We get it. Trying to be healthy, happy, and productive at the same time seems too much. However, there’s no need to stress out. Reaching peak performance in all areas of life isn’t as tricky as you think.
All it takes is to change up one aspect, such as your fitness routine. A short walk at the park, or a few minutes of following a workout video, can give unexpected results. Once you step up your fitness game, it starts a domino effect. Other aspects, such as your well-being, will level up as well.
It’s not only about reducing your waistline. It’s also about becoming the best version of yourself. Here’s a detailed breakdown of how physical fitness improves the quality of your life.
HOW PHYSICAL FITNESS LINKS TO MENTAL HEALTH
Your mental state is as vital as your physical health. After all, how will you function if your mind isn’t at the right place? Here’s how exercise can simultaneously help with your body and mind.
MASSIVE BOOST FOR YOUR MENTAL FITNESS
When people say “fitness” or even “peak performance”, the first image popping up is pin-thin models working out. While it looks admirable (for some), fitness is more than achieving the “perfect” shape or following unrealistic body goals.
The moment you choose to be active, you’re also choosing to stabilize your mental health. It’s a complete life-changer. The more fit and healthy you are, the more you can heal mentally.
For instance, a South Korean study observed women with depression and their response to exercise. As it turns out, working out does work. Specific types of exercise, such as flexibility routines, reduced the symptoms of depression. It also prevented high-stress levels and suicidal ideation.
Another great example is the effect of exercise on ADHD.
In a 2020 study, people with ADHD found it easier to focus post-workout. They could also manage their symptoms better. How is this possible? Because exercise causes the brain to release more dopamine and serotonin.
These “happy hormones” are responsible for uplifting moods and improving attention span. As you work out, your brain sends positive signals throughout your system. If you want the same effects, a solid exercise program for ADHD patients is 30 minutes a day, at least 4 times a week.
Lastly, we all know that many people use exercise as their physical therapy. However, it can also help in someone’s mental recovery.
Therapists often recommend exercise for those experiencing PTSD and other types of trauma. It’s part of their rehabilitation process. With moderate to high-intensity workouts, they’ll gradually feel more in control of their mind and body.
PEAK PERFORMANCE AT WORK
Speaking of mental health, many people have already hit the pandemic wall. And it’s a natural reaction considering how 2020 went. You can’t help but feel tired, demotivated, and a little cabin fever-ish.
In times like this, how do you break out of the slump? How do you become productive again? According to science, you should start by working out.
By establishing an exercise routine, you’ll gain the following benefits.
Your energy levels will increase.
You get less tired by inconsequential things.
You feel more ready for work.
When you exercise, you’re getting into an active mindset. It allows you to release tension and focus on yourself. Eventually, it’ll power you up for a long day at work. Research shows that physical exercise combined with a balanced diet is excellent for office workers.
Being active takes your mental acuity to the next level. As you work out, your memory skills will be sharp, and you can learn new things at a quick pace. Fit employees are also more likely to show up at work everyday.
With these health benefits, it’s no wonder why many people exercise before and during their work hours. It’s not only a weekend hobby. It’s a vital part of work performance. If you’re enduring a mental block, try activating your creative juices through working out.
HOW PHYSICAL FITNESS AFFECTS EMOTIONAL HEALTH
Another aspect you should prioritize to achieve peak performance is your emotional health. It affects almost everything you do in life. As you stretch and move your limbs, here’s how exercise can be your tool for managing emotions.
MOOD CONTROL FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE
Emotions play an integral part in daily life. When you go about your day, your actions and reactions will depend on how you’re feeling. If you can’t control your emotions, you’re bound to display unexpected behavior. Examples are extreme mood swings, rapid outbursts of anger, and disruptive actions.
A great way to manage your emotions is through physical exercise. Whether you’re going for a light or intense routine, working out is a tried-and-tested stress reliever. As an example, medical interventions based on physical activity were proven to improve the mood states of troubled teenagers.
A 2020 analysis also suggested that participating in team sports, such as volleyball, reduces aggression. Even if it’s competitive, physical signs of hostility are less likely to occur. Instead, athletes usually practice self-control, empathy, and friendly competition.
As you move forward in your workout routine, you’ll notice the difference in your emotional responses. You’ll feel more calm and rational. In fact, five minutes into a workout and you’re guaranteed to feel less anxious for the day.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK IN LIFE
Have you ever exercised in the morning? How did it affect your entire day? For the most part, being active can boost your mood at the start of the day.
After a round of exercise, your brain produces more endorphins. These “happy chemicals” lead to an energized state of mind. According to research, aerobic routines and balance training are effective in increasing happiness.
The timing is also an essential factor. If you’re always on-the-go, then you can choose to work out anytime. There’s no pressure. However, take note that the ideal time for working out is in the morning.
Exercising in the morning is a great pick-me-up when you’re feeling grumpy. It also lowers more of your blood pressure, compared to later sessions. Lastly, morning workouts provide the right amount of energy and help you sleep better at night. And getting quality sleep is necessary to achieve peak performance.
If you’re not a big fan of intense training at dawn, then you can opt for light exercises. For instance, you can go walking instead. A light stroll around the park or neighborhood can do you a world of good. In an observational study, people who walked daily have a better outlook on life, rather than those who don’t.
HOW PHYSICAL FITNESS HELPS YOUR SOCIAL LIFE
Many people dismiss the importance of socializing, but it contributes a lot. When you have a close support system, you feel more happy and stable. The following segment shall delve more into how exercise improves your social health.
Are you looking for a confidence booster? Try working up a sweat every once in a while, and see how it makes you feel afterward.
As you take control of your fitness and health, you become more sure of yourself. Motivation rises as you see the results of working out in your life. Ultimately, your self-esteem and body image will improve, and you’re well on your way to achieving peak performance .
Physical exercise develops your confidence. Aside from enhancing the way you move and think, it builds up your character. When you’re physically active, you become more adaptable, self-sufficient and can take the lead when necessary.
There’s a clear correlation between fitness and leadership skills. In particular, a comparison study suggested that senior-level executives who work out regularly have positive reputations. They usually receive high praises in the office, compared to those with an unhealthy lifestyle.
Working out is also a chance to expand your social network. Whether offline or online, there are fitness programs and communities you can join. You’ll meet other like-minded people and get inspired to stick to a fitness regimen together.
TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
Have you ever heard of the Kohler Effect? It happens when no one wants to be the weak link in a group. When you get tired, someone else will inspire you to continue. The result? Everyone’s ready and pumped up for the workouts.
There’s indeed strength in numbers. When you train with a partner or a group, it becomes a feedback loop of motivation. As you try your best, other people are doing the same. It also keeps you accountable for your fitness goals.
Exercise can level up your social health and make you happier for the future. To attain these social benefits, check out the local fitness programs in your community. You can also join online discussion groups. It’s simple, free, and accessible.