the other hand will actually bring you energy! Working out can re-energize you, building your endurance and this way, providing you with more power for your daily life. Also, doing sports most of the times also comes with a healthy nutrition - the best way to fill your bar.
Competition: Learning how to win and to lose
Competition: It can be you pushing yourself to a new record in running. Or on the other hand a match against your opponent when you develop the strong desire to win (and kick his ass). However, both is about training and pushing your limits to improve - become a better version of your old self. The results of winning speak for themselves: You’ll be proud of yourself, raising your self-esteem and end up being more content. A great feeling, isn’t it? Not only for your personal life!
Happiness and confidence are important factors for your job. No matter if you manage a team that you’ll have to guide and inspire or if you work on your own: You need confidence to achieve a goal. It will help you be more assure of yourself, dare you to bring in your own ideas in the next team meeting or try a different way to solve a task than you did before. Winning helps you develop braveness. Something that for a lot of us just doesn’t come at ease.
The other side of the medal, of course, is losing. You’ll have a day, even after a winning streak, when someone’s just better than you. In sports, but also at work. Sports will teach you how to deal with it. Instead of being sore, you’ll learn to get up again, trying harder next time. On the day that you suffer a setback at work, it will be a lot easier to not let it bring you down. Instead it will motivate you to get back up and try harder!
It will teach you a lot about strength of the mind
In addition to rise your confidence, sports on a regular base will also train your mind. If you can bring up the endurance to train several times a week, you’ll also be able to develop consistency for your next project at work. The focus to concentrate on your career, even if there might be days when it feels like time stood still. Success doesn’t just fall into your lap, it’ the result of endurance and discipline.
Take surfing for example: On the first day, you’ll hardly stand up on the board. But if you try over and over again, even after you wipe-out, you’ll eventually master riding waves. Your mindset is the most important part about it: Not giving up when luck doesn’t cross your way.
A short Video about how sports benefits our body and mind
It can be a great way to meet new people to get you inspired
Last but not least, networking. Sports is a great way of meeting new people! It can be your team members from soccer who have experience in a similar job, sharing with you some insights. In the blog „How to find a job that you love“ we already wrote about how the people surrounding you can inspire you. They’ll help you push your boundaries or create new ideas. So, meeting people in sports will confront you with people who are also confident and consistent - a great combination for strong minds!
Who knows, you could even end up with a new career path. There’s always opportunity of meeting
an influent person offering you a new job. One thing is for sure: You already have something in common.
Let’s be honest: Most of us don’t make it out of the office or not even away from the desk in our lunch break. We chew on our sandwich while checking the 35 mails we didn’t answer yet or make a quick visit to the cafeteria so we’ll be back to work asap! Our society seems to be obsessed with work, feeling the pressure to push our limits every day. We spend most of our time per day for our jobs, so it’s especially important to use your break exactly what it’s meant for: For taking a break. (Pretty obvious.) Not only will it increase your well-being, but also your creativity and productivity in the following hours by refreshing your concentration. As a result, you’ll be able to accomplish so much more with a decreased stress level.
Just to make it clear: What we’re talking about is getting out, not scrolling through your favorite memes, get stuck on your Facebook news feed or dream away of what you could be doing instead. Leave your computer behind and…
Let’s get out of the office
Seriously. That’s the biggest step. No matter what you do, just change your surroundings, even if it will be only for half an hour. Take a walk or make a bike tour - fresh air and a little wind will free your mind from work. When your job happens to be in a big town like paris or munich, find a little green: A park or the suburbs. Imagine seeing a different color than grey - isn’t it nice?
The best of your little adventure will be the benefits for your mental and physical health. People keep talking about desk yoga when actually a walk in the lunch break keeps you fit and healthy easily.
Learn some new skills
You know how long it takes to learn a new language? Only five minutes per day. After a hard day of work you might not have the power to do so in the evening. Take the time in your lunch break instead - there are great apps for learning spanish, french and even business english. Or oldschool: Grab a book and take a seat in your favorite café or visit the library.
If you’re not in the mood for theory - especially when sitting on a desk all day - what about cooking, fitness, photography classes? There’s plenty of options! Not only will it be a lot of fun, but will bring you to your next level - and maybe even your job when your skills come in handy. Also, they will give you more self confidence for the next talk about raise!
Work out, do sports, improve your health
A walk or a bike tour is one way to stay fit in your lunchbreak. But seriously, you can push this even more! Take an hour to improve your fitness. Sports increase your health - physically and mentally. If there’s a gym around the corner, work out. Not your thing? Many cities offer great yoga and meditation classes at lunch time - so employees can take part. Also, they focus on concentration and your back which is stressed by sitting so much.
If you are happy enough to work near the ocean, go swimming or surfing - a wipe out clears your head much better than any meditation ever could.
Meet with friends & strangers
Grab a coffee with friends or even people you don’t know that well yet instead of your office colleagues. It will keep your head away from work during your lunch time. It might even inspire your for later tasks, no matter if you catch up with old friends or new ones.
Your personal life is a big factor of happiness. We are social, even if we only need one or two people in our lifes, so socialise.
You see - use your time wisely. It will help you to re-energize.
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