I go back and forth with exercising regularly and it's something I wish I could just have as an every day staple. I know that I am healthier, happier and more in shape when I exercise, and just recently realized that business is better too.
I came across the book, SPARK which is all about the science of exercise and the brain. I won't do a full summary of all the different areas exercise has been scientifically proven to cure, but I do want to chat about the way it effects your business. This is more than just your typical "runners high", but instead offers scientific studies and facts on how and why your brain changes when you exercise. Have I got your attention yet? Good, keep reading…
Dealing with Stress
Stress is a common factor in every person's life and mostly in a business owner's life. According to Dr. Ratey, "the way you choose to cope with stress can change not only how you feel, but can also how it transforms the brain." The interesting thing he focuses is on is the way that stress effects the body and mind. Realizing this, we know that exercise can also effect both the body and mind. So if your stress is giving you ulcers and making it harder for you to take on new business, then "physical activity reduces both the feeling of stress and the body's response to it." Not only does it help you cope with and reduce stress, but it boosts confidence and can reverse the symptoms of stress in your body as well. Less stress and fewer side-effects of stress means more time and energy to focus on growing your business.
Staying Focused and Learning more
According to Dr. Ratey and numerous scientific studies, "exercise influences learning directly, at the cellular level, improving the brain's potential to log in and process new information." It improves learning on 3 different levels: alertness, attention and motivation. In a nut shell, exercise can turn you into a "business badass" of sorts. He recommends exercising in the morning so that you when you start work your brain is ready to go and can handle tasks that typically may require full focus or a lot of details.
Staying focused, coping with stress and anxiety, and learning things more effectively all improve your bottom line and your business. Let's also not forget that if exercise is a group activity or something you do mainly alone (like golf), it's an additional source for networking. This post is only the tip of the ice berg! If you want to go deeper, be sure to pick up SPARK. (not an affiliate link).
Keep an eye out for part 2, where I will chat about a few of the ways the author suggests incorporating exercise into your life to improve all aspects of it.
How have you found exercise to improve the work you do? Leave a comment and share your story!
-Sayeh, The Office Stylist