Or a jog, swim, or bike ride.
When we think of secrets to business success, we generally include things like vision, perseverance, creativity, and so on. I want you to add physical health to the list.
“Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, stretching the truth, bending over backward, lying down on the job, sidestepping responsibility and pushing their luck.”
Working with CEOs, business owners, and professionals in my coaching practice, I have the opportunity to observe many successful business people. With few exceptions, those who are consistently successful have lots of energy.
They have the stamina and the energy to be creative, to tirelessly serve their clients, to put in the extra effort when necessary and to go the extra mile for their employees. They don’t work non-stop all the time, but they have the reserve of energy to turn it on when they need it.
Where does that energy come from?
Most of these successful entrepreneurs exercise regularly. They walk, run, bicycle or swim. They work out at the gym or they do their exercises at home. They know that regular exercise builds up strength and endurance.
Special Note: Before we go further with this, remember to see your doctor before you start on an exercise program. Get a checkup and discuss your exercise requirements with your physician.
How do you get started?
First, decide what part of the day would be best for you. Are you a morning person? If so, get up a half-hour earlier and get your exercise then. If you’re a zombie in the morning, a workout will flood your brain with creativity-generating oxygen. In other words, it will wake you up; big time.
There are not many things more stimulating than getting out in the early morning for your exercise. Cool air, birds singing, the fresh smell of flowers and the morning sun, all ready for you. While you’re jogging, walking or biking, you can daydream. You can plan your day. You can just enjoy the experience that most ordinary people miss. Give it a go if you’re not sure.
Some people prefer to workout at mid-day. This has a couple of terrific advantages for you. For one, a workout and a shower make it seem like you’re starting fresh for the afternoon. Also, a brisk walk or run will elevate your metabolism, so when you grab a bite of lunch, your body will burn it off more quickly. Use your mid-day workouts to reduce the stress of the workday.
Perhaps you prefer to take your exercise at the end of the day. After work or even after dinner can be excellent times to work out. If you choose to exercise after dinner, wait for your dinner to settle for at least an hour. Working out at the end of the day has the advantage of being something for you to look forward to as you move through your workday. Also, an end-of-day workout will likely help you stay more alert in the evening, instead of dropping off during the sitcoms.
What kind of exercise should you do?
This is really a matter of preference. As long as your workout elevates your heart rate for at least 30 minutes, you’ll get a good aerobic workout (good for the heart and lungs). For this type of exercise, try
* Running, * Bicycling,
* Brisk walking, * Jazzercise
* Racquetball, * And so on.
An ideal combination is to mix aerobic exercise (usually strenuous, like running or swimming laps) with anaerobic exercise (strength building). For this type of workout, try weight lifting, stretching, calisthenics, or Aikido.
My personal favorite is walking/running.
I’ve been walking and running for over forty years. While it has kept me relatively fit, I see my miles of running as primarily a mental-health exercise. By running, I have reduced stress, slept better, been more creative and boosted my confidence and self-esteem. By combining the running with workouts at the gym, I have been able to stay fit in only a few hours a week.
Wait a minute! Where are you going to find the time to exercise?
Where do you fit your workouts into your schedule? The time is not going to magically appear. You’ll need to “steal” the time from other places. Get up a half-hour earlier, shorten those two-hour lunches, head for home 30 minutes earlier or give up one of your sitcoms.
The bottom line is that regular, strenuous exercise is good for business, because it’s good for you. You can increase your well-being, jump-start your days, boost your confidence, turbocharge your creativity, and knock down stress by exercising consistently.
And that’s not all.
Think of exercise as your gift to yourself and to your loved ones. A gift of longer life, more energy, happier disposition, increased creativity and reduced pain.
Take a hike!
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