4 Ways Exercise Can Boost Your Career


Published: June 14, 2016

Health + Wellness

When you’re trying to lose weight or pursue another health goal that involves exercise, finding time to actually show up for your workouts can be a challenge. If you’ve got a career (or business) that you’re working to build, this can be a double whammy because it’s common that you put your work time ahead of your exercise time. But I have four reasons why you might want to reconsider.

Yes, skipping your workouts will give you more time to make that deadline that’s nipping at your heels but an exercise habit can actually do more to help you build a career that you love and here are the four reasons why.

Provides Active Renewal

Your body needs time to relax and going 100% without getting downtime will do more harm than good in the long run. It’s counterintuitive that exercise will help you relax and renew, but there’s more to exercise than just HIIT. A leisurely walk or a gentle yoga class still count as exercise and both of these types of workout can help you slow down to balance out the time you spend in beast mode at work. And if you’re someone who needs to always be active, a quick burst of HIIT might just be what you need to shake loose the exhaustion that can be a part of building anything, let alone a brilliant career.


Gives Your Brain Time to Work on “Work Problems”

Part of being a career woman is dealing with new problems everyday and having to come up with creative solutions. Taking a break from your work to exercise can actually help you shut off your brain in ways that will help you come up with more creative solutions. An exploratory research study published in the Creativity Research Journal in 2005 found that flexing your actual muscles before flexing your creative muscles has immediate and enduring effects on creativity. If you job depends on you showing up and solving problems each day, having a sweat session before you start your day might be one productive way to impact your abilities.

Provides Unique Networking Opportunities

It is increasingly common to find exercise creeping into the workplace these days. From gyms at the office to impromptu running groups within your larger workplace teams, exercise has become another way to network with colleagues. If your high-powered career involves interacting with more powerful colleagues that have fitness interests, you would be doing yourself a favor if you deepened your own fitness interests. Why? Because it gives another layer of complexity to your personality and gives you more common ground with people who can influence the course of your career. This means that you’re not just the woman who shows up and kills it at work, but you make time to workout despite all the plates you have spinning in the air. This makes you sound like a woman that anyone would want to hire. And that leads me to my final point on how exercise can help you build your career.


Helps You Build an Image around Being Disciplined

Perception is almost everything. You still have to be great at your job, but the power-brokers in your office need to perceive you as a woman who is great at her job. The importance of optics, or how things look, is one of those things we would prefer didn’t matter, but have to live with. Exercise is one way to move the optics needle in your favor. Nothing says discipline than showing up to your workouts everyday. If you workout at home, your colleagues might not see you at the gym, but they’ll hear about it at the water cooler conversation that you can join because you can talk about your push-up rep range or how many pounds or kilos you can lift.

P.S. They don’t need to know that doing tricep extensions with 21 pounds (which is hard) is actually you doing tricep extensions with your 21-pound baby. 21 pounds is 21 pounds, right? But I digress. What I’m trying to say is your discipline around your workouts can serve as another layer in your favor because the perception will extend to your discipline around life in general.

So before you say you’re too busy building your career to workout, remember building your career and taking care of yourself are not mutually exclusive constructs. I’ve just given you four reasons how it can actually make a difference. So show up and work it in the gym and then work it at the office.

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About Ejiro Ogenyi

EJ (Ejiroghene) is a Lifestyle Coach and owner of the Team by EJ Ogenyi LLC. She helps busy women lose weight without taking their eyes off their other priorities - their families, their careers, their wallets, and their lives. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach and she enjoys bringing her skills and her experience losing weight herself to the awesome task of helping her clients create healthy lives and bodies that they absolutely love. She is also a wife and mama to a beautiful little boy.

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