The benefits of a healthy diet and participating in regular moderate to strenuous exercise on overall health and disease prevention is well understood, and is becoming more and more known amongst members of the general public. However, there is also another positive side benefit being attributed to it. Numerous studies have repeatedly shown that a good diet and regular exercise can have a positive impact on workplace productivity. So much so that many companies these days implement their own health and well-being policies to take advantage of this. But how exactly does it benefit your ability to perform at work?
Optimum Physical Health
Being in the best physical health can greatly improve your workplace performance through a number of ways. A healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals from plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular exercise can lead to a much stronger immune system, greatly increasing your body’s ability to fight off illnesses and diseases; which will go towards reducing the total cost of workplace sickness which currently costs the UK a shocking £14.2 billion. High quality multi vitamins can help considerably if you struggle to hit your five a day as many do, which can provide you with your daily allowance for most micro-nutrients. This leads to less sick days, less lost pay and interference with your workload.
Having increased strength and stamina can also help you to meet the physical demands of your job, especially if your job is physical by nature. Regular resistance and strength training will greatly strengthen your core muscles, the muscles responsible for maintaining good posture and stabilizing your body during manual labour. This will also lead to a reduction in the chances of injuries and strains, as your muscles, tendons and ligaments will become stronger. This will also improve the longevity of your body, strengthen and improving the function of your joints, especially when combined with supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin and fish oils, helping to keep you supple and fight off the symptoms of age related deterioration.
Improves Energy and Metabolism
Regular exercise leads to a greater expenditure of energy, and in order to meet these demands your body will increase your metabolism to make more energy freely available. Not only will this help to keep bodyweight levels within healthy ranges, but will also make you feel more energised and less fatigued ready to tackle the day ahead. Exercise enhances your body’s efficiency at using glucose and oxygen as energy both to the body, and more importantly, the brain to keep you concentrated and performing.
Obtaining adequate B vitamins in the diet is also an important factor in improving energy and metabolism. B vitamins play a major role in energy metabolism, helping your body to unlock the energy in your food to be utilized by your body and brain. Foods such as whole eggs, green leafy vegetables and fish are excellent sources of B vitamins. People with high protein diets or those with frequent feelings of fatigue should focus on increasing their intake of these vitamins. Vitamin B complex supplements make a great addition to any supplement stack to give you an extra energy boost.
Reduce Stress/ Improve Mental Health
Strenuous exercise is tough, there’s no doubt about it, but it is also a lot of fun. If your current exercise regime is not enjoyable, then there are two very good reasons why you should find a new way to do it that you enjoy. Firstly, if you enjoy it you are much more likely to put more effort in (more effort equals more results) and you will be much more likely to stick to it. Secondly, and this is the important point, exercise that you enjoy leads to a release of the feel good chemical serotonin in the brain. This can have a huge impact on reducing and preventing feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, so much so that exercise is often prescribed with diagnoses of depression in the UK. Serotonin is a neural transmitter that gives you the feelings of happiness and euphoria, and with modern day’s stressful lifestyle this can be a valuable tool in keeping your mental state healthy. This will also mean that you are more capable of dealing with stressful situations at work, reducing the damaging impact it could have on you, and as such maintaining and achieving higher levels of productivity.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet will enable you to reach your body and appearance goals, which will have a hugely positive effect on your self confidence in and out of the work place. This will further add to the powerful anti-stress effect of exercise, as a higher level of confidence equals a higher resilience to negativity, and therefore an increase in productivity.
Boosts Cognitive Function/Memory
Cognitive function and brain power can be greatly influenced by diet. Diets rich in healthy fatty acids, such as omega 3’s found in fish oils, whole eggs, and avocados have frequently been shown to have a strong positive impact on memory and brain function. Dietary fat has long had a bad reputation for being linked to adverse health issues, but this simply isn’t true. Thankfully, there are numerous recent long term studies showing just how essential dietary fats are for the normal functioning of human body cells, particularly in the brain. Brain tissues deprived of essential fats have been shown to suffer significant impairment of learning and memory capabilities. This means a diet low in fat could negatively impact your workplace performance. Supplements such as fish oils, omega 3’s, coconut oil or nut butters are a great way to easily get extra fats in your diet. Coconut oil mixed in with your morning coffee is a popular pre-workout or way to get your morning off to a flying start (and it tastes great!).
Ageing naturally brings about a decline in cognitive function, but regular exercise has been shown to be a powerful way to stem and even reverse this. Exercise helps to increase blood flow to the brain which enhances the delivery of important nutrients such as, proteins, amino acids and glucose. An increase in blood flow helps to keep the brain strong and fights off age related disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Stronger, healthier, better-connected, bigger brain cells equal increased learning capacity.
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