8 Ways Exercise Makes You a Better Business Leader
When I imagine the typical entrepreneur, I picture an individual with a strong vision and purpose for their life. They think problems and solutions through from multiple perspectives, which gives them confidence in their choices. They lead from the front lines, bringing the rest of their tribe with them. They promote economies, employment opportunities, community development, operate as role models and mentors, and drive others towards change. All of this, and more, can make the classic entrepreneur a perpetually exhausted person.
Entrepreneurs have a hard time taking care of themselves because they care so much for their business, work, or employees. But here’s the catch-22: to effectively put effort into your business, you need to feel strong and vibrant. Taking time away from your business, if done correctly, can be important for your business success. Exercise is a critical tool to improve yourself and refine and advance your abilities. Exercise:
Increases your baseline energy levels:
As a business leader who is constantly having to direct, manage, create, speak, read, and write, your energy is your greatest asset. Researchers found that regular exercise significantly increases baseline energy levels.[i] And you don’t need to start by sprinting up hills; low-intensity exercise, such as taking a walk, works almost as well.[ii] Exercise also improves sleep quality and reduces feelings of tiredness.[iii]
Your rapport with investors, employees, customers, and prospects may make or break your business. When you look and feel healthy and strong, you’re going to exude confidence! Exercising is the best way to gain confidence in your body and its abilities.
Improves persistence and discipline:
Often, business and work require forsaking pleasure in the present for rewards in the future. The more we practice persisting in discomfort, the more we extend our comfort zone and grow. Exercising is not only the best way to build our body’s muscles, it’s also a powerful and direct way to build our persistence and discipline ‘muscle’. As Calvin Coolidge said: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence…it’s omnipotent.”
Makes you strong physically AND mentally:
Most people understand that exercise improves the health of our bodies. Additionally, recent research has proven that exercise directly increases cognitive flexibility measured by how quickly and deeply we’re able to switch perspectives, focus our attention, and adapt our behavior based on achieving our goals. [iv] Exercise has been shown to improve our working memory, which is our ability to store, recall and utilize information.[v] In addition, exercise assists our brain’s ability to solve problems.[vi] Here’s a more complete list of ways that exercise increases our cognitive abilities: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951958/
Cranks up your creativity:
Exercise has been shown to directly increase subjective creativity.[vii] Maybe it has to do with the fact that exercise increases levels of feel-good hormones.[viii] Maybe it's because activating nerves in your body will activate nerves in your brain, helping connect nerve pathways. Maybe it's because exercise increases blood flow to the brain, allowing for healthy growth of the brain.[ix] Maybe your brain is trying to get you out of exercising and will come up with the most creative ways to get you away from pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. Maybe simply taking an hour for yourself to exercise allows space for major insights.
Heightens body/emotional awareness:
Exercise is one of the best ways to get in tune with your body. By doing so, we become aware of the ways that negative and positive emotions feel, allowing us to have an extra level of understanding and control of our emotions.[x]
Ramps up health and well-being (less sick days):
When we become healthier on the inside, our relationships with everything outside of us will be healthier as well. Exercise is one of the major ways to improve health and fend off illness.[xi]
Stress is one of the biggest negative factors in any business leader’s life. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress here and now.[xii] There's something special about taking on stress, like doing as many pull-ups in a row as you can, that also helps us deal with stress in the long-term.
My business is focused on helping individuals become the best they can be through health and fitness. Having strong leaders and entrepreneurs impacts all of us, and I see it as a gratifying privilege to work directly with them.
If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of exercise for yourself, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 240-380-8022.