Can a fit lifestyle pay off in the workplace?

Why wait until 5:00 to start thinking of fitness?  Fitness does not mean going to the gym for an hour 3-4 times a week before or after work.  Fitness is not simply trying to cook a healthy dinner to make up for the donuts or birthday cake you ate at lunch.  These ideas definitely help one move towards fit, but fitness is a lifestyle that needs to be worked on 24 hours a day.  Making fitness my lifestyle has improved every aspect of my life and can improve yours too, even the 40 hours a week you spend at the office, I promise!

Almost everything you do affects your fitness level.  For example, your diet (check out our previous blog, The Cubicle Diet, for healthy snacking tips at the office), the amount of sleep you get at night, how you react to stress, your attitude, how long you sit during the day, your posture when you sit or stand and the list can go on and on.  I haven’t even mentioned a weekly exercise program yet.  So why is this so important for employers and employees you might ask?  There are a number of reasons for why this lifestyle can pay off in the workplace.

Fit employees have more energy.  Eating well and exercising helps increase and sustain energy throughout the day.  The more energy you have, the more focused you’ll be at whatever task you may be working on.  Coffee is not a substitution for this.  Besides, physical activity also stimulates various brain chemicals that make you feel good.  The appropriate amount of sleep plays a role in this as well.  We sometimes have to work overtime to make a deadline, attend a networking event after work, and take care of kids and/or spouses when we get home, but try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

Fit employees have more confidence.  When I challenged myself physically and mentally and proved to myself I can be at a level of fitness that I once only desired to be, that empowering feeling of accomplishment carried over into every aspect of my life, including my workplace.  Having more confidence can lead to higher positions and leadership roles.  You will discover potential in yourself that you never knew existed.  Trust me, having a positive outlook can take you further than you think.

Fit employees tend to be less stressed.  We’ve all experienced those stacks of papers that keep getting bigger and become unbearable.  Fit people tend to better control how they react to stress.  Again, they stick to their positive attitude.  Start with the stress you can control, which is the stress you put on yourself.  Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and release the negative energy you have built up.   Also, eating natural and whole foods puts less stress on the body than packaged foods loaded with chemicals and things you can’t pronounce. Not to mention it also helps balance your hormones.

If you are an employer, having your employees being the best version of themselves that they can be not only benefits them, but you and your company as well.  If an employee is fit and healthy, they will work more efficiently, inspire others with their positive attitude and be less likely to call in due to an illness.

We aren’t done yet, stayed tuned for the last blog in our summer series on workplace wellness!

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