athletes · running · training

How exercise helps, rather than hurts, life/work balance

gymI often get asked how I fit everything in. I’ve blogged about that in a few places. See on making time for families here and on making tough choices in rough times here.

Mostly making time for training for various sports and activities makes me feel more organized and able to cope, not less. That feeling–I gather it’s called “self-efficacy”–is related directly to exercise it turns out.

I was happy to read this this week:

Russell Clayton, assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University in Florida, surveyed 476 working adults about how they manage the demands of their personal and professional lives. Not surprisingly, his study found that exercise lowered stress levels. But Clayton also found that exercise increased self-efficacy, the feeling that one is capable of taking things on and getting them done. Among the survey participants, the increased feeling of self-efficacy experienced with regular exercise carried over to work and home roles, and translated into less conflict over balancing those roles.

See How Exercise Helps with Work/Life Balance and How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family.

What sorts of things do I do to make it easier to fit my workouts in?

It’s Sunday and Sunday is my preparation and planning day for the week ahead. I usually plan meals and buy groceries. (Not today though. Today we’re celebrating my son’s birthday.) I also bring the clean laundry upstairs (no second story laundry here) and pack my various workout bags. I do this in advance for each of the different physical activities I do and leave the bags packed for the week. Soccer clothes in the soccer bag, Aikido uniform in the Aikido bag, CrossFit, running etc. Cycling doesn’t get a gym bag. I have an entire bureau for cycling clothes and usually I leave from here.

Yes, that’s a lot of bags but having them packed in advance makes it that much easier to fling them in the back of the car.

I also look at my schedule and the calendars of the various things I do and see what fits in where. This might be a good week to try the Monday night Power Hour at CrossFit.

One thought on “How exercise helps, rather than hurts, life/work balance

  1. My panniers broke a few weeks ago, so I haven’t been able to bike the beautiful rural 5 mile canal ride between home and work. I’ve been so busy I’ve sort of unthinkingly decided not to bother buying new ones because I don’t have time anyway. Meanwhile I’ve been doing terribly, stress-wise. A good friend pointed this out to me on Friday–suggested I should just be bold and *take* the time to have a bike ride. And of course she’s right! Just ordered new panniers. For it is important. Thanks for the timely post!

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