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Improve your work-life balance with exercise

Regular exercise reduces stress and improves self-confidence, which makes you happier with your life.

woman doing exercises at home

Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/360/Getty Images

Exercise is a key piece of the puzzle to achieving work-life balance. The benefit of exercise on work-life balance is discussed so often in popular magazines and blogs including HuffPost and Shape that you may be tempted to dismiss it as hype.

Making time to exercise may even feel counterproductive to work-life balance because it is just another demand on your time. Let me assure you, it's not hype. The benefit of regular exercise to work-life balance is confirmed by a Harvard Business Review study which highlights the two key reasons.

1. Regular exercise reduces stress

Exercise makes you physically stronger and provides you the needed energy to more fully enjoy all facets of your busy days. Plus, having an activity which alleviates stress allows you the mental space to get more out of both your work and family time. You are able to achieve more at work and to be more fully present at home.

2. Exercise increases your self-efficacy

Self-efficacy refers to your perception that you are "capable of taking things on and getting them done." And as we all know, perception has a real impact on reality. Experiencing fitness progress from your exercise routine increases your confidence that you can do the same in your home and work challenges. Difficult situations are not as stressful when you view them as challenges that can be mastered.

It's important for you to find the kinds of exercise you enjoy so you will stay motivated and see the results of your hard work. I love the 14 ideas on this summer fitness bucket list. I'm sure you'll find something here inspires you, too. And many professional women I know choose to work out at home, either exclusively or in addition to workouts and classes at a gym. At-home-workouts are easier to fit into a busy schedule because you can take advantage of early morning/late night times as well as "found" gifts of time during the day.

Let me know how you're fitting exercise into your day and how it's improving your work-life balance.

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