The idea of getting in a workout before a big presentation at work might seem counter intuitive. Surely you should be spending that time prepping for the meeting…right? This approach worked for all of your finals in school!
The evidence, though, shows that exercising is beneficial for presentation or big meeting prep. Why?
Exercise boosts endorphins
Those “feel good” hormones that help you deal with stress and elevate your mood – they also reduce feelings of anxiety. Getting the endorphins flowing helps you feel positive and confident during the meeting or presentation.
There is meditation in repetition
When you exercise, you have to focus all of your attention on your body and its movements. You have to forget about everything else or you could get hurt. This singular focus gets your mind off of the stressful event coming up. When you aren’t focused on what’s stressing you out, your body relaxes, which, in turn, helps relax your mind.
This might be pushing it…or it could be really fun!
Exercise makes you feel “better”
This is scientifically true. When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin and dopamine, which help you feel safe and secure and, effectively, cancels out the feelings of stress and negativity that might have been weighing you down.
Oxygen is brain food
When you exercise, you increase the flow of oxygen going to your brain. This reduces the ability of brain-bound free radicals to reach their target destination. Oxygen also acts as a sort of “brain food” and increases your mental sharpness. You’re clearer, more alert, and even, physiologically speaking, smarter after you exercise.
That being said, you probably don’t want to head for a big meeting or presentation after a big workout. You’ll be sweaty, smelly, and probably a little out of breath. So what sort of exercises should you be doing to really prepare yourself for your big meeting?
Go for a walk
Even just a quick trip around the block will increase your blood and oxygen flow. If you walk at a steady pace, you’ll even increase your heart rate a little bit, which is good for your cardiovascular health. One of the best pieces of advice you’ll ever get is “if you get stuck, go for a walk.” The same is true before going into a potentially stressful situation.
Go for a swim
Go in the morning before work if the meeting is in the morning or during your lunch hour if the meeting is in the afternoon. Swimming is a great workout for your whole body. A twenty-minute swim is the equivalent of doing an hour-long workout in which you tackle strength, endurance, and cardiovascular exercise separately. Plus, you’ll have to shower afterward to get rid of the chlorine smell, so you won’t have to worry about being sweaty or smelly at your meeting or presentation.
And she thought finding space would be a challenge!
Yoga is great, but it can be difficult to do at work, especially if you work in a cubicle. Still, there are a few poses you can do while sitting down or in confined spaces that don’t look too wacky. Go through a few basic yoga stretches before your meeting. If you don’t have a private office, consider using the employee bathroom (if it is clean and private) or the stairwell.
Even if you just go for a quick stroll around your office, that’s better than not getting any exercise at all – and your big meeting is sure to benefit from it!