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Richard Branson says this daily habit doubles his productivity

Billionaire Richard Branson wakes up at 5:00 am everyday to start on the right note: by exercising. He's an avid runner and cyclist. In fact, the Virgin Group co-founder completed a marathon and has his own charitable triathlon.

Branson says that working out helps significantly boosts his productivity and has helped him get to where he is today.

"I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit," Branson tells FourYourBodyPress. "It keeps the brain functioning well."

Science shows that exercise can help you out professionally.

Mary Wittenberg and Richard Branson of Virgin Sport.
Source: Virgin Sport
Mary Wittenberg and Richard Branson of Virgin Sport.

1. Improves memory and mental sharpness

If you feel like work is a struggle, but can't pinpoint what is off, working out can help significantly. Working out releases brain chemicals key to better memory, concentration and mental sharpness, according to Harvard Medical School's journal.

When you work out, your brain releases a chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which improves brain function.

"I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit." -Richard Branson, co-founder of the Virgin Group

2. Reduces stress

If stress is a daily part of your life, know that you're one of many nationwide. Seventy percent of adults in the U.S. say they deal with stress or anxiety daily, reports the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Studies demonstrate that physical activity, like a brisk walk, jog, game of basketball, or time spent at the gym, will help you better manage stress by releasing endorphins.

A research team based at Princeton University found that physical activity actually "reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function."

For Branson, exercising regularly "keeps the endorphins running."

3. Promotes creativity

Even a short walk gets your creative juices flowing.

Stanford researchers found that the act of walking boosted a person's creativity by an average of 60 percent.

So if you're stuck on a work problem, take a few minutes to get moving. You'll be boosting your productivity the way Branson does.