By Mike Myatt, Chief Strategy Officer, N2growth
You knew this was coming…it was only a matter of time. I don’t think I’ve addressed the topic of physical fitness more than once or twice since the inception of this blog, and then only briefly. Sure, we’re all busy, some of us are getting older, and others aren’t athletically inclined…so what? The simple truth of the matter is that the physical, emotional, and intellectual benefits of remaining fit are clinically supported, fully substantiated, and undeniable facts. The reality is that there is no single valid reason for not putting yourself in a position to leverage all of the benefits afforded by increasing your overall health and fitness level. So, this begs the question why are so many senior executives and entrepreneurs out of shape? In today’s post I’ll share my theories on the subject at hand, provide a few tips, and even offer a few links to websites worth looking into…
Let me begin by stating that I’m not so vain and narcissistic that I’m promoting physical fitness for the sole benefit of looking better in your business attire (not a bad side benefit however). Physical exercise, a sound diet, good sleeping habits, and the avoidance of harmful vices (yes, I’m talking to you die-hard nicotine addicts) will simply allow you to have more energy, increase your intellectual capacity, lower your stress level, and even-out emotional swings. Why is this such a bad thing? If you think about anyone who has achieved success over the long-haul (flash in the pans don’t count), you’ll find that it very likely that they have incorporated some type of health and fitness routine into their lifestyle. Not everyone can or should be an ultra-marathon runner, but everyone can and should be fit.
Following is a short representative list of just some of the options available to you: walking, hiking, running, rowing, swimming, biking, weight training, yoga, dance, gymnastics, rock climbing, calisthenics, martial arts, golf, tennis, water skiing, snow skiing, kayaking, volleyball, racquetball, basketball, softball, etc. You can workout indoors, outdoors, at home, in the office, or on the road. Why not get off your duff, out of your chair, and be an inspiration to your employees and to your family. I noted above that there are no legitimate reasons for not being in shape, but the following list offers a look at the top four excuses I hear from new clients:
- I’m too busy at work and just don’t have the time – Don’t stay in shape and its only a matter of time until you crash and burn and work will no longer be a valid excuse, nor your biggest problem.
- By the time I get home from work I’m just too tired and I don’t want to cut into family time – workout before work, while at work (for the last couple of years I’ve actually had a treadmill in my office), or incorporate exercise into your family time. I don’t think I’ve ever regretted asking my family members to go for a run, lift weights, play golf, etc., and fortunately I don’t think they’ve ever regretted it either.
- I’m too out of shape or I’m too old to workout – You cannot be too out of shape to begin getting back into shape. If you’ve ever watched TV’s “The Biggest Loser” you’ll see that it is never too late to regain control over your life. As far as the I’m too old to exercise excuse goes there are any number of 60, 70, and 80+ year old marathoners now days. Last time I was in the gym I watched a 64 year old man bench press 400 pounds. I’m no spring chicken anymore and I can still drop down and do 100 push-ups. Age is a state of mind…if you think you’re old you will be.
- I’m not very athletic and I just don’t want to make the investment into learning something new at this age – More of the same…How athletic do you have to be to walk, swim, bike etc., and last I checked it doesn’t cost anything to walk around the neighborhood.
Following are my favorite fitness websites that will hopefully give you some motivation to get up and going (warning…not for the feint of heart):
Incorporating fitness into your lifestyle doesn’t have to be work, as it can actually be quite fun. However it does take a commitment. You either care enough about yourself and those around you to take care of yourself or you don’t. I know which group I choose to be a part of, how about you?