Rutherford Cross’ Jonathan Donnelly looks at the benefits of exercise on performance at work as he prepares to run the Edinburgh Marathon for Alzheimer Scotland.
On Sunday I completed the Alloa Half Marathon in glorious sunshine and the backdrop of the scenic Ochill hills. Over the last month or so, I have enjoyed going out running much more than I thought I would and its not just the physical health benefits that make it worthwhile, I’m also finding it has a positive impact on my approach to work.
Boosting Brain Performance
Having ditched the morning train and opted to get my trainers on for a jog into work on a few occasions recently, I can certainly say I have felt more energised for the day ahead. Upon reading up on this I realised there are a multitude of studies showing that exercise increases brain performance, boosting motor and promoting verbal skills.
Looking into this further I found that there are significantly more benefits other than kick-starting your brain power. Putting in place weekly or monthly exercise goals may be helpful in developing a more goal-oriented focus at work. Research also suggests that getting some fresh air helps clear the mind allowing for better decision-making and new ideas. Regular exercise can make it easier to focus and dedicate all your thoughts to the tough task that needs attention.
Research also claims exercise has a similar effect on us as mindfulness meditation. In the process of running, we can feel the present moment, escape our work and family stresses, and calm the mind. Research suggests that running and other exercise can reduce the impact of stress on the body, and getting away from these pressures for a while can help us readdress them with a fresher, more positive outlook.
With all this in mind I’m hopeful that over the coming months my mental health and outlook on work is in a really positive place, and in the process I should be getting fitter in order to complete my first marathon in May, raising as much money as possible for Alzheimer Scotland. I’ve got a lot of training to do, but hopefully the process will be an enjoyable one, rather than a slog.
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