Exercise may feel like another suck on your time, but according to new research, a regular workout is actually a great way to improve your sense of balance.
If you’ve pledged to be more active this year, you probably have several reasons for your commitment to start exercising. Maybe your expanding waistline has you worried, or maybe your doctor gave you a stern talking to last checkup. Maybe it's the stress-busting abilities of a good workout that you’re seeking. But one reason you’re probably not thinking of is better work-life balance.
Hitting the gym is time consuming and can be hard to fit into the busy day of a business owner. There are so many other things you could be doing with those hours, so the last thing most of expect from regular exercise is to make juggling it all easier.
First, and least surprisingly, exercise reduces stress, and lower stress makes the time spent in either realm more productive and enjoyable... A reduction in stress is tantamount to an expansion of time.
Second, we found exercise helping work-home integration via increased self-efficacy. The term refers to the sense that one is capable of taking things on and getting them done - and although self-efficacy is a matter of self-perception, it has real impact on reality. According to psychologist Albert Bandura, people with high self-efficacy are less likely to avoid difficult tasks or situations, and more likely to see them as challenges to be mastered. Our research suggests that people who exercise regularly enjoy greater self-efficacy, and it carries over into their work and home roles.
The fact that working out gives you more confidence to tackle tough tasks is another great reason to keep that gym habit going. But no amount of research, no matter how compelling, changes the fact that fitting in a regular workout is still a challenge for many busy professionals. Clayton may give you a reason to work out, but he’s not offering you a way to make it work.
JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist. @EntryLevelRebel