Why Exercise Helps You Achieve More

exercise increase success

We often hear of all the health benefits that come with keeping an exercise regimen, but exercising can also have a positive effect on your success. Here are nine reasons exercise heightens achievement:

 

1.  A regular workout regimen builds discipline that transfers over to other areas of your life. As you meet your fitness goals, you are training your brain to achieve and providing evidence of your ability to accomplish goals.

 

This reinforcement will transfer to goal achievement in other areas of your life. Running 3 miles a day gave Obama the discipline to go from a casual drug user and underachiever to becoming goal oriented.

 

2.  Exercise can improve the quality of your decisions and make you smarter. Exercise grows the hippocampus, the area of the brain that regulates memory formation and emotions, by 2 percent.[i]

 

Studies also show endurance training can increase the production of BDNF, a protein seemingly responsible for the growth of the hippocampus.[ii] BDNF, also known as “brain-derived neurotrophic factor,” increases clarity.

 

Richard Branson detailed, “[exercise] keeps the brain functioning well and I definitely can achieve twice as much in a day by keeping fit.”

 

3.  Exercise contributes to peak performance. Many successful people adopt a fitness regimen to help them deal with the demands of their businesses because it contributes to increased energy, stamina, and reduced stress. Exercise also keeps you healthy, so you’re around longer to enjoy your success.

 

4.  Exercise increases circulation and oxygen intake, which helps bring oxygen and nutrients to the body and the brain.

 

5.  Exercise promotes a sense of well-being. When you exercise, your focus is on yourself and your wellness. Exercise gives you a way to recharge your battery or refill your cup so that you can perform at your best.

 

6.  Exercise diminishes tension and improves stress management.[iii] It reduces the body’s stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. The consistent exposure to the endorphins released during exercise equips you to cope with stress better.

 

7.  If you find yourself barely making it through the work day, an exercise routine will provide you with the extra energy you need. Exercise increases energy by improving circulation and strengthening the heart muscle.

 

Regular exercise has been shown to be more effective at relieving fatigue better than stimulant drugs, including the ones used for ADHD and narcolepsy. Energy levels can improve up to 20%, while fatigue can diminish by 65%.[iv]

 

8.  Exercise will strengthen your confidence as you see the progress you’re making. Knowing you are doing something good for yourself increases self-worth.

 

Having a better body will additionally boost your self-image. A more powerful presence due to increased confidence will have a positive impact on your business/career outcome.

 

9.  Exercise increases productivity by improving sleep quality and increasing energy. This combination makes you more alert and ready to take charge of your day. Exercise also improves your mood and increases happiness through the release of the feel-good hormones, endorphins.

 

Studies show being happy enhances productivity by 12-30%.[v] [vi] Richard Branson believes his physical activities augment his productivity by four hours every day.

 

Getting Started with Exercise

 

Start small- Build up to a workout regimen by increasing general activity throughout the day to improve fitness levels. Take the stairs instead of an elevator, park a little further, or walk to places within walking distance like the pharmacy or convenient store.

 

Keep a schedule- When you exercise at set times each week, you create a routine. Once you have a set routine, you’re less likely to break it. If you miss a workout, you will notice the difference, and you may even start to look forward to your workout.

 

Create fitness goals- You are more likely to stick to an exercise regimen if you are working toward something. Having short and long terms goals will keep you motivated throughout your journey toward better health.

 

Keep a fitness journal- Chronicle your fitness journey by writing down your goals and achievements. Recording weight, inches, time, or amount of effort gives you a good idea of where you are starting and the progress you’re making. It can also clue you in to patterns you are developing.

 

Get cute gear- Investing in nice workout clothes shows commitment and creates excitement. If you are excited about wearing that cute workout outfit, it makes working out seem more appealing.

 

Keep your eye on the prize- Keep reminders of your goals in plain sight. Display a picture that depicts the level of fitness you are seeking. Use an old picture if you are trying to get back to a certain weight or scour the internet or magazines for something similar to the goal you want to achieve.

 

 

 

 

References:

[i] Erickson, K. I., M. W. Voss, R. S. Prakash, C. Basak, A. Szabo, L. Chaddock, J. S. Kim, S. Heo, H. Alves, S. M. White, T. R. Wojcicki, E. Mailey, V. J. Vieira, S. A. Martin, B. D. Pence, J. A. Woods, E. Mcauley, and A. F. Kramer. “Exercise Training Increases Size of Hippocampus and Improves Memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108.7 (2011): 3017-022. Print.

[ii]Seifert, T., P. Brassard, M. Wissenberg, P. Rasmussen, P. Nordby, B. Stallknecht, H. Adser, A. H. Jakobsen, H. Pilegaard, H. B. Nielsen, and N. H. Secher. “Endurance Training Enhances BDNF Release from the Human Brain.” AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 298.2 (2009): n. pag. Print.

[iii] Seaward, Brian Luke. Essentials of Managing Stress. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2006. Print.

[iv] Cwynar, Eva, and Sharyn Kolberg. The Fatigue Solution: Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2012. Print.

[v] Oswald, Andrew J., Eugenio Proto, and Daniel Sgroi. “Happiness and Productivity.” Journal of Labor Economics 33.4 (2015): 789-822. Print.

[vi] Achor, Shawn. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work. New York: Broadway, 2010. Print.

 

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