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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp


Every executive and business professional is looking for the secret that will help them excel in their careers. While there is a lot of benefit to attending executive networking events, training seminars, and MBA courses, one of the most productive steps any professional can take is to assess their fitness and cognitive skills. The relationship between better health and fitness and career success is undeniable.

And while every person should be concerned with their physical health, executives need to prioritize their fitness more than the average person. Because they are expected to operate at their peak daily, perhaps even more so than non-executives.

Even the smartest, hardest working person in the room won’t be performing at their best if they’re not eating properly, sleeping normally, or exercising regularly.

Make Physical Fitness Part of your Daily Routine

Making physical fitness part of your daily routine is important if you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and achieve your business goals. And it is more than just a great way to keep your bones and muscles in good condition. It will keep your brain healthy as well!

Physical activity has been proven to improve a person’s cognitive abilities, including faster thinking, better problem-solving skills, and improved memory. In addition, it can also provide major mental health benefits as it can combat depression and anxiety too.

Enhanced Physical Fitness and Career Success Go Hand in Hand

If you commit to your physical fitness, your overall health and well-being will improve. As will your outlook for career success. After all, with a sharper body and mind, you will be able to achieve greater things. By focusing on your fitness and health, you will benefit in several ways.

1.  You Will Feel Better About Yourself

One of the more positive trends of the 2020s has been a focus on mental health. We are seeing more mental health services being made available in the workplace and a bigger emphasis on work-life balance.

One undeniable benefit of physical activity is the mood-boosting effect it has. Researchers in the UK have found that people who engage in daily physical activity are 20 to 30% less likely to develop depression and dementia.

On the flip side, by not having a regular fitness routine, you leave yourself exposed to a world of physical and mental health problems. Even a simple thing like poor workplace posture can lead to consistent back pain, which can lead to regular bouts of depression and irritableness, which will hurt your performance.

Depression and anxiety are the silent killers of productivity, even amongst the most successful people. If you want to ensure that your mind will be sharp for years to come, you need to consider your physical activity. That is why improved physical and mental health are key success factors in business for executives and industry leaders.

2.  Physical Fitness Makes You Smarter

Just the small feat of exercising a little every day will literally make you smarter. No, this does not mean that every gym rat and PE teacher is a secret genius. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary.

What consistent exercise does to your body is quite remarkable. Scientists have shown that the hippocampus in your brain, the part responsible for learning, memory, and emotion, increases in size with increased physical activity. There might be no better proof than this to convince you that physical fitness and career success are intertwined. Improved fitness will lead to better performance in both your personal and professional life.

3.  You Will Look Better

Ok, this one is obvious, the more you exercise, the better you look. But the benefits of this in the workplace are a little more complex.

I am not arguing that beautiful and fit people are more successful. Let’s be honest, Mark Zuckerburg, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates are not likely what people associate with beauty. But what these people have is good posture and a healthy look.

It’s not simply about losing weight either. Looking healthy can mean having a good posture, a relaxed smile, healthy-looking skin, and a kind attitude.

Establish a Regular Fitness Routine

Now that we’ve established the undeniable relationship between physical fitness and career success. Let’s take a look at how you can get started and benefit from enhanced physical fitness.

Start by making a plan that you can easily commit to. There is no point in setting unrealistic targets. Regardless of your age, availability, or current fitness levels, you should, at the very minimum, aim to spend at least 30 minutes a day being active.

If you don’t know where to start, you should try a weekly mix of cardiovascular and muscle-strengthening exercises. This will give you the optimal mix of improving your heart and lung health. You’ll also strengthen your joints and ligaments to keep you flexible and prevent injuries.

Regular exercise can boost your energy and endurance throughout the day and is truly the secret to career success. As an executive, you’re likely busy with meetings or thinking about work for most of your day, and it can be exhausting. The only way to keep your mind sharp is by keeping your body active.

Enjoy a Good Night’s Sleep

Don’t forget physical fitness doesn’t stop with your physical activity either. You also need to ensure adequate downtime.

Having 6-8 hours of sleep every night is crucial for proper brain function and crucial for career success. However, getting to bed can be difficult for overactive people such as executives, and it only gets trickier as the years go on. Luckily, another benefit of regular exercise is having better nights of sleep. Doctors have discovered that regular aerobic exercise causes the body to release endorphins that trigger your brain to wind down.

You likely don’t need a doctor to tell you why sleep is important. So, if there is any proof out there that just a little bit of exercise can help you get your 6-8 hours a night, why wouldn’t you do it?

What Are You Waiting For? Fitness and career success are connected!

Across multiple categories, researchers have shown that good health and fitness improve career success.

However, getting started on improving your fitness routine can be tough. If you’ve ever started a diet, you’ll know that next Monday is the best time to begin. So, if you’re looking for a sign, let this be it.

Committing yourself to a regular fitness routine will help you in your personal and professional life. You will quickly see improvements in your attitude, sleep, and work performance. If you’re looking for a way to improve your performance, there is no better, easier, or cheaper answer than just a little bit of daily exercise.


Also published on Medium.

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