You have probably encountered several posts around the web about successful habits that the world’s top performers follow in their pursue of excellence. If so, you may have noticed that an exercise regime is present in almost everyone’s routine. Frankly, it has to be. I have personally experienced it when I added physical exercise in my morning routine almost four years ago – and I religiously follow it ever since. Here is why you should do the same. Let’s explore the mental state of fitness.
Personality Composure & Mental Toughness
Initiating a regular physical exercise routine is a task that requires relatively significant discipline and determination. While you are forming this new routine, you are actually creating a mold of self-discipline and self-determination that gradually become strong personality traits. Whether you are conscious of that process as it happens or it is something undergoing subconsciously, it doesn’t really matter. You become a better composed person with a degree of decisiveness that probably you haven’t experienced before.
If you go a step further and push a bit more during the workout – run that extra mile when you think you are depleted of energy or do another set of pull-ups when your arms feel numb – and go beyond your perceived physical limits you will experience how your body and your mind are physically related. You will feel how physical endurance forges mental toughness that you will transfer in all other aspects of your personality behaving with exceptional clarity even under any kind of circumstances that impose extreme pressure.
Everything is a habit. Not as a matter of speaking, but as a matter of fact. When your start a new routine everything seems to require significant effort, thus feels very tiring (just recall those first days behind the wheel), because there is increased neural activity in your brain. As you repeat that routine over and over again, eventually you reach the point that the activity feels almost effortless. This is because your brain has been trained and now spends minimum energy for that same routine and this is the moment a new habit has been formed.
Admittedly, physical exercise is a demanding habit, particularly if you live around the clock in the hectic pace of any metropolis around the globe. Even if you limit your exercise in 20-30 minutes and be able to do it at home and avoid losing any transition time, it is still not a negligible time cut. On top of that, you have to figure out other bits and pieces attached to it, like when and what you will have for breakfast if you train in the morning or dinner if you are an evening person.
To be honest, it is not easy to find a more complex habit than that. I bet you feel the same. So, once you nail that one down, more likely than not you will start reprogramming your daily activities in a much more efficient way and get more organized even if you tend to mess around, literally and metaphorically, by nature. Because you will have mastered the art of forming new habits. And I guess it is needless to argue on how important is to be organized if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur.
Physical exercise is important in keeping yourself healthy, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Of course, this is no news to your ears. It is important because, among other factors, you need increase your heart rate once in a while to maintain your heart healthy and because it will improve your metabolism, meaning the process by which your body breaks down nutrients in order to produce energy.
But what I really want to address in this paragraph is how an exercise routine triggers a health domino. Sooner or later you will start improving your diet. Even if you don’t end up feeling your fridge with the fifty shades of green from all sorts of vegetables and even if you don’t totally remove soda from your diet and keep indulging in sparkling sugar every now and then, there will be a noticeable improvement in your nutritional habits nevertheless. This will not only have to do with the quality of food, but also with the timing since you will likely form a more regular nutritional circle in terms of when you eat your meals.
As a result and on top of the above, you will have more balanced energy levels throughout the day and your sleep will improve if you happen to suffer from any kind of irregular sleep patterns. And of course your appearance will be affected as well. Whether a slight or a radical change, you will be in a position to sign better terms with your body and boost your confidence.
A better health will bring a sense of well-being that will become a powerful cloak to wrap your daily activities. You will feel “lighter”, more energetic and confident and in a position to take the most out of every day.
Productivity Hacks, Increased Brain Activity & The Elixir of Happiness
There is a good chance that when trying to find, or create, the time to give yourself a nice workout, you will end up integrating it in your morning routine. If that’s the case, then it means that you will become a morning person even if you are not currently one. If the later is true, you are probably thinking that this is nonsense and it doesn’t matter if you rise early and sleep early and do everything early or you wake up late and go to bed late and do everything late as long as you allocate the same amount of time in absolute values for every task. So let me argue why becoming a morning person is a great productivity booster.
Training generates a burst of energy immediately after you are done. In addition to that, during physical exercise your body produces endorphins, these being endogenous opioid neuropeptides, which – without digging into medical details – are responsible not only for that energy spark but for a feeling of euphoria as well. That sense of euphoria gets enhanced by the nice feeling of accomplishing something first thing in the morning. And related to the above, but probably even more important, is the fact that after training you experience an increased brain activity – a window of mental clarity if you will.
If you make a quick research on some of the most brilliant people throughout history, you will find out that a great percentage of them had allocated a solid time span for physical exercise into their daily routines. Friedrich Nietzsche used to walk a lot and he had famously reported that he had his best ideas during walking and in particular after the fourth kilometre. And for me it is true that I generate a lot of ideas in the shower right after intense training – a brain activity that I feel it becomes even more intense whenever I finish my shower with freezing cold water.
I think those are enough points to make a solid case. If you exercise first thing in the morning, you put in place a nice mood topped with high energy and increased mental clarity right when you are about to start your productive work. During those first hours in particular, you are bound to reach very high efficiency rates and maximize your productivity.
Well, those might sound amazing but there is something even more exciting! And that’s what happens the days you don’t exercise just to give your body some rest. The thing is that once you become a morning person you will get used to wake up early whether you plan to train on the day or not. And those no-train early mornings can provide some very productive zones. You are fresh, you have all of your mental energy intact and since everyone is still asleep and the day hasn’t yet started for the rest of the world out there, you have no distractions to deal with!
I know that some of you still do not buy into the early bird idea, but I hope that even so, you are going to give it a try for a while just as an experiment.
A healthy mind into a healthy body
In the end of the day becoming a successful entrepreneur requires to constantly improve yourself in so many highly diverse levels. And fitness has so many immediate and side effects that it is a shame to miss out on those. It has totally transformed my life and I am sure it can do the same for you.
But the only way to really comprehend this is to experience it yourself. So, give yourself the opportunity to surprise you!
Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts on what you just read, either good or bad ones, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is invaluable in one’s strive for progress. And if you choose to share this post it would mean the world to me! Until soon!