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A quarter of Americans have stayed late at work to avoid working out

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We live in an era where hustling at all costs is celebrated. Burning the candle at both ends is met with a badge of honor while the saner approach of finding time to sleep is scoffed upon.

Working long and hard can be a barrier to exercise too. A recent survey by Freeletics has shown that a quarter of Americans have intentionally invoked "too much work" as a reason not to exercise.

While hard work is certainly needed for professional success, logging continuously long nights in the office is counterproductive. Working more doesn’t always lead to more results. Dare To Be Free of the temptation to work late and skip what's best for you.

You only have so much mental fuel each day

The mind, much like a vehicle, can only undergo so much work until the light comes on signaling it’s time to refuel. Disregarding this light brings a host of issues (along with a decrease in production and time management).

Every time you make a decision, it costs you mental energy. As the day goes along, your willpower and decision-making skills decrease. It’s for this reason why people like Jeff Bezos schedule their most mentally challenging meetings before lunch and prevent making tough decisions after 5 p.m.

Lastly, as the day goes along, your executive brain functioning skills such as cognitive reasoning, planning, organizing, and many others decrease.

Working late cuts your downtime and recovery time

Whether you’re running your own business or clocking a lot of hours for a project at your job, without a plan for recovery, you’re setting yourself on a one-track path to burnout. Not only will this affect your professional life, but it will also affect your body and mind.

Downtime and plans for recovery are essential because you’ll eventually hit a regression point and start to trend downward on your personal bell curve. Choosing to work later instead of working out can affect us mentally, leaving us stressed before bed, resulting in a far worse quality of sleep.

Recovery and downtime should be used both for rest and for staying active. Exercising provides energy and makes your body more resilient for the everyday stressors of work. Finishing work an hour earlier to exercise could actually make you more productive in the long run.

As a busy person who is crunched on time, dealing with inconsistent schedules or who doesn’t like going to the gym, committing to challenging but simply constructed bodyweight workouts could be the boost your lifestyle needs.

Whilst being obsessed with your work and burning the candle at both ends seems like a logical thing to do in order to get ahead, this type of thinking can often do more harm than good. It might be easy to invoke "too much work" as a reason not to exercise, but this could have negative long term effects, leaving us stressed, liable to fatigue and prone to injury. And it certainly doesn't make us free. Often times, the very thing that will lead to your biggest advancements and breakthroughs are exercise, downtime and prioritizing rest. With balance comes clarity, efficiency and freedom. Dare To Be Free from excuses and prepare to reap the rewards.