We know we should be exercising and eating right, but it can be hard to fit fitness into our schedules — especially after a long day at work. But staying fit does more than just helping you look and feel good. It can also make you more productive at home and in the office. Learn why focusing on exercise, diet, and sleep is important and how fitness can affect your productivity:

1.            Exercise helps your brain grow

Exercise actually uses more brain cells than many other activities. Though you might not realize it, you’re giving your brain a workout along with your body when you exercise. Your brain is like a muscle. The more you use it, the more it grows. But if you don’t use it enough, it will deteriorate. So keep hitting the gym or jogging around the block.

2.            Your diet affects your ability to think clearly

In case you didn’t know it, your brain needs blood glucose and protein from foods. Skipping lunch might just make your work take longer to complete and seem more challenging. So, if you’re too busy for a break, try keeping a stash of low-sugar protein bars on your desk to eat throughout the day, or order in healthy meals.

3.            Staying fit helps you stay positive

The more you work on staying fit for the journey of your career this year, the more likely you are to have a positive outlook on your job, home, or any other aspect of your life. That can give you more mental energy. Positivity can help you become more productive because it allows you to respond easily to situations as they arise.

4.            Fitness combats mental sluggishness

Exercise can help you think better. In addition to waking you up and helping you become more alert, it can actually increase the amount of space you have in your brain to think about things. Exercise improves brain flexibility, so the next time you’re exercising, remember that it might help you pay attention better during those long meetings or think on your feet during a presentation.

5. You can get more work done if you’re fit

Several studies have found that employees who are fit — including many who worked for companies that offered employee health or fitness programs — tend to be more productive. They can often get more work done, and their work requires less of an effort, according to a paper prepared for a 2007 World Health Organization conference.

 

Since keeping fit will help you get more done at work and spend less time away from the office for health-related reasons, you’ll be able to better enjoy your free time. Instead of using days off to recover from illnesses or injuries, you can use them more productively: to relax, take a vacation, or spend time with friends or family.