By Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®
We all know the physical and physiological benefits of regular exercise-‐reducing our risk for disease, creating a lean, fit, toned body, improving our quality of sleep, greater energy, vitality and so much more. However, working with hundreds of clients for twenty years, I’ve seen time and time again another incredible yet often overlooked benefit from regular and consistent exercise…the link between a strong body and a strong mind.
Here are just a few of the ways this link occurs:
• Regular exercise gives us a sense of control. When so many things are out of our control, we can become anxious, agitated, stressed and uncomfortable. Exercise is something within our control in the way we exercise, the level of intensity we put in, how often we exercise and the results we receive. Gaining control in certain areas of our life reduces anxiety while giving us a greater sense of order and routine. This creates the sense that we’re living proactively, where we’re creating the life we want vs. living reactively where we’re reacting to life happening to us.
• Exercise gives an increased ability to focus and concentrate. Because exercise encourages more restful sleep and clarity, we wake up sharper, refreshed and energized vs. fatigued and lethargic. Those are qualities that give us an edge and advantage in business as well as life. We have better retention; getting more from what we read, hear or see. We’re also able to react more quickly whether it’s an immediate business decision that needs to be made or a life threatening response that needs to be acted on. Through regular exercise, our reflexes are quicker and sharper.
• Exercise impacts the way we carry ourselves. Through regular activity, our posture improves, we hold ourselves straighter and with more confidence. This increased
confidence impacts the way we move, our body language even our stride. How does this translate? To others we’re seen as being more competent, confident, successful and trustworthy.
• Our image. The better we feel, the more interest we often have in conveying that healthy image through the way we dress, speak and move. With an improved image, we may want to dress better and take better care of ourselves physically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually while giving ourselves the self-‐care we need to nourish our body and mind.
• Self-‐love. The more we love ourselves, the greater capacity we have to love others. Giving ourselves the gift of fitness shows ourselves we’re worth the time and effort it takes to achieve a healthy and fit body and the result of our self-‐love benefits all within our care and reach.
• The qualities we have. When we exercise regularly, it demonstrates qualities such as consistency, persistence, commitment and dedication. How does this help us in business? When someone looks to do business with someone and they see that they have these qualities when it comes to fitness and health, they may subconsciously assume that they have those same qualities when it comes to doing business as well. Wouldn’t you want to work with someone who feels a strong sense of dedication and commitment when they’re doing work or are in partnership with you?
• Less stressed. This happens in a few ways. One is through the rhythmic movement of aerobic activity (ex: walking, running, etc.) Thoughts that have been sitting on the back burner have an opportunity to be brought to the surface and thought through, similarly to one of the many benefits of meditation. A reduction in stress also happens through high intensity physical activity (ex: interval training, bootcamp classes, kickboxing, etc.). High intensity activity or punching/kicking like the kind in a kickboxing class can let out all the steam from a frustrating day.
• Confidence. When we show ourselves that we’re committed to taking care of our bodies, it increases our confidence. This improved confidence may be just what we need to feel confident enough to try something else out of our comfort zone whether that means seeking out new relationships or exploring other personal or professional opportunities.
• Improving our quality of life. As we age, daily activities we take for granted now become more difficult if we fail to preserve our strength and health. Things like walking, taking the stairs, carrying packages, tying our shoes and even getting out of bed require muscular strength and flexibility. Preserving our independence, dignity and pride can often be achieved by preserving our strength.
• A healthy way to self-‐medicate. Exercise floods the body with “feel good” chemicals and endorphins. This is the same feeling that non-‐exercisers may try to achieve through other self-‐soothing and self-‐medicating behaviors like overeating, compulsive shopping, drinking, smoking, taking drugs or getting involved in reckless behavior.
• A healthier perspective and improved emotional outlook. Because of the mental and emotional benefits of regular and consistent activity, a healthier and more positive perspective and emotional outlook typically emerges. Just try to be as angry or upset about a situation after a rigorous exercise session or a beautiful jog on a gorgeous running path. It’s impossible!
• Greater emotional strength and a way to reduce symptoms of depression. Because of the power of exercise from the endorphin boost to the improved confidence, greater sense of control and so much more, exercise can help to combat and alleviate symptoms of depression. In fact, studies are showing that many health professionals including those in the fields of mental health who have incorporated exercise into their work with depressed patients have reported positive results.
• Exercise makes us feel good. After all, isn’t that what we’re after?
Over the years, I’ve worked with so many people who wanted to improve their physical strength so they can gain the “mental muscle” needed to come back after a crisis, illness, tragedy or trauma. Whether recovering from a disease, choosing a new professional path, getting back in the game after a divorce or bouncing back from a setback, I’ve seen countless times how a strong body leads to a strong mind…and how exercise is one of the most powerful means to get there.
Debi Silber, MS, RD, WHC The Mojo Coach®, founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com is a leading health, fitness, wellness, lifestyle, self-‐improvement expert and THE secret behind some of the healthiest, most dynamic, energetic and successful people today. Sign up for your “10 FREE Strategies to Get You Lean, Sleek and Sculpted”! (These are complete programs and videos) and take the FREE “Mojo Lifestyle Assessment” to see how you score.