Everyone knows that exercise is good for your mind. And most of us know that exercise helps the brain, too. But a fascinating new study shows that exercise can help balance out conflicts in life – like the push and pull of work and family life.
The study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Human Resource Management, surveyed 476 working adults about their exercise behavior and their confidence in handling conflicts at home and in the work place. The adults worked an average of 40 hours per week, and just under a third had at least one child at home.
According to the findings, the participants who exercised regularly experienced a greater feeling of competence. This feeling of competence carried over into other areas of life, including work and home. Russell Clayton, author of the study, noted:
We found that [participants] who exercised felt good about themselves [and] that they could accomplish tough tasks…
In other words, these participants felt empowered to handle and manage the difficult situations and conflicts that most of us encounter in life.
Of course, this study isn’t hard evidence. And it doesn’t necessarily prove a cause and effect relationship between exercise, empowerment and work-life balance. Instead, it’s a good starting point… and another reason not to skip the gym today.