By: Lyen Wong Owner, Peak Physique & Performance and personal trainer (ACE)
Recent research highlights the effect of moderate to vigorous exercise on brain structure and function. A brisk walk during a morning break, a workout at lunchtime or a training session after the office balances neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain — substances responsible for influencing brain activity related to mood, attention, learning, motivation, and arousal. This is why you’re likely to feel calmer, yet more alert and better able to focus after exercise. Exercise also helps the brain and body cope better with stress and that’s crucial for professional women who work in high-pressure environments.
Give your brain cells a boost
Another influence on the way the brain works is the co-called “brain-derived neurotrophic factor” (BDNF). This substance boosts brain cell growth and strengthens neuronal connections. It even protects brain cells against age-related changes that can lead to cell death and dementia. Stronger, healthier, better-connected brain cells equals increased learning capacity. Exercise floods the brain with BDNF, providing it with what it needs to absorb and remember information and to process and use it.
An edge for your professional performance
Nowadays, most women’s workplaces are largely sedentary, increasing the risk of inactivity-related injuries and illness. While excessive sitting has been shown to have health risks independent of exercise level, an active lifestyle obviously decreases sitting time and results in both physical and mental benefits. A recent nine-month study of 80 executives showed that exercisers experienced a 22% increase in fitness and a 70% improvement in ability to make complex decisions compared to sedentary peers.
In addition to increasing the ability to focus, think clearly, and learn more effectively, regular exercise improves mood, relieves anxiety and depression and enhances energy levels. When you feel great and believe in yourself, your mindset at work will be positive and upbeat and that’s crucial for optimal job performance and therefore your career advancement. When you are active you are at the same time taking care of your body and your brain, reducing health risks and increasing your capacity for learning, motivation, and sharp thinking.
The nature of work in today’s marketplace means dealing with multiple roles and heavy workloads and the ability to think on one’s feet (mostly while actually sitting down, though…). Athletes train for peak physical performance and research shows that there are plenty of good reasons for high-flying professionals in other fields to do the same.
PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCE
Phone: (305) 674-8435
PEAK PHYSIQUE & PERFORMANCE is a specialized personal-training-only studio with highly qualified and experienced personal trainers. It is owned and operated by figure competitor and fitness model Lyen Wong. We create individual road maps for health and fitness that deliver results and help our clients reach their goals!