Got a case of the Mondays? You’re not alone. Research shows that the average office worker doesn’t crack a smile until 11:16 a.m. But exercise could help you beat those Monday blues. One common benefit of physical exercise is that it releases endorphins, the hormones that make you feel happier. Nothing feels as great as a finished workout, right?
Dreading that mountain of paperwork gathering dust on your desk over the weekend? It’s not uncommon to feel apprehensive about heading in to work. But don’t go hiding back under the covers just yet — you may want to hop on the treadmill for a few miles instead. Studies show that aerobic exercise can lessen general anxiety. Plus, high-intensity exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of anxiety that is often a precursor to panic attacks.
It may take some willpower to lace up those sneakers, but exercise is actually a great way to harness more discipline for other areas of your life. Moving around for as little as 15 minutes has been shown to help people manage cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Why? Exercise releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps keep you in control of impulses and can quiet anxious brain activity.
Lifting weights may not lead to an immediate promotion, but it can’t hurt your chances at some extra cash. One study found an association between gym habits and higher pay. Employees who exercised regularly earned nine percent more than their couch potato peers. Cha-ching!