From my junior year in high school until six months out of college, I worked in retail. I’ll never forget how I felt the first week on the job: my legs and back were sore from standing up so long, my glutes hurt from bending down and getting up again to restock the shelves, and I found myself constantly drinking water due to the humidity in the stock room. I felt exhausted and completely out of shape, and I was convinced I would never get used to doing my job.
Speed up to 2011 — I had just graduated from college and had landed my first “big girl” job. “Yeah, I get to sit down at this one,” I remember boasting to my retail co-workers. When the time came to set up my cubicle and bask in the luxuriousness of sitting down all day, however, I felt… lazy. I found myself itching to move around because I was so used to it. After a few months, I realized my body was less toned and I had even gained weight. I discovered what I had at my retail job, although painful at first, was actually really good for my body and well-being.
A few months ago, I decided to sign up for a membership at a gym about ten minutes away from work. My decision was based on two things: I wanted to stay healthy, and I also really wanted a way to move around on the days I was sitting down at my desk all day. After two months of going to the gym at least three times a week on my lunch breaks, I can confidently say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. So, without further ado,
Why Working Out is Great for Your Job
- It gets you out of the office. It’s important to step away from your work environment and give your senses something new to experience.
- It refreshes your mind. Yes, sweating on the treadmill isn’t exactly the most relaxing way to spend a lunch break, but it puts your brain back on track. Boosting your endorphins, moving your body and gulping down a lot of water afterwards (so many people forget to drink water during the day!) can give the jolt you need to come back to work and really be productive.
- It is great ‘me’ time. Answering your phone, responding to emails and staring at a computer screen all day is not about you — it’s about doing your job right. And while that’s important, doing something for yourself is, too. I find that on some machines, such as the stationary bikes, I can actually double my ‘me’ time by multi-tasking: I’ll place my Nook in front of me and read a few pages of the book I’m reading while on the machine.
- It saves you money. Before I joined the gym, I’d spend my lunch breaks going out to eat or trying on clothes that I didn’t really need. Yes, gym memberships aren’t cheap, but spending money on things you don’t need isn’t cheap either! Now that I spend my lunch break at the gym, I am forced to pack a lunch and only do my basic errands after work, and it’s really made an improvement on my finances. A lot of companies will reimburse or partially pay for gym memberships, too… make sure to ask your employer before you get a membership!
- It manages your stress and helps you stay healthy. It’s obvious but true: working out is a natural stress reducer and can help you live longer and stay healthier. Take an hour to remove yourself from the stress in your personal life or job: get on a machine, sweat out those toxins and focus on your breathing instead of the crazy chatter in your head. You’ll be amazed at how you feel when you return to your desk.