The world’s most successful individuals somehow find time to fit exercise into their insane schedules, but why is it they sacrifice sleep and solace for sneakers and sweat? Because studies have shown exercise to boost memory, concentration, mental sharpness, mood, health, and social interactions—all necessary qualities for success.
For those glued to their office chair for hours on end, the coffee pot and energy drinks have probably become a daily staple. According to a University of Georgia study, exercise can increase energy levels by 20% and decrease fatigue by 65%, no negative crash included. And that’s been proven with just 20 minutes of low-intensity exercise 3x a week—only an hour every 7 days!
A study by Leeds Metropolitan University found a clear connection between exercise and business success. Researchers discovered that employees who used the gym were more productive at work, enjoyed better interactions with colleagues, and were happier when they returned home.
“There are unexpected benefits to pursuing a life of fitness,” said Duncan Simpson, Ph.D. “In fitness, much like in business, there are pushes for personal achievement that often make you goal-oriented. There’s also a quest to push yourself to the limit—you come to understand what’s possible and what isn’t.”
With 92% of startups failing within the first 3 years, entrepreneurs need to claim every available advantage to avoid becoming a statistic. How about a few extra work days each year? Chris Tzar, chair of the Exercise is Medicine Australia initiative, found regular exercise to decrease absenteeism by 25%.
Not only does regular exercise increase employee attendance, but improved health makes employees more efficient and productive. “Regardless of how you go about incorporating exercise into your routine, reframing it as part of your job makes it a lot easier to make time for it,” said Ron Friedman, Ph.D., founder of ignite80. “Remember, you’re not abandoning work. On the contrary: You’re ensuring that the hours you put in have value.”
It’s time to stop separating fitness and business. For entrepreneurs committed to finding success, exercise needs to become a top priority. The surprising benefits of regular exercise will only be realized when leaders begin investing in their number one asset: themselves.