WORK/LIFE BALANCE -- Be fit as a fiddle

Exercise is good not just for the body, it also helps to improve your overall productivity and wellbeing, writes Belinda Luc.

Property agents tend to be time-poor individuals, regularly working late into evenings and on weekends. And while it can be difficult to find the time to relax, finding the time to get physically active can be even harder.

Granted, chasing sales can raise one's adrenalin levels, but it should not be relied upon as an agent's only exercise.

The national Department of Health and Ageing suggests that we should be getting at least 30 minutes of cardio fitness every single day.

That's right: it's no longer about exercising "three times a week" - the rules are now tougher.

And it's no wonder. Due to improvements in technology and changes in society, we have become increasingly sedentary, with less need or desire to engage in physical activity.

GET ACTIVE

However, getting fit is important for the body, not just to improve your overall health, but also to improve your work productivity.

Aside from the obvious benefits of an active lifestyle, regular daily exercise can also improve your psychological health as well as your quality of life.

According to Fitness First personal trainer and fitness expert Nadia Norman, there are a number of ways in which being active and energised can actually improve your work productivity.

Firstly, physical fitness improves your "cardiovascular set". In other words, it helps your blood to pump around your body better, which allows more oxygen into your bloodstream, thereby giving you more energy to tackle daily tasks.

Secondly, you become muscularly stronger, which can improve your overall confidence and ability to thrive under tough working conditions.

Thirdly, your body has a positive hormonal response, meaning you produce more ‘happy hormones'. With a better outlook on life, niggling work matters won't bother you as much and you'll be able to work with a more positive attitude.

And lastly, exercise is proven to strengthen your body's immunity, which means you have less chance of falling ill, and will be better matched to handle the stresses associated with niggling work demands.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

But if you're ‘sweating' over how you're supposed to cram 30 minutes of cardio into your day, Ms Norman says the key is to get your heart rate up without trying to overdo yourself.

"It's about investing in a little bit of ‘huffy puffy' on a daily basis," she says.

"Going for a short walk to the pub for a few beers is not going to do the trick, but if you get your heart rate going through a brisk walk, bike ride or other cardio activity, you will achieve your recommended fitness level."

For people in high-stress professions such as real estate, Ms Norman says there is a higher-than-usual risk of succumbing to a sedentary lifestyle.

"It's really important for people with non-physically demanding professions to try and get in as much physical activity into their day as possible," she says adding that even the slightest improvement in physical activity can have amazing benefits for a person's health and wellbeing.

And for agents who are still struggling to find the appropriate exercise time in their day, Ms Norman says it's about prioritising your health over other factors in your life.

This may ultimately mean getting up that little bit earlier each day to engage in physical exercise, such as a morning jog or swim.

"Your health should be your number one priority, and should be scheduled into your day before anything else," says Ms Norman.

Without good health, she says there's little productivity an agent can achieve.

 

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