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How to Increase Your Productivity with Exercise

If you feel like a lump on a log most days and need a few extra shots of espresso in your caramel macchiato each morning just to get your eyes to open all the way, you're probably not the most productive cog in the wheel. You know what you need? You need some exercise, which increases your productivity in a number of major ways.


It Increases Alertness

Exercise makes your heart beat faster, and when your heart beats faster, more blood is pumped through your major organs, including your brain. And when more blood moves through your brain, it works better. It's more focused and alert, it's sharper and more aware. And that comes in really handy at places where you need to be productive, like, say, work. Or home, even.


It Increases Energy

Sure, you might be a little pooped after a good workout, but you won't feel like a slug trying to wade through syrup — that feeling is reserved for those who don't exercise at all. Ultimately, exercise gives you way more energy. That's because when your body moves, your blood gets pumping, and your muscles start working, it needs fuel to power all that movement. That power comes from your mitochondria, which are teeny tiny organs that live in your cells and produce the body's energy supply. The more you exercise, the more mitochondria the body produces, and the more mitochondria you have, the more energy you'll have in general. And the more energy you have, the more productive you'll be.


It Makes You Healthier

Poor physical and mental health take a massive toll on your productivity. When you're in bad overall health, you can't really do anything well, because you're so consumed with not feeling well. Your immunity is low, so every virus on this side of the Mississippi knows you're an easy target. You get behind at work due to taking so many sick days, or you just sit there skulking around on Web MD's symptom checker and watching the clock so you'll know the second you can just go home and lie down. Your health really is all you have, and exercise improves both physical and mental health on multiple levels. Maintain it, and you'll be too busy productively beating life into submission to notice that you've got the sniffles.


Just 30 Minutes a Day Will Do the Trick

Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week — a brisk walk, a few laps in the pool, a long bike ride — will improve your level of productivity, and it'll provide a host of other benefits as well, including a longer, healthier life and better skin and sleep. It's like a magic pill!


If thirty straight minutes of movement without a nap or a snack sounds like an eternity, no problem: You can break it up into three ten-minute chunks and get the same benefits, according to the Centers for Disease Control. So if your productivity is so low from lack of exercise that you can't maintain the 30 straight minutes of movement, you can slog around on the treadmill or skulk through the neighborhood for a mere sixth of an hour. Do this a paltry three times a day, and before you know it, you'll be juggling fireballs with one hand and buttering toast with the other while turning tight circles on your unicycle.