Why Your ‘Work / Life’ Balance Goals Need to Include Exercise
In today’s busy world, keeping a healthy balance between your work life and your personal life can be immensely difficult. According to the American Institute of Stress in 2020, 77% of people across the country experienced stress that impacted their physical health. With everything going on in the world on top of the stressors of everyday work and home life, keeping a healthy balance in your life is harder than ever.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help combat this stress and find a balance between everything going on in your life. One method that has helped a massive amount of people maintain a healthy balance is to exercise regularly.
It might seem obvious, but exercise has the ability to benefit you in a multitude of ways, from increased health to helping organize your mind. Don’t sleep on these benefits’ fam!
Why Is It Important to Have a Work-Life Balance?
It is much too often that we let our work life and the stressors that come along with it seep into our personal life and affect our moods. Keeping a healthy balance between your work life and personal life can be extremely difficult, but it can benefit you in more ways than you might think.
Both your physical and mental health are affected when your life begins to turn into one cumulative ball of stress. That’s why keeping a balance between the different parts of your life, such as keeping your work life separate from your home life, can help you to de-stress. For example, by continuously thinking about stressors from your work, you might find yourself in a bad mood and unable to focus on the things that you actually enjoy back at home. Making goals and priorities to find a healthy balance between all of the different parts of your life is essential to a happy, healthy lifestyle for anyone.
How Does Exercise Improve Work-Life Balance?
If you find yourself unable to separate your work and home life, exercise may be a great way for you to find that happy medium. Exercise is a common method of de-stressing for many people across the world and it is especially helpful for parents and people who find themselves stressed and scatter-brained from everything going on in their life.
There are actually a multitude of ways that exercise can help you find an equilibrium between the varying areas of your life.
Here are just a few of the ways you find a better work-life balance through exercise:
1. Stress Relief
Work can be extremely stressful, no matter what your job is. That’s why so many people nowadays are now turning to exercise to help clear their minds and give themselves some time away from their job. Exercise produces endorphins which are commonly referred to as the “feel-good” chemical because of their ability to help increase mood and lower stress and anxiety.
Finding a way to exercise regularly has been proven to help those who deal with high stress and is an amazing way to help find balance in your life.
2. Increased Overall Physical and Mental Health
Of course, one of the many great benefits of exercise is increased physical health. Exercising regularly can help in a variety of ways from building endurance to maintaining a healthier weight that will branch into other areas of your life to a healthier body overall. But many people don’t realize that exercise can be an incredibly helpful tool for those who deal with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety.
Because exercise releases endorphins in your body, doing it regularly can help to boost your mood too. On top of that, it gives you time to yourself where you can prioritize what is important or even better, clear your head.
3. Increases Self-Efficiency, Productivity, and Self-Confidence
Another benefit of making exercise a must-do in your life instead of a should-do is its ability to help boost your self-efficiency and self-confidence. Not only does exercising regularly show higher rates of productivity in people both at work and home, but it also has been proven to help boost people’s confidence. With a healthier body, increased productivity, and a better mood, many people begin to feel much better overall when they begin to implement exercise in their weekly routines.
4. Gives You a Time and Place to Clear Your Head
Exercise can help you find a balance between your work life and home life by giving you time to yourself. Oftentimes, people find themselves going home and not being able to shake off the day they had because they can’t separate their work life from their personal life. By adding exercise to your routine, you can give yourself a second to catch your breath and clear your head. It’s hard to stop thinking about stressors if you don’t give yourself any time away from them.
Whether you go for a run or start practicing Tai Chi, you owe it to yourself to take a step away from your work.
5. Helps Manage Time and Schedules More Precisely
Though it may seem a bit counter-intuitive to be putting more things on your plate when you’re stressed, adding regular exercise on top of your work schedule has been found to help increase time management skills for many people. By making exercise something you want to do instead of something you have to do, you will figure out ways to be able to get your exercise in, helping you to stay on top of time management.
The best part is that these time management skills that you’re improving can help you in your work life too.
What Is the Best Way to Balance Goals for Work and Life?
Many people struggle to balance their goals between work and life and often fall short or disappoint themselves in the end. Trust me, I know. This is another reason that maintaining a healthy balance between these two parts of your life is so crucial.
A couple of ways that you can begin to create balance are by:
1. Setting Priorities and Goals
Setting priorities is a major step to finding balance in your work and life. Take a moment to think about your priorities at work and your priorities for your life at home. It’s easy to get caught up in what you need to get done for work and forget about what is important in your personal life. Acknowledge all of these priorities separately and then begin to find balance with them.
If you separate your work goals and your personal priorities and goals, you will be able to achieve them separately by giving each of them the time they require, when you have the time to do so. It’s impossible to do everything at once. Also, when you add exercise into your routine, it gives you the perfect opportunity to think about these goals and priorities.
2. Creating Boundaries
Boundaries are a crucial part of everyone’s life. Without them, our lives can get chaotic fast. Boundaries can help you separate aspects of your life so that you can focus on your priorities at the time. Many people that have not set a clear boundary between their home and work lives find that they struggle to prioritize one or the other. It’s because all of the stress from their work blends into their stress from home and they aren’t able to focus on what they need to.
Boundaries help you focus on priorities and maintain your individual goals and relationships.
3. Managing and Keeping Track of Time
Keeping track of time is another great way to help you find that happy medium between your work and personal life, especially when an exercise routine is in the mix. Managing your time by having a precise schedule also helps when setting boundaries, too. When trying to balance work, personal life, and exercise, you learn to manage your time much better, allowing you to oftentimes increase productivity and set clear boundaries between the different areas in your life.
By scheduling your workout at a specific time, going to work for a scheduled amount of time, and then going home at a certain time, you can create a routine schedule that helps you find balance.
4. Taking Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is crucial to be able to handle everything that’s on your plate. Between work responsibilities and home life duties, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. Exercise is a great way to combine all of these different methods of finding balance into one. Exercise is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself while also working towards a balance between work and personal life.
If you’re not taking care of yourself, there is no way that you will be able to function to the best of your ability.
5. Nurturing Personal Relationships
Many people that don’t have clear boundaries between their work and personal lives let their work overflow into their lives at home. Because of this, they unconsciously may neglect their responsibilities or even loved ones at home because work has to be such a constant priority nowadays.
Nurturing your personal relationships helps you focus on aspects of your personal life you may forget to enjoy as much, such as something as simple as just seeing your family and friends for a while.
Why Is It Important to Balance Exercise and Other Commitments?
Everything in moderation is key. Whether you just started exercising or you have been going to the gym for years, finding a balance between exercise and other commitments is essential. Exercising too much can be just as bad as exercising too little. For some people, canceling going to the gym or their yoga class so they can go out with friends might be a little too easy. For others, they might not allow themselves to take a day off. As it’s been emphasized throughout the article, a healthy balance in the different areas of your life is essential.
How Can I Get Started?
There is a multitude of ways that you can begin to slowly incorporate exercise into your life. And remember, moderation is key. When you first begin exercising, whether you’re hiking or lifting weights, it’s important to remember that you won’t be able to jump in 100% right away. It takes time to build endurance and keep up stamina, so don’t push yourself too hard.
Here are some ways you can add exercise into your routine:
1. Exercise Before or After Work
Many people that have added a new exercise routine to their schedule found success by adding it as a part of their daily schedule, either before or after work. I know I have tried both and for me personally adding the workout to my morning routine is the only thing that works. After a long day at the office, the last thing I want to do is put on gym clothes. However, if I simply wake up and hour earlier and add the workout to my morning agenda, I find it’s easier to stay motivated.
2. Take a Daily Walk
Walks are an underappreciated form of exercise that is perfect for busy families or people who might have had a long day at work and not want to go to the gym (me). Whether it’s a walk around the block or you end up going on for a couple of extra miles, walks are an amazing way to clear your head, think about your priorities and goals, and get some exercise in, too!
3. Sign Up for a Class
Nowadays, there are many creative new ways to exercise. There are dozens upon dozens of different exercise classes offered both online and in-person that you can sign up for. Cycling, yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi — all of these different methods of exercise are available to you. The best part about taking a class is that you can find something that you like to do and sign up for a class that actually fits your schedule.
Exercise classes are also a great way to try out different ways to get your body moving that you might end up liking and they offer beginner’s classes so that you can slowly ease into whatever the course might be.
4. Purchase An App or Game
This year I invested into Beachbody On Demand so that I could hop on when I feel like it and try a new workout or class. They have over 1,500 workouts to choose from, so you’ll never get bored. Plus, these workouts are NO joke! Have you ever tried P90X by Tony Horton or INSANITY by Shaun T? If you stick with their programs, you’ll get into shape guaranteed.
I also invested into Just Dance for the Playstation. Sometimes a workout sounds like a chore, but dancing while playing a game is fun! Bonus: the kids like it too!
Finding a Balance Between Your Work and Personal Life
Ultimately, exercise is an amazing way to help you create a healthy balance between the different areas of your life. It’s often too easy to let stress take over, which is a losing formula for sure.
With its benefits for both your physical and mental health on top of helping you in your work life, exercise is one of the best natural stress relievers and methods of helping you find the balance between your work and personal life.
Are you convinced? What tips and tricks will you start trying today to get up and move more?