Believe it or not, following a fitness routine can help you succeed in the boardroom. “If you are physically fit, you have more stamina and can thus cope with the demands of your business better,” explains JC Niala, an osteopath and naturopath expert. “You think faster and more clearly if you are in good shape. You can make quicker decisions.”
According to Qiana Martin, an international athlete, global soccer ambassador, and owner of Eat Soccer, exercising builds confidence, determination and self-esteem that will carry over into the workplace performance. “Additionally, stepping away from your work desk to do small extras, such as walking while doing errands, can give you a creativity boost with solutions to challenges you encounter on the job.”
Camille Hugh, author of The Thigh Gap Hack: The Shortcut to Slimmer, Feminine Thighs Every Woman Secretly Desires and founder of fitness company The Feminine Contour, agrees. “The benefits of being physically fit are increased focus, a sense of discipline that transcends into other all areas of your life, and a sense of pride and accomplishment,” adds Hugh. “Our image is a huge part of our identity and when we’re in shape– it is one less thing to obsess about. Instead, that energy can be spent on the task/project at hand.”
People also view you differently when you are in good physical shape. “The state of our bodies plays an integral role in the assumptions people make about us and how they treat us,” Hugh points out. “The assumption is someone who is physically fit is mentally healthy, hardworking, goal-oriented, and simply cares about living their life to the fullest. Other business people want to work with others who embody these characteristics.”
Here’s How To Get Started
• Enjoy exercise: Have a positive attitude about fitness training. “Instead of approaching fitness as a chore, reframe it as a new way to help you in other areas of your life,” says Martin.
• Explore various forms of exercise: Sometimes exercising can be, well, boring. Look for ways to spice up your fitness routine. “There are so many options out there. From trampoline classes to hip hop abs to step aerobics, find something that will make you laugh, smile or have fun,” notes Martin. “You have to make a commitment to yourself to keep at it.”
• Make an exercise meeting with yourself: Block out time in your busy schedule for exercise. “To get physically fit, you do not have to dedicate a large block of time,” notes Martin.
• What to do: Martin suggests “high intervals of cardio exercise (3 to 5 minutes) can do wonders for your body. This can come in the form of 2-3 sprints, doing a dance class routine via YouTube video, cycling on a spin bike or playing with your kids in the yard.” Martins even has a series of high intensity leg videos on Youtube for exercise enthusiasts.
• Seek help: If you find it difficult to stick to an exercise schedule, hire a personal trainer. “They keep you focused and paying makes you show up,” says Niala. “Get the personal trainer to come to your home or office. It cuts travel time and is more convenient.”
• Workout with others: Have a training partner or join a class. “Fitness programs that offer support or community aspects (online or offline) are particularly helpful. Then, you set your goals, commit to yourself to the program and take it one day at a time,” advises Hugh.