When you first find yourself unemployed, it’s tempting to want to take an impromptu vacation and lounge in your sweatpants for a few days. But in a time of economic uncertainty, a few days could easily turn into a few months. And before you know it, your six-pack has turned into a half keg. And while we know that’s not a good look, there are even more reasons why you shouldn’t neglect your fitness when you’re out of work.
You’ll need energy for the job hunt
When you’re out of work, your main focus should be finding new employment. But that’s often easier said than done. If you’re really in this to win it, you’re going to need stamina. You’ll probably find yourself with days that are packed with Zoom interviews, resume writing and browsing job boards. And even if it’s exciting at first, it gets old quickly.
A daily fitness routine can help keep your head in the game and keep you motivated for the long haul -- if that’s what it takes to help you find a new job.
Employers prefer healthy candidates
With all things being equal between two candidates, an employer is going to be more likely to hire the candidate who is fitter. And while this may seem like discrimination, there’s a logical reason why this may be true.
An employee who is fit and healthy is less likely to call in sick or have any major health issues that could keep them from performing their job. Fitness is also linked to better cognitive function, which is always a good thing on the job (and off).
And if we’re being honest, there’s a lot we can tell about a person by their outward appearance. There are no guarantees, but someone who appears to be very fit is more likely to take care of their health in other ways too.
Life doesn’t stop with your job
Say what you will about work, but it’s a great way to get some social interaction in your daily life. Without clocking in, you may miss out on the human interaction. But if you’re going to the gym every day, you won’t miss a thing.
Especially if you take classes or even just arrive at the same time every day, you’re bound to encounter some of the same people and may form a kinship over time. Not to mention, the gym is a great place to meet women.
Keep depression at bay
Studies have shown that exercise can help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are highly likely when you’re out of work. When unemployed, most people stress about money and how long it’ll take to find a new job. It’s a time when the future is uncertain, and exercise can help you manage those inevitable stresses in a healthy way.
Exercise causes the body to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins to address the pain of exercise itself. This is what’s responsible for what’s called a “runner’s high.” But you can get it with virtually any type of physical exertion.
You’ll have another reason to get up early
Have you ever taken a long vacation from work? That first day back is absolutely killer. Well, imagine that times a few months. If you’re out of work for that long and used to sleeping in every day, your return to the workforce is going to come as a very rude awakening.
But since mornings are best for most people to work out, you may be giving yourself a reason to stay in the morning routine. If possible, aim to get up and out of the house at the same time you did when you were working. It’ll keep your circadian rhythm on track, and it’ll be seamless when it’s actually time to get back to work.
It’s always stressful when you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, but if you stay in the habit of being fit and healthy, it’ll be easier to maintain a positive outlook. You’ll also find it much easier to get back into the swing of things when you land your dream job. And, who knows, you may even meet the love of your life in the process.