With the London Marathon just around the corner, many non-participants are probably racking their brains as to why anyone would voluntarily put themselves through the grueling 26.2 mile trek. The mere thought of training for 12 months is exhausting, and imagining the probable pains and strains resulting from the constant slamming of feet against the pavement makes most people wince. But, the reality is, that running a marathon can do wonders for both your physical and mental health, and it can positively affect your performance in the office.
The brain is a muscle and it is necessary to exercise it to keep it fit and healthy. The same goes for running a marathon. To prepare, it is necessary to train your body, set goals and discipline your mind and muscles to get conditioned for the race. These two things go hand in hand, because exercising your body also exercises your mind. Training for a marathon takes massive amounts of self-control and once this is mastered in one aspect of life, it can be transferred to other aspects, such as how you function in the office. Completing tasks at work requires self-control and discipline. People who run or do some sort of exercise on a regular basis are likely to have an easier time holding concentration and working efficiently.
Running or working out is a fool-proof way to produce a surplus of endorphins in the brain, which can result in a decrease in stress and an increase in positive demeanour. The energy you bring into the office plays a key role in your success, both socially and professionally, so training in the morning or even the night before work will give you a more positive attitude that can enhance your office experience. With positivity and extra endorphins comes a surge of energy which can help you stay focused and productive during the working day. Many people complain of ‘brain fog’ which can limit focus and cause a lack of brain activity, but exercise can reverse this by opening blood vessels and increasing oxygen to the brain. With a clear mind comes a clear day, free of confusion or unnecessary stress at work. The more you get used to integrating exercise into your daily routine or just practicing a healthy lifestyle, the better your cognitive functioning will be.
Offices are slowly warming up to the idea of standing desks, but as of now, most offices still use normal desks where employees are sitting for hours on end. Doing some sort of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are two very important factors for supporting a healthy heart and staying in shape. Physical health directly correlates with mental health and no one can access their highest mental capacity without keeping up their physical well-being. Exercising to create a positive mentality for the workday may be enough but increasing physical activity can also teach you how to become more familiar with how to deal with setbacks and how to push yourself to the next level.
Next time the London Marathon rolls around, maybe the non-participants, instead of shaking their heads and questioning why on earth anyone would want to run for that long, will rethink their perspective and consider trying it out. It doesn’t have to be a full marathon, even a half marathon or a few dates with the treadmill each week are guaranteed to help boost personal drive in the office and overall mental well-being.