Exercise isn’t just a great way to get fitter and healthier
bodies—it turns out a mere 20 minutes of activity a day can also give our
minds the boost we need to get more done.
Recent research has shown that the brain reacts in several
beneficial ways to exercise. For example, it triggers the release of a protein
called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, which helps improve our learning and
memory. Additionally, exercise triggers the release of endorphins, which
significantly reduce feelings of stress.
Just as importantly, the feelings of self-efficacy that we
get when we exercise make us less likely to avoid difficult tasks or situations
and more likely to see them as challenges to be mastered.
To be more productive, we can exercise any time during the
day with whatever activity we like best. In fact, to see mental benefits,
exercise doesn't have to be extremely rigorous; just a little bit of movement
every day for about 20 minutes at a time helps.
For this week's habit challenge, several of us at Fast
Company are putting this idea to the test by working out for 20 minutes each
day. Join us for a live chat at 11 a.m. EST on Friday, November 14 to find out
if our flirtations with yoga, walking, or some good old-fashioned calisthenics
helped us get more done.
Did you try working out for a more productive week? Tell us
about your experience in the "make a comment" box below or join in
the discussion on Friday.