“I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.” - Richard Branson
What do some of the world’s most successful people, such as Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, and Anna Wintour, have in common, besides being mega-millionaires?
They exercise. But not only do they exercise; they are committed to getting some type of physical activity, every day, no matter what. For them, it’s not about being superstar athletes, but a commitment to themselves every day to move their body and do something beneficial to their health. In fact, there are a variety of studies that demonstrate the link between exercise and overall success in business. Working out boosts endorphins, aids in your ability to sleep, and helps with memory and concentration — all things needed to be successful.
Helps with Discipline & Time Management
The old adage goes something like this: if you want something done, give it to a busy person. That’s because people who are busy are good at being productive, staying focused, and being committed to their goals and aspirations. Being disciplined about going to the gym likely means that you are disciplined in other areas of your life as well. Setting time aside to exercise and work towards fitness goals has many benefits both inside and outside of the gym. If you’re used to routinely fitting in time for the gym, it becomes easier to manage other responsibilities.
In order to exercise every day, you need to be able to make plans, be committed, and say no to interruptions and distractions that will inevitably come up. But if you consistently prioritize your health and well-being, this laser focus and discipline can help you be more productive in all other areas of life, because you have already built this skill. Being disciplined is essential to time management because it teaches you how to choose goals and make plans for achieving them. And, when you build discipline and commitment into your fitness, it spills over into other areas too, like your business.
This may be the most obvious benefit, but exercise directly helps to ease stress and anxiety and boost your overall happiness. I find that even going to the gym once after skipping it for a few days already makes me feel more confident.
This is because there is a direct correlation between physical activity and self-esteem, because your body knows to reward your mind when you have done something good for yourself. Increasing your physical strength also improves your mental and emotional strength, because it can help you cope in a healthy way, instead of turning to food or other things when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Furthermore, exercise releases endorphins and serotonin, which aids in reducing stress and anxiety.
And since work and business can be overwhelming and stressful at times, it’s important to get out there and move your body, even if it’s just taking a walk for 20 minutes.
Helps Release Your Mind & Refocus
The more organized and committed you are to exercising, the less time you will have to make not-so-good decisions. Even though it may be tempting to hit snooze 5 times or crash in front of the TV after a long day at work, forcing yourself to follow through is vitally important to your success in other aspects of your life. Exercise forces you to get out of your mind and just focus on physically moving your body in that moment, so by taking time to commit to exercise each day, you are forcing yourself to stop overthinking. If you’re anything like me, overthinking and stress can get the best of us, but a workout never fails to put me in a positive mindset.
Sitting at your desk all day trying to focus on one task isn’t the best way to be productive. In fact, trying to do one thing for hours on end is one of the worst ways to be effective in the workplace. Our bodies and minds need a break to be able to reset and refocus, and exercise is one of the most important things for that.
Hit the gym in the morning to feel energized all day long, take the stairs once in awhile, walk around the block at lunchtime, or practice some yoga before bed. Whatever exercise looks like to you, know that it is extremely valuable in helping you make the most out of your work day.
And, when you return back to work, you can come back with a fresh mind that is refocused and ready to get things happening again.
If you’re looking to take your work or business to the next level, make sure you are incorporating exercise as a daily habit, so that you can reap all the rewards and be the best version of YOU that you can be.