It seems as if you can’t turn on the TV, surf the internet or pick up the newspaper these days without seeing an article or story about the benefits of exercise and diet to a healthier and more productive you. It seems that Americans are becoming an obese society, costing us huge sums of money in healthcare and lost productivity. And worse, for many of us, that also means ending our lives sooner than we should have.
It seems we all work longer hours and are caught like a hamster on a revolving wheel just trying to keep up with the demands of the workplace. We complete a task and move quickly to the next item on our to do list. All the while the inbox keeps filling up.
Well, I’ve “discovered”, at least for me, a great way to
- Tackle the stress
- Get more done
- Feel physically stronger
- Be mentally sharper
- Gain more satisfaction from my day
For the past 26 months, I have been completing a daily exercise routine, mostly on the treadmill. I began by managing a vigorous walk. I have now worked up to jogging on the treadmill for about 50 minutes each day. I supplement the treadmill with weight lifting every other day. My own unscientific results seem to confirm the literature available.
On WebMD they state that sedentary people completing a regular exercise program, reported a decrease in fatigue. Other literature shows “that a 20 minute workout can boost your mood for hours afterward.” Liz Wolgemuth US News
My own experience indicates:
- Reduced stress levels. As I exercise, the stress seems to melt away. Plus I get to think through things and mentally organize a response.
- Increased energy. I have more energy throughout the day, both at work and around the house.
- Better sleep. No more am I tossing and turning trying to get to sleep. (Note that the experts caution against exercise within two hours of bed time as that can have a negative impact on sleep.)
- Sharper mental focus. I am concentrating more clearly – again, increased energy and decreased stress keeps you from panicking.
- Better health – I feel great, my blood pressure is down, my weight is down and my family physician is pleased with me J
- Increased confidence – I feel better about myself and that translates into improved client and internal interactions.
I’m encouraged how many of my fellow associates at GCS have heard this message. During my visits to contact centers, I often see folks walking the parking lot during their lunch breaks... We have contests in our centers for the “Biggest Loser” and every week in our internal GCS newsletters there are articles about the things our employees are doing to increase their health. There are also some great tips and suggestions.
I’ve set some personal goals for this year. They help me stay focused and to not skip sessions on those days when I’m feeling more like hitting the couch instead of the gym. (Oh yeah, you will still occasionally have those days.)
- 1st Goal – Lose another 30 pounds
- 2nd Goal – Run a Half-marathon
Lastly, if you can, exercise with a partner. Celebrate your successes together and encourage each other when you reach obstacles.
The usual disclaimers apply. If you have led a sedentary lifestyle and haven’t exercised much, it would be wise to see your family physician and develop a plan with him or her first. Start slowly, but I encourage you to start. You and your family will see the benefits very quickly.
- Stress and Weightloss (prodigefittips.wordpress.com)
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Treadmill Workout (everydayhealth.com)
- The Link Between Exercise and Success
- Exercise Fights Fatigue, Boosts Energy (webmd)