As the old saying goes; “Success leaves clues”.
In the world of highly successful businessmen, entertainers and entrepreneurs, that sentiment couldn’t be more true.
Becoming the best version of ourselves takes more than just internal focus- having the humility to absorb tricks from the world’s most successful people is paramount for optimising our own lives.
And one habit that a large majority of over-achievers abide by on a daily basis?
No, I’m not just talking about athletes…
Sir Richard Branson himself, when questioned by the ever inquisitive Tim Ferriss, stated the one hour of exercise he gets each day, increases his productivity by a further 4 hours.
The former commander in chief Barack Obama claims to train for at least 45 minutes 6 times a week, in order to maintain his focus.
LearnVest CEO Alexa von Tobe has even been known to have co-workers meet her whilst she’s training, so she doesn’t miss her workout.
And Apple CEO Tim Cook is known to train at 5am every morning, come rain or shine.
Why is it that these, and countless other highly successful individuals, feel the need to take time out of their busy schedules, to hit the gym?
I mean for the businessmen noted above, an hour of their time is worth tens of thousands of dollars/pounds- possibly more.
And yet they all, without fail, will ensure they get their workout routines done.
It’s hard to argue with some of the world’s most successful men and women; so let’s examine why it is they chose to train so frequently- and how adopting the same habit yourself with improve your productivity and success even outside of the gym.
1- Exercise Improves Focus
Have you ever spent the day sat in front of a computer at a desk?
It’s the strangest thing- the movement made throughout the day is minimal, and yet by the time 5pm comes around, you find yourself utterly exhausted.
As a species we aren’t supposed to stay sedentary for long periods of time.
We’re supposed to move around, to physically exert ourselves- not sit behind a screen and slowly lose all of our mobility and strength.
Taking the time out to exercise will make a notable improvement in both focus and energy levels once you get back behind the desk or into the workspace.
Mint.com Founder Aaron Patzer might say it best:
“You cannot work, in this instance, 14-hour days without getting a good workout in as a break”
Whilst your working days might not be the fourteen hour herculean tasks Aaron describes, it’s still a good idea to take time out around lunch and move- whether that means getting to the gym, or doing some simple exercise like getting out for a brisk walk.
2- Exercising Develops Discipline
If you’re anything like me, you won’t always want to train.
And as much as we enjoy putting our idols and dream-mentors on a pedestal; they’re human too.
Forcing yourself to get to the gym, and to push out that last rep that you didn’t think was possible?
That develops grit; it develops a determined focus that can only serve you in other areas of your life.
Getting up and putting in the work is hard, even for those whom we assume it comes naturally to, but it’s the act of persevering through the little voice suggesting Netflix and a beer would be a more enjoyable option, that develops the character traits we so often associate with highly driven individuals.
(Struggling with the motivation to get started on your own fitness journey- read this blog about how to stop putting off starting a training routine)
3- Exercise Improves Cognitive Function
If you haven’t guessed already- resistance training is no longer the hobby of exclusively ‘meatheads’.
Because intelligent training has been proven to improve our brain’s ability to function.
Not only from a focus perspective, but from short term memory to puzzle solving, training has become a leading way to increase your ability to deal with challenging mental situations.
Interestingly a recent study showed that light exercise 4 hours after a new fact had been learnt increased the learners recollection ability.
Perhaps that’s why Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg insists on jogging, despite how busy his schedule may become.
4- Training is Meditative
Meditation is another practice a large number of inspiration people partake in- but let’s look at what the act of mediation is…
In its most basic form, it’s focusing the brain, and all of your attention, on a single task. On one point of focus- whether that be your breathing pattern, the wind against your skin, or, the barbell you’re pushing away from your chest.
Training hard, with your sole focus being on the exercise at hand, is a great way for highly driven individuals to garner the benefits of mediation, when they otherwise might not turn to such practices.
The upsides of switching out the rest of the world- especially in the life of a high powered CEO or business man, is of paramount importance.
We’re living in a world with constant input from our smart phones and computers- by taking the time out you’re increasing your productivity once you’re back in the office. Which brings us to our next point…
5- Training Reduces Stress Levels
Stress, for the most part, is bad.
In a business sense? It causes errors in judgment, and possibly disgruntled coworkers, employees and bosses if your attitude reflects the stress you’re feeling.
Let’s completely discount the health benefits of reducing stress; of which there are many- and the productivity upside alone of regulating your stress levels will have a profound impact on your life.
And it is regular exercise which promotes just that; decreasing blood pressure, stress hormone release, and promoting the release of feel-good endorphins.
6- Exercise Promotes Creativity
Have you ever been searching for the name of a movie or actor all day to not avail, only for it to pop into your head as you’re drifting to sleep?
This is a common occurrence, and one which has promoted numerous investors and creative workers to sleep with a pen and paper next to their beds- so they’re prepared should a moment of inspiration hit them.
The logic of such ‘Ah-Ha’ moments, is that our subconscious will deliver us the answer to a problem (which we already had in our mind) most often when we have finally stopped searching for it.
It’s the moments we allow ourselves to empty our minds, or distract ourselves with less serious endeavours, that most often lead to a career changing discovery or ‘eureka moment’.
Because of this, a break to lift some weights or perform some cardio during the day provides a perfect opportunity for such ‘Ah-Ha’ moments to manifest.
There are certain companies in Sweden that offer their employees additional holiday days if they go to the gym 3 days a week.
They don’t do this from the goodness of their heart.
They do it because they understand a fit person is more productive, and will have fewer days off.
So, if you’re keen to become such a person; who has increased productivity and health?
And if you’re eager to follow in the footsteps of some of the most influential men and women the world has to offer?
Start resistance training now- after all; if the busiest most successful people in business can fit time in to train, surely you can too?
(But if you really think time is the issue stopping you from training? Check out the 25 minute fat burning workout)
Finding the time to fit exercise and healthy eating into a busy lifestyle can be very challenging. Here at Luke Bremner Fitness we specialise in working with busy professionals and business owners, so we understand the importance of time efficient health and fitness solutions.
We designed our core programmes – the 12 Week Transformation and the 4 Week Jumpstart with that in mind. To help you, the busy professional look, feel and perform better without sacrificing the previous little time you have available.
To find our more about our nutrition coaching, programmes and how we can help you achieve your goals, you can book in for your complimentary consultation.