Exercise is vital for long-term startup success. That might sound like an awfully big claim. But considering that exercise is an important part of good health, and good health plays a major role in your being able to launch and lead a company effectively, the logic follows that exercise is good for and crucial to your success.
But there’s more. Aside from the obvious benefit of boosting your health, exercise has a ton of major perks that every entrepreneur can appreciate, no matter their business type or stage.
Before we get to those benefits, consider this: statistics show that about 80% of adults don’t even get the minimum recommended amount of exercise in a typical week. This is taking a drastic toll on health, and no doubt contributes to the obesity epidemic raging across the U.S.
Lack of exercise is a major cause of chronic diseases, and also a major factor in premature death. In fact, not exercising can be just as risky as smoking, and being sedentary can be twice as deadly as obesity. Considering the statistics, you might want to rethink spending those extra few hours behind the desk. And well you should.
The benefits of exercise for entrepreneurs
Mortality and disease statistics aside, a lack of exercise makes you subpar at whatever you attempt to do, whether that be work or family life. So without further ado, entrepreneurs take note: here are four more reasons why you should get up and move.
- Better work-life balance: One survey revealed that people who had a regular exercise regimen were better able to manage the demands of work and home with less conflict between that two. That is, they had a better work-life balance. Despite the growing number of people who shun exercise for lack of time, it seems that exercise actually helps you find more time in your day. Curious, right? But more on that below.
- Enhanced productivity: The link between exercise and productivity runs deep. One study showed that exercise boosts productivity by 21%. A good workout can make you feel like you can take on the world. This translates into how you approach your day and the challenges therein. When you feel like you can conquer anything, you’re more likely to tackle that to-do list you’ve been avoiding, or address the question or idea that’s been sitting on the back burner. And because exercise zaps stress, you’ll have the mental space to actually get things done.
- Increased creativity: Exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with memory and creativity. One study also suggested that regular exercise could increase creative problem-solving capabilities. John Ratey, a psychiatrist and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, said, “If you exercise chronically, or daily, it optimizes your brain to learn, to remember and to think. And now we know even more that when we’re exercising we’re more creative, so à la Richard Branson who has walking meetings; he does it for a reason.”
- Greater mental clarity: Studies show that exercise is key to high mental performance, memory and clarity. Ratey said, “Exercise makes us the best that we can be, brings us to the highest state of wellbeing, if you will. It sets our brain literally on fire. The two things that people need to know about exercise is when you’re exercising, you are helping your brain regulate your emotions, making yourself more motivated and less stressed.”
The best workouts and workout times, scientifically-speaking
Some studies suggest morning is the ideal time get a good workout and infuse your day with some powerful benefits. From improving your sleep later in the day to improving mental performance for the day ahead and helping you feel more awake, there’s plenty to be said for workouts in the early a.m.
But if other times work best for you, you’ll still gain vital benefits for your health and performance. Whatever time you workout, you can amplify your results by fueling yourself properly and giving it your all.
While movement is vital for your wellbeing, there are specific workouts that can benefit entrepreneurs seeking improved mental performance. A well-rounded workout program is vital; however, getting some aerobic exercise in your day helps improve the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Other workouts, like weight training, show positive effects on blood flow, as well.
Richard Branson said, “[Exercise] keeps the brain functioning well and I definitely can achieve twice as much in a day by keeping fit.” If you’re not yet convinced that you should make fitness a daily part of your life, follow this logical path. Richard Branson is a success. Richard Branson exercises. Hence, exercise can improve your chances of success. It’s not magic. It’s simply science.