Executive Vitality™: Executive Vitality Take Advantage of The Benefits of Exercise

Executive Vitality™: Executive Vitality Take Advantage of The Benefits of Exercise

We, at EXCN, have been emphasizing for 25+ years that if you want to up your game—that is strengthen your executive performance—exercise is a powerful lever for accomplishing that. Harvard Business Review recently published an interesting article about the impact of exercise on work performance.

Exercise isn’t just for strength training and weight loss—it is essential for optimal physical and mental health, which in turn, are essential for job performance. A 2012 Brookings.edu article states: “The latest research shows that a regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter, and more energetic.” That increased energy can boost all areas of your life, including work.

The Brookings article goes on to explain how exercise can prevent the natural slow-down of brain cell production: “… by the time [humans] reach their 50s, 60s, and 70s, people who exercise might have more brain cells than their more sedentary peers—giving them a major advantage in the workplace.”

But even without knowing about the science, people who exercise know that it reduces stress; reduced stress improves brainpower, sharpens cognition, and increases the ability to focus on what really matters at work and at home. Working out on a regular basis can free you up from the nagging stress that stands in the way of optimizing time management, meeting deadlines, and thinking clearly and creatively. The combination of physical activity and stress management is known to result in improved energy and creativity, and even improved memory.

There are many “reasons” you might not be getting enough exercise. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start an exercise plan today. Even ten minutes can impact your job performance. Sure it would be ideal to get in twenty minutes or an hour, but if you do not have an hour, do ten minutes. And you don’t have to pump iron in the gym.

Walking, stretching, yoga, riding a bike, playing sports—exercise is anything that requires movement. Don’t be deterred if you do not want to exercise. High performers regularly do what they do not feel like doing because of the long-term payoff. Here are four ways to move forward with an exercise plan that has built-in ROI:

  1. Join a team you will enjoy—one that depends on your participation.
  2. Keep track of your work outs in a journal. 
  3. Ask a friend to be your accountability partner.
  4. Set up an exercise schedule and commit to it—with “improved work performance” as one of your goals.

Bottom line: There is a reason so many high performers are devoted to regular exercise and consider it an essential part of giving their best performance at work and living their best lives!

Are you ready to commit to an exercise routine?  What are your goals? Reducing stress … maintaining your ideal weight … strength training … sharpening cognition … reversing aging … improving mobility … optimizing work performance?

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