As business professionals, we understand peak performance on the job. We set our goals, break through obstacles and enjoy the fruits of our labor in the form of a paycheck. Yet so few of us cash in on the best investment we can make to enhance our quality of life and bank some real “muscle”… exercise.
The physical benefits of exercise are apparent, but did you know that regular exercise improves I.Q., short-term memory and mental-interpersonal performance. Endorphins leave you feeling energized and optimistic, while your productivity and ability to manage time are greatly improved. I call those marketable assets. Certainly any action leading to such results increases your value as a business owner or an employee—to an extent that you can’t afford not to.
The No. 1 reason people give for not exercising is lack of time. I can guarantee that someone busier than you is exercising right now. If we are all given the same amount of time each day – and believe it or not, we are – how do some find time to exercise and others don’t?
Make it a Priority
Reframe it from just another item on your long to-do list and make it an investment. Are you being as smart with your body as you would be with your savings account, 401k or stock portfolio? Taxes come off the top of your paycheck, and you create your lifestyle on what is left over. The same needs to be true when it comes to exercise. Find a time that works for you. That time is not negotiable. Mornings typically work best, as you can get up earlier, but if you are not a morning person then find a time that works best consistently. You can even combine exercise with other activities. Do you sit and watch your child practice for an hour? Plan ahead and go for a brisk walk or a light jog while they are practicing. You will be setting a good example for them to follow, and they will have a parent who is calmer and more patient. Regardless of when you carve out the time, schedule it and treat it just the same as you would a doctor appointment or a meeting with an important client.
Set a Goal
Don’t aim for a goal weight or size. Make a commitment to improve your health and find a way to measure that goal in terms of performance. Choose something you enjoy—whether it is running, walking, dancing, etc. Improve at that activity a little each day until you reach your goal. Setting goals that are too high will only lead to frustration. It doesn’t matter where you start, it only matters that you start. If you can do five minutes the first day and increase it by one minute each day, you will be at 30 minutes in less than a month. That is measureable and attainable.
Make it Social
Networking has become one of the best ways to increase business, and opportunities are everywhere. It seems that every charitable organization has a run, walk or some type of race where you can get fit for a cause. Check with your favorite charity and volunteer to help out. You’ll enjoy a shrinking waist, while growing a fat bottom line.