Healthy Competition in the Workplace; OFFICE STYLE Surveys Show the More Exercise You Do the More Efficient Y Ou'll Be in Your Job. Jo Ind Asks Birmingham Workers How They Keep in Shape

Article excerpt

Everyone would love to be fit. We would like to feel healthy, look great and know we are doing the best with our bodies.

But latest research has revealed that regular exercise not only benefits your waistline, it boosts your mental agility and career prospects too.

Business Pages commissioned research amongst British workers and found that the fitter the body, the more active the mind and the more ambitious, efficient and resourceful you become.

The study shows that 78per cent of people nationwide who have achieved significant commercial success exercise on a regular basis.

In fact in the Midlands it was found that 95per cent of top achievers followed a fitness programme.

At the other end of the scale it was discovered that of those who are unambitious and lack motivation, 50per cent do not exercise at all.

More women than men view themselves as this type, 57per cent of women do not exercise compared with 43per cent of men.

Those who maintain high levels of fitness are less likely to suffer that common problem at work - stress.

Only two per cent of Midlanders who are both successful business people and who exercise complain of stress. On the other hand 51per cent of the archetypal couch potatoes who are not bothered by exercise maintain they are "stressed and have difficulty inmeeting some of life's challenges."

The link between exercise and performance is partly due to metabolic rate. Exercise raises the metabolic rate and increases the blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, leading to enhanced clarity, selwareness and a heightened sense of alertness.

Work then becomes easier as your selonfidence, creativity, business management and ambitions increase.

Fresh air, a healthy diet and regular exercise therefore revitalise you, promoting confidence and giving you a higher chance of achieving your goals.

That said, the fact is that people who go out to work are busy people and often in a choc-a-bloc diary the workout at the gym is the first activity to be cut.

The key for these kind of people is to integrate exercising into their working activities.

This could mean walking instead of driving to places, doing strenuous housework, gardening or DIY.

In getting fit it is important not to rush into strenuous physical activity but to start gently and build up gradually.

Do not over exercise, and take at least 24 hour rest after exercising and stop if you feel any discomfort. Do not forget to drink lots of water.

There are other things that can be done that do not take up extra time, like quitting smoking, watching alcohol consumption and eating more carbohydrates, fish, fruit, vegetables and fibre.

It is important to eat three meals a day and never skip breakfast.

Healthy eating starts with shopping. Try to avoid impulse buys and restrict yourself to just one shop per week, limiting your time in the store. The longer you stay the more impulse buying you do. …