It really should not come as a surprise that physical fitness plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In women, for instance, frequent exercise can help to not only reduce cholesterol levels, but it also important in enhancing breast growth and getting rid of sagging breasts altogether. Maintaining a healthy body is also proven to have a direct impact on general happiness and success. But have you ever thought of health and fitness in the leadership situation?
The relationship between leadership and fitness can be traced way back in the ‘fit to lead’ era where a leader had to be physically fit for the whole community to feel secure under his rule. But as much as the qualities that qualify a person to be a leader have drastically changed over time, body fitness plays an important role in becoming a complete leader. Well, we all know that true leaders always lead from the front. This means that leadership is all about being a role model for subordinated to know the right path to follow. It is therefore important for every leader to maintain a high level of discipline, including being physically fit, to set the right example.
However, being physically fit does not only mean that you have to avoid certain foodstuffs while exercising thoroughly. On the contrary, it is all about the strategies you come up with in those exercises, and maintaining a healthy diet.
So back to leadership. The most influential people in the world have one thing in common- setting a good example to their subordinates by acting as role models. However, this is not the only similarity. What most people are not aware of is that all successful leaders, including business people, create time out of their busy schedule to work out. And guess what, they have also proved, not once, but many times, that exercising plays a vital role in achieving success.
Richard Branson, (founder of more than 400 companies), attests that regular exercising can increase work productivity for more than four hours every day! As if that is not enough, Barack Obama himself has been running for several miles a day before attending to his normal duties. This clearly demonstrates that working out and working hard are directly related. Here are some of the reasons why;
Leaders who work out work smarter
There is no doubt that leading a startup or even already established companies is quite challenging. This is because challenges are likely to emerge, no matter how much you try to avoid them. Just imagine leading at team of employees, instructing them on what to do and ensuring everything is completed within the stipulated time, not forgetting that there will also be other employees who are always up to mischief and managing them can be more stressful that anything you can ever imagine of. But with regular exercising, you will also be in a position to confidently address all the challenges you face within the day.
Builds your self-esteem
Someone once said that human beings are their own worst enemy. To prove the point right, how many times have you doubted yourself, no matter how much people believe in you? Getting over your past will lead to future success. But you can only achieve this through regular exercising. Working out will not only help reduce your stress levels, but you will also find yourself excelling beyond your limitations. Exercising converts the body and mind to a sharper tool, which brings a feeling of immediately responding to difficult situations.
Confidence and creativity
A leader who is physically fit is in a position to come up with more creative problem solving techniques. A study indicates that creativity levels increases when the body is subjected to frequent exercising. Whenever there is an important presentation or activities that require more of speaking engagement, exercising in the morning, or a day prior to the main event will give you confidence to express yourself for the audience to clearly understand the message you want to pass across.
Among the duties of a leader is to influence subordinates. But the level of dedication you have will always be reflected in your employees, a phenomenon commonly referred to as emotional contagion. In other words, the energy level of a leader has a direct influence on productivity. Team members also have the tendency of mimicking what the leader does. If you are not disciplined, do not expect better from your subordinates. This means that a healthy leader will also inspire subordinated to be healthy and be energetic throughout the day which increases their productivity level.
How can you fit exercise in your busy schedule?
There is no denying that most leaders are busy enough in a day and incorporating exercises in the schedule can be tough. But weighing the benefits that come about with exercising, it is actually an investment worth making. But most people tend to believe that the toughest exercises are the best in maintaining a healthy body. But this should not be the case; rather, starting small can be more helpful. For the body to be physically fit, a person needs to be both mentally and physically prepared. Doing everything at the same time will end up worsening the situation.
As a leader, it is important to review your schedule and come up with a perfect time to conduct physical exercises. As much as you cannot manage much time, a mere 30 minutes a day can be perfect for a start. You can then find a coach to instruct you on the best work outs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. But you also need to ensure that whatever exercises you come up with are fun and enjoyable too. There is no point of engaging in fitness activities just because your friends or workmates are doing it. Desired results can only be achieved if you enjoy whatever exercises you do.