Exercise and Sleep Leads to Productivity

             Did you know nearly 80% of American adults do not exercise on a regular basis. On the other hand, the National Institute of Health recommends that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, but according to the CDC, only 30% of adults averaged 6 or more hours of sleep per day. When you’re going to work groggy, it doesn’t benefit you or your work. When we don’t implement proper exercise, it can lead to obesity, cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes, according to the CDC.

But not only does exercise and sleep deprivation lead to harmful health risks, but it can steal your productivity and motivation away from you. Starting with the benefits of exercise and how it can help replenish your stolen motivation, we’ll follow with getting the proper amount of sleep and how it helps with creativity and innovation.

 Exercise: Sharpen Your Focus and Mind

             We all know that exercise is beneficial for us, but did you know that people who generally exercise more are happier, smarter, and more energetic? Robert Pozen from the Huffington Post, wrote, a habit of regular exercise will help keep you mentally sharper throughout your entire life. As you age, your body generates fewer and fewer brain cells (a process called neurogenesis). However, early research in mice suggests that exercise can help prevent this slowdown. In other words, by the time they reach their 50s, 60s, and 70s, people who exercise might have more brain cells than their more sedentary peers — giving them a major advantage in the workplace.

When you start exercising, you will have more energy throughout the day because of cells that are called Mitochondria, which are referred to as the power plant. “Mitochondria produce the chemical that your body uses as energy, known as ATP. Physical exercise stimulates the development of new mitochondria within your cells, meaning that your body will be able to produce more ATP over time. That gives you more energy to exert yourself physically, but it also means more energy for your brain, boosting your mental output.” (Pozen) Studies have proven that you don’t even need a sweat-grueling workout, just enough to get your heart going (see Pozen’s article).

Not only does exercising benefit of creating more mitochondria and ATP, but it helps sharpen focus, improves memory, and enhances moods, according to Forbes writer, Jennifer Cohen. After exercising, your focus will be sharpen for two or three hours afterwards. Exercising before a presentation can be most beneficial!

In Cohen’s research, she found that “exercise releases endorphins, also known as nature’s mood elevator, which has been shown to improve memory.”  So if you feel a bad mood coming on, take a break and do some stretches to release those endorphins to help you get into a better frame of mind.

Cohen discovered that when you take a few minutes out of your day to exercise, you will feel more accomplished, so therefore, more productive (as well as kinder because you are in a better mood). So give exercising a try and see if it doesn’t boost your memory, sharpen your focus, and improve your productivity because you start feeling good about yourself!

 Sleep: Creating Productivity and Innovation

             Research has shown how sleep can cause lack of productivity, focus, innovation, and low job satisfaction. Whenever you do not get enough sleep, this affects the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is where all your creativity, innovation, and self-control are located. So if your job is relying on you and your out-of-the-box ideas, then having a good night sleep is a priority for you.

Huffington Post held a survey asking what the main stressors were and two-thirds responded that it was lack of sleep. When you are stressed, you do not sleep well because your mind is focused on that project that is due in two days or about a meeting you’re having the next day. When 8 out of 10 Americans stress about their jobs and it’s because we are not getting enough sleep.

What are you supposed to do about it? Get on a sleep rhythm where you go to bed at the same time every night (no matter what!) and wake up at the same time every morning. This will help your body to adjust to a regular routine and help you stay on that routine. Also taking naps up to 30 minutes can be beneficial as it has been shown to revive the creativity inside of you.

 Happy Exercising and Sleeping!

             It’s time to put yourself on an exercise program (can be 15-30 minutes three times a week) that will enhance memory, create a happier mood, and more productivity! Add that with a good night sleep, and you’ll have more innovation and less stress! What kind of powers would you be able to unleash when you combine these two together?! There’s only one way to find out and that begins with you. So go out and see what they are and bring them back to us at www.theproductivityexperts.com or email your super human powers to Cathy Sexton at Cathy@theproductivityexperts.com