You would likely be hard-pressed to find someone in today’s modern society who doesn’t understand the benefits of fitness for everyday health. Unfortunately, understanding isn’t enough and I speak with people in my gym every week who have placed their priorities elsewhere. It could be the businessman or professional woman who felt they had to put all their time and energy into their career to get ahead or grow their business. It could be the busy mom who not only works but also prioritizes her family and their needs before herself. Oftentimes, it’s someone who has just always felt lost as an adult about exercise and healthy eating and has just let life roll along. All three of the people described in these scenarios commonly reach a point where they realize something is missing. I know because many of them come to see me at my personal training gym https://transformingstrength.com/ to help them figure out changes they can make to their fitness and nutrition to improve their mental and physical health.
I love it when these folks decide to takes steps towards their personal development, making time for their well-being, and prioritizing their needs again. Once they start down this road, one of the most rewarding benefits of fitness I get to witness is when people realize the relationship between their personal health, happiness, and balance and how much better they are at all the other things they have been prioritizing.
Let’s look at several of the ways placing a priority on fitness can play a key role in personal development and how this change is interconnected to improving every area of our life.
1. Consistent exercise decreases depression and anxiety and improves mood.
It is almost impossible to think we can be at the top of our game in any area of life while struggling with depression or even just a bad mood. Research has shown exercise is a highly effective tool at not only fighting depression but also a great way to create a positive outlook and improve mood. This elevated state of attitude will invigorate you professionally and improve your relationships with everyone around you.
2. Exercise boosts brainpower.
There is no doubt exercise increases blood flow to every part of the body, including the brain. Not only is circulation to the brain improved, but the additional flow of oxygen has been shown to cause the release of chemicals responsible for boosting memory, learning, and creativity. So, while taking charge of your personal fitness, you can also actually be better at the cognitive and concentration aspects of your profession.
3. Exercise and healthy eating improve energy levels.
Instead of falling into the rut of many busy professionals and relying on coffee to wake us up or get us through the busy day, the most simple way to give your body a solid boost of energy is to commit to at least 20 minutes of exercise. Replacing some of your random food choices and snacks with healthy choices you eat on purpose can also go a long way to helping you find more balanced energy and fewer crashes and cravings. I wrote an entire article on the subject to help you Learn How to Eat on Purpose for Weight Loss, Health & Performance.
4. A focus on fitness will help the aging process.
Many of the folks I talk to who are ready to focus on their fitness as part of their personal development strategy have come to the realization they aren’t getting any younger. By committing to improving the amount of exercise they get and adjusting their eating habits, these people not only end up extending their life but also end up improving their quality of life along the way by reducing health risks and providing the movement the body craves. Relieving the stress of health problems that compound with age can go a long way to improving a positive mental outlook, and thus work and interpersonal relationships.
5. Exercise and clean eating improve the immune system.
Many of the busiest people I know are often run-down, fatigued, and sick. Unfortunately, the body is a lot like a car, and the less we maintain it the more it tends to break down. Research has shown that exercise and clean eating dramatically improve the body’s main system functions, which include the immune system. By exercising more, eating less junk, and more nutritious foods, we can better fight off illness and improve our productivity simultaneously.
6. Exercise more and sleep better.
Research has shown exercise to not only promote deeper sleep but also getting to sleep more quickly. It also tells us that getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night is critical for optimal hormone and brain function and the body’s ability to run smoothly. Simply put, sleeping more and better can improve all areas of life, so it is a great reason in and of itself to work on adding more exercise to your routine.
7. Eating and exercising on purpose controls body weight.
This area of personal development is near and dear to my heart since more than 90% of my clients come to see me with at least one of their goals being weight loss. This particular focus almost always requires them to learn how to make many small adjustments to both their exercise and eating habits over several months or more. While they are often focused on the end result, I love to focus on the empowerment that can be built through strength and conditioning and by learning how to eat to fuel their body. As clients get stronger, build consistency in their exercise and clean eating, they gain confidence. As they see physical changes in the body fat reducing and muscle tone improving, they gain confidence. These elements are like a snowball rolling down the hill. After a certain point, when enough has been learned and practiced, their confidence reaches a point where they become unstoppable inside the gym and out!
If you take nothing else away from this article, I hope you will consider a focus on fitness as one of the major components of your personal development plan. A few simple changes to become more active and eat better can bring invaluable benefits to many areas and truly change your life.
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