Can Physical Exercise Make You a Better CEO?

There is no doubt that a good exercise routine is vital for not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind.

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Below Mark Pinches, Head of Coaching at Westfield Health, discusses the benefits of exercising outside and how it can positively impact productivity and work/life balance.

Whilst the advantages of exercise are well known, people often overlook the benefits of exercising outside. The physical and mental advantages of outdoor exercise can make a significant difference to productivity and work/life balance.

1. Engage the brain

The diversity of the outdoor environment engages the brain more than simply running on a treadmill. Exercising outside encourages presence in the moment which can lead to feeling more alert and awake and therefore likely to find it easier to wake up in the morning.

2. Increase social interaction

Exercising in the neighbourhood park, or even on the streets can encourage social interaction outside work, which employees may find challenging to include in their day. As well as helping a person maintain good social relationships, this also enhances social skills which benefit relationships at work and dynamics between co-workers.

3. Spend time with family

Many people can find it difficult to fit in quality time with family. Exercising outside is an opportunity to include loved ones in a fun activity and switch off. As well as improving overall family health, this also encourages bonding and gives employees the chance to switch off from work.

4. Immune system boost

Outdoor activity is associated with feelings of revitalisation and relaxation which decreases tension, stress and anxiety. It’s also considered a natural anti-depressant as both exercise and sunshine increase serotonin and boost your mood.

An employee who exercises outside is thus more likely to be productive at work due to feeling less stressed and could be less likely to develop mental health issues.

5. Equal advantages to employers

Whilst there are obvious advantages to employees, employers will also see workplace benefits when more people exercise outside. A well-motivated and satisfied workforce often demonstrates increased levels of productivity which is beneficial for an organisation. Employees who regularly exercise outside are likely to be less stressed which in turn can reduce absenteeism and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Changing a routine can be challenging initially, but over time the significant positive changes in wellbeing that outdoor exercise can provide will become apparent.

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