Health and fitness blogs are popping up all over the internet to encourage you to get more active. It’s easy to make excuses about exercise not being your thing – trust me, I’ve used them all before. I’ve recently discovered that I was missing out on some serious benefits that aren’t just physical. Making the effort to find a workout routine that is best for you can not only make your body and mind stronger but is also good practice in productivity.

Here are 3 essential productivity principles that can be enhanced by working out.

The Importance of Vision

We all know someone – or have been that person- who has said, “I’m going to lose weight this year.” After a few weeks, they’re back to their non-physical routine and haven’t lost any weight.

Then there are those who say, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” The 10 pounds turn to 15, 15 turns to 25, and before you know it they’ve lost 50 pounds!

The difference between the two scenarios is the implementation of vision. Before taking on any project you have to understand the full picture of what it takes to be successful. You need to set goals and then get specific about how you can reach them. Attention to details can create a more motivated and positive mindset about a seemingly impossible task.

I wanted to start training for a 5k race with my friends. I only had so much time in a week to train and knew that would be my biggest obstacle in staying motivated. I set the goal to go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays to hit the treadmill for 45 minutes. I could run, jog, or walk, but I had to stay on the treadmill the whole time. Accomplishing the hardest task of starting motivated me to gradually increase my speed and eventually set higher expectations for my workout.

The benefits of this detail-oriented vision plan ended up spilling over into my daily productivity as well. I have an issue with getting up on time. Once I made a goal to not hit the snooze button on Mondays, I eventually broke the habit of oversleeping during the week. Not only did I become more punctual, but I had more time for writing and freelance projects.

It takes practice to build the confidence in the ripple effects of vision. Whether you want to shed 20 lbs or add 20 thousand followers on Twitter, it’s important to have a reasonable plan of action that challenges you to succeed.

The Value of Commitment

Instant gratification is the poison to any form of success. When we don’t see results right away it’s easy to think something is not worth our time. You don’t just show up to the gym and start seeing results. You have to put in quality effort and stay with it to receive the long term benefits so many miss out on.

Working out for a few weeks might help you with some short term goals, but it won’t help you make a lasting change. Staying dedicated for the long term is evidence to yourself that you can persevere.  Once you face your fears of combating one goal, your brain will start wondering what else is it capable of.

Through this practice of commitment we learn that we get out what we put in. How can we do our best in our careers and relationships if we can’t even commit to doing something good for ourselves first? Working hard for ourselves can spill over into us working hard for others as well.

The Satisfaction of a Job Well Done

The last and possibly most important benefit is the joy of finishing. So many people lack the success of productivity because of they don’t know how to finish.

You might not lose any weight or gain tons of muscle after every workout. However, your body naturally rewards your hard work by releasing endorphins for you to enjoy. The growing accomplishment in the process of staying dedicated and focused builds confidence from which everyone can benefit.

If you can work your way up to that eight-minute-mile, then why can’t you finally launch that business about which you’ve been dreaming? By taking a little time to slow down and care about yourself, how much better are you going to treat that special someone?

Yes, working out isn’t easy but neither is anything else about life. That’s what makes it the best practice for leading a more productive lifestyle. Just start by making a reasonable plan, sticking to it, and reaping the benefits that surpass the runner’s high.

Want to build muscle? Here's a related article: 10 Workout Hacks for Building Muscle

Featured photo credit: Latin american athlete running in Havana, Cuba. Horizontal via Shutterstock

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