We often think of happiness as a state of mind, but our physical bodies have a large impact on our well-being that goes beyond our physical health. Our bodies can either help or hinder our performance and well-being, on the job or at home, in more ways than are readily obvious.
Our well-being is tied to our bodies in more ways than one. Our physical fitness can affect our moods, our energy levels, and our mental performance. Consider the following:
- Research has shown that just 15 minutes of exercise a day can help increase energy levels. According to the American Council on Exercise, if a sedentary individual begins an exercise program it will enhance the blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients to muscle tissue improving their ability to produce more energy [the chemical adenosine triphosphate].
- Physical activity can help improve cognitive processes, such as planning and scheduling. This is due to our brain’s deployment of “miracle grow for the brain” [clinically referred to as BDNF, brain-derived neurotrophic factor], which has been shown to improve the function of neurons and encourage new neurons to grow.
- Exercise can help reduce stress. When we exercise, our brain activity causes a molecular by-product, and much like the breakdown and repair of our muscles when we lift weights, our brains have a subsequent repair mechanism that strengthens cells.
- Exercise can help prevent depression. According to Henriette van Praag, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, exercise is just as effective as medication at helping prevent depression.
What does this have to do with workplace culture? […]
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