How to Move More for Your Mental Health & To Maximize Your Productivity

A little exercise makes everything better

Isioma Ononye
5 min readMay 16, 2024

Photo by Collins Nyamadzawo on Unsplash

I always find myself cleaning my sneakers and preparing for a run because I remember how that last jog made me feel.

I remember the energy it gave me during the day and I want that feeling back.

If a week goes by and I don’t exercise, my body indicates to me that I need it. That is I feel sluggish and lazy and so I must be active.

For Mental Health Awareness Month, the theme for 2024 is moving more for your mental health and it’s a significant theme that resonates with me.

Moving more is imperative as it positively affects your mental health and it also positively affects your productivity.

When you incorporate more exercise and fitness into your life, it has a great impact on your mind and thus your ability to get a lot more done.

To incorporate more movement and activity into your life to be more productive at work or at home, you should schedule and prioritise exercise.

You should also have an incentive for staying motivated, to maximize your productivity by having mood boards, planners and journals.

Make Time for Exercise in the Morning & Weekends to be More Productive

To be more productive during your workdays, you should make time for exercise in the morning; right as soon as you get up.

If you are a member of a gym, then stop at the gym before going to work to run on the treadmill or lift some weights.

If you are not part of a gym, do some at-home workouts with your dumbbells or go for a run in your neighbourhood.

To incorporate exercise in my life to boost my productivity, I go for slow jogs and walks in the morning at the park close to where I live.

I also do at-home workout videos on YouTube that help me build strength, stretch or simply relax through meditation.

I like to do my exercise first thing in the morning because it helps me to feel good and get the energy to get tasks done for the day.

Then after I exercise, I realise it puts me in a good mood.

The result is I become more motivated in the courses I take, in my writing here on LinkedIn, in Medium or in the writing projects I take on.

Have Something that Motivates You to Want to Work Out

To be motivated to incorporate exercise into your life, have something that gets you inspired or excited to exercise.

For myself, I created a mood board on Canva, printed it out and pasted it on the wall of my room.

The mood board contains pictures of things I want to do and aspire to do. I have a picture of a woman running in a park and I also have a picture of a healthy meal.

Then, I have images that state to be at peace, write and breathe more.

Alongside the mood board, I have post-it notes of positive affirmations and quotes.

All of this motivates me in my goal of working out because when I wake up and look at it, I feel inspired.

I also feel accountable for keeping to the goals I set for myself.

You too need to have something which motivates you to move more. Create your on mood board on Canva of things you see yourself doing.

Also, have quotes that encourage you in your self-esteem and perception of yourself.

Consider the Positive Effects of Exercise on Your Mental Health + Productivity

Another way to get motivated to move more is when you consider the positive effects of exercise on your mental health and productivity.

I continue to exercise because I know it gives me more energy to be willing to do things during the day instead of being completely lazy and letting the day pass me by.

Exercise helps me to take control of my day because after I exercise, I realise I’m more focused and less scatterbrained.

Also, after I exercise, I always feel more happier and in a better mood.

When I consider the positive effects of exercise, I am much more willing to make time out of the day to exercise because I know that the effects will be worth it.

I recommend you do the same thing.

Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of exercise to incorporate it more into your life.

One of the ways to remind yourself of the benefits of exercise is to write out how you feel after a good workout and put that list on a wall where you can see it often.

Maximize Your Productivity with a Planner to Set Tasks and a Journal to Encourage Positivity

Once you’ve been able to start incorporating exercise into your routine, then you realise that exercise is like getting caffeine but better.

Exercise encourages you to be more alert and to key into this feeling and make the most of it, you need to set your intentions for the day.

One of the best ways for me to set my intentions is to have a planner and a gratitude journal.

I have a planner to list out things I intend to do each day and on the day I want to exercise, it’s on the list.

Having a planner will aid you to be more productive to get a lot more done because then you know what your priorities are to accomplish for the day.

Also, having a gratitude journal is not mandatory but it can help you to be more productive because you are willing to do more when in a pleasant mood.

That’s why it’s helpful to start out your day by writing what you’re grateful for even if you don’t initially feel like it.

For myself, I like journals that give me prompts on being more appreciative of my path and journey.

In Conclusion

For improved productivity in your work at home or in the office, we all need to be moving more.

Your moving more could be lifting weights at the gym, a slow jog in the park or light stretches in your room.

It doesn’t matter the intensity of the workout but what matters is that your body is being physically active.

The result is that you get more energy during the day to plan, to be mindful, to be productive and to get tasks done with ease.

--

--

Isioma Ononye

👩‍💻I write about self-esteem, faith, mental health, women’s issues, social media & TV + Film Reviews. 📩Newsletter: https://substack.com/@isiomaononye