9 Reasons Why Regular Exercise is Vital to Your Success
What is one thing highly successful people all have in common? Exercise. If you spend some time listening to how driven and prosperous individuals spend their time, you will likely discover that they all work out – and that they consider it to be integral to their success.
Former President of the United States Barack Obama exercises for 45 minutes a day, 6 days per week, alternating between lifting weights one day and cardio the next. Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, says he wakes up as early as 5am to either kitesurf, swim or play tennis. Likewise, Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice gets up at 4:30am to squeeze in 40 minutes of cardio.
Whether it is running, tennis, weights, cycling or rock climbing, the most successful people clearly prioritize fitness into their busy daily schedules. Why? They understand the value of mentally and physically pushing themselves. Here are 9 reasons why fitness is the cornerstone of a winning mindset and lifelong success.
- Build Mental Strength
Believe it or not, when you focus on your physical fitness it can actually help you build mental strength as well. Developing a greater mind-body connection through physical fitness will help you gain mental clarity and learn how to push past your comfort zone. You will realize the extent of your self-imposed limits and that they actually do not exist. Over time, you will learn how to conquer the fear of failure, overcome insecurities and achieve your fitness goals. As you physically surpass what you never thought was possible, you will realize the obstacles in other areas of your life are no different – mental resilience and physical progression leads to success.
- Stay the Course
One of the top lessons learned through fitness that translates to everyday life is the importance of staying the course. Any type of fitness routine teaches self-control, discipline, work ethic and consistency. Change does not happen overnight, and motivation will always come and go. This can make it incredibly tempting at times to slack off and make excuses. However, when you make fitness non-negotiable in your life, you will begin to see those small ripples gain momentum and speed. Before you know it, those ripples will turn into a powerful and unstoppable force of change. Fitness is a perfect example of how you can transform your life by committing to growth.
- Hunger for Growth
Success is contagious. Each time you add weight to the bar, run another mile, try a new skill or conquer some other fitness goal, your self-imposed limitations will fall away. It will leave you curious to discover what else you can accomplish that you previously believed impossible or too difficult. Fitness cultivates a hunger for growth, especially when you begin to see physical progress. Once you realize the value in doing thing even when you are not the most motivated and the results you can achieve through consistency, you will become a more goal-oriented person in every area of your life.
- Teaches the Value of Pain
Change is painful. It asks you to let go of the familiar and embrace unfamiliar things. It involves leaving old habits behind and adopting new ideas and behaviors. It requires a willingness to face potentially negative outcomes. It involves an element of fear. Fitness teaches you how to look past the present discomfort and keep your eye on the end goal. You develop the physical and mental strength to push through “dark places”, building the resilience needed to overcome any obstacle in life. You learn the value of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. As the saying goes, “Great things never came from comfort zones.”
- Boosts Memory and Productivity
Did you know that working out can improve your brain function? During endurance exercise, for example, a molecule called irisin is produced in the brain through a chain reaction. Scientists have come to believe that its neuroprotective effects can activate genes involved in memory and learning. Many studies have even suggested that parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in volume in people who regularly exercise than in those who do not. As you reduce feelings of depression and anxiety through exercise, your mind will be clear to focus on daily tasks, long-term goals, and relationships.
- Improves Self-Esteem
Whether you beat an old time for a 5k run, lift a heavy weight for the first time or add time to your daily walk, exercise can give you a strong sense of pride at having achieved a particular goal. Fitness teaches you that it is possible to excel beyond the limitations you have set for yourself. With each doubt you erase and obstacle you overcome, your self-talk will slowly shift from “I cannot possible do that” to “I may struggle with it right now, but I will do it”. This change of perspective is invaluable; it will enable you to overcome what you once believed was impossible not just in fitness, but in every area of your life.
- Reduces Stress Levels
Have you ever finished a workout and felt like you could now tackle tasks you felt too sluggish to even attempt earlier in the day? In addition to the self-esteem boost you experience each time you accomplish one of your fitness goals, working out also improves your mood and reduces stress levels. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins – chemicals in your brain that work as your body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators – and serotonin which help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve the ability to sleep. As you commit to regular physical exercise, your overall health and sense of wellbeing will improve.
- Builds Healthy Competitiveness
Fitness helps you stay competitive with others, and most importantly, with yourself. Whether it is people in the gym, family and friends or coworkers at the office, it can be difficult to ignore the naysayers. Regular exercise can give you the physical and mental strength to not only stay in the fight and overlook negativity, but to also work harder, better and smarter. Having a healthy competitiveness with yourself will allow you to reach higher levels of skills and overcome limits previously unrealized. As American industrialist Henry Kaiser put it, “Taste the relish to be found in competition – in having put forth the best within you.”
- Conquer Yourself
Have you wondered what the greatest obstacle to success is? The answer is pretty simple: you. When it comes to achieving what you want in life, many of the factors that make it difficult to progress are outside of your control. Instead of focus on those things, you need to focus on the biggest barrier; the one which you do have control over. Yourself. More than any other type of activity, lifting weights allows you to see fast results for the actions performed. You focus on what you are able to do in that moment, you lift the weight, set it back down and you grow stronger. This impacts you. It shows you what you can accomplish through sheer willpower and drive – focusing on what you can control (yourself) and letting everything else go. It leaves you asking, “If I can do this, what else could I transform?”
Although most people want to achieve success in life, only a few do. It costs something to be successful. If you are willing to dedicate the focus, energy and time it takes to achieve big goals, you can earn a spot in the winner’s circle. The life lessons learned through physical fitness can help you get there.
Keywords: regular physical exercise*, exercise*, exercising, habits of successful people
The most successful people understand the value of mentally and physically pushing themselves. Here are 9 reasons Why regular physical exercise is vital to your success.