By: Julie Miller-Boothe & Sandi Verrecchia @satoriinsight
It’s mid-February. The weather is dreary. The optimism felt on January 1st has (usually) begun to wane. It is just about this time of year when many of us (me included) begin to lose our resolve and begin to waiver on our commitment to our New Year resolutions.
If one of your resolutions involved integrating fitness into your daily routine or maintaining a higher level of fitness, here’s a bit of motivation to help you reach down deep and create an unwavering commitment to follow through on your resolutions.
We are all aware that exercise helps our cardiovascular fitness, our strength, and our endurance. Mounting evidence also suggests that it does much more than that. In fact, it can be a key piece in maximizing your work success and leadership potential.
Exercise changes our bio chemistry and neurology for the better. Simply put, exercise generates a cascade of stress reducing, brain power enhancing, confidence boosting, anti-aging effects. While feel good endorphins can elevate our mood post exercise, research in the journal Gerontology, indicates that chemicals released during exercise can increase gray matter and enhance processing. Simply put, exercise helps us think faster and clearer.
Christine Sachse, Fitness Trainer and Owner of Roseland Health and Fitness in Burlington, Ontario, confirms that all leaders can benefit from exercise. “What many of us don’t know is that in addition to reducing stress, exercise can also help leaders with their strategic capabilities. Some exciting new research, documented in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, shows that exercise can enhance an individual’s ability to imagine new situations thereby enhancing their ability to plan strategically, an essential attribute of a successful leader. Exercise encourages the long-term growth of hippocampal cells, a key brain structure that’s critical for long-term memory and creativity.”
Fitter, clearer, calmer and smarter…sounds like a great recipe to improve personal and workplace performance. Other research suggests that over time, exercise improves mitochondrial function. Mitochondria cells are little powerhouses of energy. Improving the functioning of these cells provides us with more energy. More energy, focused on the right things, can lead to peak performance.
As if this is not enough, research in the Journal of Managerial Psychology also indicates that engaging is regular exercise is positively associated with how others rate executives on various leadership measures. Exercise regularly and others see you as a better leader. Not to mention that strong leaders who engage in positive, healthy activities are strong role models and mentors for others. Walking the talk is an important part of being a good, well regarded leader. Exercise can help you create a positive buzz that others will want to be part of.
So, if exercise was part of this year’s resolutions, and you’ve hit the proverbial “February wall of letting go”, stop and think about all the benefits that were not part of the initial reason for the change. Think about how this seemingly small change could positively impact you as a leader in so many wonderful ways. Think about how much better you can be if you followed through…and really isn’t that what we ask of our staff?
So, one foot in front of the other, don’t give up. Just as you would ink a meeting into your calendar, commit to scheduling some fitness into your day. It will make you a better leader!
Find out more about Christine and Roseland Health and Fitness at www.roselandhealthandfitness.ca.
CMC, CPCC, MBA
Sandi Verrecchia is a Certified Management Consultant, holds a Masters degree and is a professional Leadership Coach. With over 20 years of experience in the financial services, academic and not for profit sectors, her diverse background of consulting, operations, marketing and sales is a wonderful compliment to her passion for coaching.