Are you a better Director/Manager if you keep yourself physically fit? It is widely accepted that exercise carries with it numerous benefits, both physical and mental. The question is, do these benefits extend beyond your personal life and into your business life?
As decision making and leadership skills are predominantly influenced by your mental faculties, we will focus on the mental health benefits of exercise and whether or not they’re transferable into the business world.
Exercise does wonders for your self-confidence. Being confident in yourself leads to being confident in your decisions. Every business person knows the value of confidence in the world of business, it is a key driving force for success. By feeling better about yourself, you will, as a byproduct, feel better about your business.
Another driving force for success is creativity. In this context, creativity is the ability to come up with ideas your competitors haven’t even dreamt of. Studies have shown that immediately after exercise, there is a significant spike in our cognitive ability to be creative. What’s even better is that this creativity boost can be observed in individuals who have undergone only moderate levels of exercise.
It is well-known that exercise is a great stress reliever, and stress is undoubtedly rife within the business world. Having the means to effectively combat stress in the business environment immediately sets you at an advantage. In addition to these stress-relieving properties, exercise also increases the levels of norepinephrine in the brain. Norepinephrine is a chemical used to moderate the brain’s response to stress.
By keeping physically fit, you are also sharpening your memory. Numerous studies have linked exercise to the increase in production of cells within the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a component of the brain responsible for memory and learning. The advantages of a sharpened memory within the workplace are obvious; the ability to obtain and retain information is the basis of intelligence.
As you probably know, exercise boosts the level of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins, also known as the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters are (as you can probably guess) responsible for making us feel happy. The application of happiness should not be overlooked in the business environment, it is crucial to your motivation and general well-being. There is nothing more damaging to your productivity than feeling down and demotivated.
I myself am a Director of Aston Shaw, and I attribute much of my businesses success to the fact I keep myself in shape. By keeping fit, I start every day feeling energised for the day ahead. This ultimately means I make better decisions, and am granted the confidence I need to lead my staff.
I truly believe exercise is as much a workout for the body as it is the mind and so I urge you all to get out there and do what you can, even if that’s just a gentle walk on the weekend.