Entrepreneurs and business owners take note: "You get better at your business if you first take care of your health."
There is no escaping it, the one essential component of a healthy business is a healthy owner. The reality is, fit and healthy people can function easily without a business; however, a business cannot function and certainly not thrive, without an owner that's fit and healthy. At least not for the long haul.
According to self-made billionaire/business owner Sir Richard Branson, "If the body is sharp, the brain will be sharp."
Why should we care about and listen to what Richard Branson has to say? For beginners, he is one of the most respected business entrepreneurs on the planet, having started more than 400 companies including the Virgin Group. Richard Branson knows something about success in life.
Tim Ferris, another phenomenally successful entrepreneur in his own right, once posed a question to this famous icon: "How do you become more productive?" After a few minutes of deep introspection, Sir Richard finally broke the silence with "workout".
A billionaire, one of the busiest and most successful people on the planet credits "working out" as his way of staying super-productive and healthy. Not skipping meals or working harder/working overtime but working out was the answer.
He even went so far as to state that working out gave him an additional four hours of productive time daily!
One can accomplish many more tasks with four extra hours in one day! When we do the math, those four hours multiply into 15-28 additional productive hours weekly!
On the other hand, when we are not fit and healthy, our energy/batteries run down and die quickly, and performing simple tasks at work and life in general become a struggle, never mind trying to create kick in the creative process.
It is hard to experience the joy of creativity when our minds are tired, and our bodies are run-down. In other words when we are physically and mentally out of shape.
Studies prove that exercise super-charges our productivity because our brains love movement and perform better when we are in good shape.
Not only do our muscles and bones benefit from proper movement, but movement increases production of neurochemicals that stimulate brain cell repair, prompts the growth of fresh nerve cells and blood vessels, boosts mental clarity and decision making skills, all while improving memory, focus and attention span.
For Richard, rising early and exercising first was and is the magic formula that continues to give him that extra energy boost (mentally and physically) allowing him to achieve much more as the day progressed.
"Being fit and healthy. There's nothing like the endorphins from being fit, and the incredible endorphin rush that goes with it."
When our feel-good endorphins get boosted, our moods do as well. When we feel good and look good, our confidence and self-esteem increase, and our energy-signature screams positive, attracting the same.
Suddenly new doors and business pathways open and success begins to flow in to meet us and our new-found creativity.
Here is just a few of the many benefits enjoyed when we practise healthy living, and our minds and bodies are fit:
Clarity of mind
We think faster and clearer when our minds are not clogged with junk. Decisions and problem solving become easier.
Not only do we fall asleep easier when our bodies and our minds are tired (having been used properly during the day), but we sleep deeper, more soundly and wake ready to face a new day and new challenges with enthusiasm and determined drive.
Concentration and creativity
Focus and concentration are enhanced when our brains work better. The results are accelerated learning, creativity, and the discipline to follow through with plans. Creativity has no chance of expression when we are mentally tired/out of shape.
Stress and anxiety are managed and attended to before they build up and multiply into bigger problems.
Along with handling fatigue better, we experience more endurance and stamina (perfect foundation to put to creative use those four extra hours Sir Richard talked about).
All the above lends energy into becoming a better version of ourselves. Someone bolstered by "self-love" – a more youthful, dynamic version ready to conquer the world.
And, best of all? We feel better and we are happier! Happier people have a healthier perspective and view of the world, and always perceive the "glass half full".
The more movement we provide our bodies, through proper, challenging exercise, the healthier our brains are, the more clarity we have, and the more we can learn, create, and produce. This is the formula that translates to success in life.
Final words on the subject from Sir Richard:
"Everybody has to find half an hour or 45 minutes a day to make sure they keep fit and stay healthy."
We need to give credence to these wise words. Our muscles, bones and brains depend on it.
• Carolyn Hansen is co-owner of Anytime Fitness.