A Fit Business Depends on Your Good Health
Everyone knows about the health benefits of working out. And yet, that’s not motivation enough to get us to the gym on a regular basis. Psychologists and life coaches tell us to connect working out to something we care about. Presumably we care about our health, but something about that is too abstract for most of us. So, what do we care about?
The Workout-Work Connection
I work with people who are passionate about what they do. They are business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and activists who are motivated, high-energy achievers. They’re usually pretty competitive about their businesses. They also often burn the candle at both ends and get stressed out. And I get it. Focusing on your goals can give you tunnel vision. But if you want to work at the top of your game, exercise is a key factor.
Here’s why being fit can improve the health of your business:
1. Endorphins Make Sharp Minds
Exercise releases endorphins. We usually think of this as a “runner’s high,” but it’s so much more. When you exercise, your body thinks it’s in danger. Thanks to evolution, people with high-functioning fight-or-flight responses survived. (You run from beast, you live longer.) These endorphins also boost clarity by relaxing us in stressful moments. You couldn’t just run in a blind panic. You also had to strategize about how to outwit that creature at your heels. These endorphins are as effective today as they were for our ancestors. And the effects last well past the initial surge.
2. Workouts Quell the Quitter
Pushing through a long run or a hard workout builds more than your muscles. It builds stamina. We generally think of stamina as a physical skill, but it’s mostly mental. Our muscles can go much longer than our brains think they can. When you build stamina, you push your mental barriers further and further. The piece of your mind that says “I want to stop” is overpowered by the piece that says “keep going.” When those two voices aren’t arguing anymore, when that battle is won, it allows you to focus on the task at hand and relax in the moment.
3. Routines Are Personal Assistants
The routine of working out helps you structure your day and take a lot of wasted thought out of the equation. Think of how long it takes to make a simple decision—what will you wear, what will you order to eat, what task will you do next? Routines help you streamline work. If you have to hit the gym every day at 6pm, a lot of other decisions fall into place. And an exercise routine makes it easier to systemize other tasks … like always eating the healthiest thing on the menu. Take some of those mundane decisions out of your day, and you’ll have more time for important matters.
4. Exercise Banishes the Blues
You know your mood is better when you work out. It’s those endorphins again. They’re like bouncers kicking depression, stress, and anxiety out of the party. But did you know that happy people are more productive? It makes sense. Anxiety, stress, and depression are major time wasters. Anxiety always wants to worry over a pointless detail. Stress wants to make you sick or at the very least give you a wicked headache. Depression wants to stay in bed, binge watch TV shows, and eat chocolate. When they’re gone, so are their demotivating effects.
Workout Time is Relative
But who has the time for all of this working out? You’re busy! But workout time pays you back by letting you work smarter through:
- Increased brain power
- Improved focus
- Daily structure
- Raised mood
I’m sure you’ve had days when you sat at your desk all day and accomplished almost nothing. And then you’ve had days when you got everything done and fit in a workout. It’s not an accident; it’s the exercise.