What is the benefit of exercise to the entrepreneur?
Businessmen and women are often faced with the conundrum of determining what to prioritise and what not to on a daily basis. Especially because time is always a scarce commodity for many entrepreneurs. It then becomes understandable that many fledgling entrepreneurs rank profit very highly on their list of priorities.
Profit will keep the business afloat. Profit will attend to the bills and afford the venture a chance of growth and expansion. Of course, you want to be profitable given the daunting figures of businesses that fail within five years of start-up.
Nigeria presents a peculiar problem in the area of manpower for businesses. There is a prevailing argument that the country suffers, not from unemployment but from un-employability. Many young job-seekers here are not just intellectually unsound but they also lack the requisite skills and attitude to add value to organisations.
This makes many business owners micro-manage many areas of their ventures for fear of incurring huge losses due to lousy and obtuse employees. This weighs heavily on the time available to such a businessman to attend to many other critical things such as exercise and personal health.
Exercise is the single element in personal health that is entirely within the control of an individual. This is because healthy eating and regular health checks may involve other variables that may be difficult to control. Exercise is that one bit that can be done at any time of the day and anywhere.
Unfortunately, not many young business persons in this clime appear to appreciate the importance of exercise on their health and ultimately on their bottom lines.
The general health benefits of exercise cannot be overstated but that is not even the meat of this matter. We now know, without any iota of doubt, that a lack of exercise is implicated in the aetiology of heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, and several other ailments.
Exercise, however, has very specific benefits accruable to the business man or woman and time allotted to it is as essential, maybe even more critical, than to profit-making.
Exercise And Improved Cognition
Entrepreneurs are expected to function at above-average cognitive capacity. This is simple to understand given that they are largely social problem-solvers who are able to proffer commercially-viable solutions in their ventures. They should therefore seek out and imbibe habits that improve mentation continuously.
Exercise is one such habits and has been proven to have immense benefits on cognition as supported by findings from a 2012 Montreal Health Institute research. This is backed by physiology, given that exercise improves blood flow to the brain. Improved blood flow essentially translates to more oxygen and more nutrients thus a well-nourished and refreshed brain required for clear thinking, sound memory, and intricate problem-solving.
Exercising And Competitiveness
Outdoing competitors is a key component of business success. Doing this requires the proper mental attitude and strength to get in the face of your rivals and be a step ahead every time. Usually, this mental strength is not developed overnight but can be built over time by many habits that include regular exercises.
Interesting research done in Finland compared the income difference between in twins that exercised regularly and those who were more sedentary. These were two individuals with about identical genetic make-ups but varying lifestyles. The twins who exercised regularly earned a considerably higher income than their other halves. If you wish to develop a competitive mentality, exercise might be a good place to start. Outdoing competition positively is always a good thing when the bottom line is involved.
Exercise And Improved Productivity
Time is your enemy as an entrepreneur and so you often have to pack many activities into a small time frame just to create value for yourself and other stakeholders. Optimal productivity is therefore imperative for any ambitious entrepreneur who seeks to get more done in less time. This is another positive effect of exercise.
Again, empirical evidence from a study carried out by NASA suggested that the productivity of non-exercisers reduced by half after seven hours of work. Business people must, as a duty, invest quality exercise time into their ventures to ensure they get the best use of their most critical yet limited resource – time.
Exercise And Stress Alleviation
Stress is inimical to productivity and value creation. It impairs sound judgment and problem-solving and these can weigh very heavily on the bottom line. The entrepreneur must therefore ensure stress is properly managed at every turn.
Exercise helps the body release endorphins – happy hormones that give a natural boost. This enables a robust interaction with employees and customers and maybe the singular factor in securing repeat businesses and checking employee turnover. It also significantly reduces anxiety which is counterproductive when rational thinking and precision are required.
Exercising And Improved Energy Levels
Exercise is an important aspect of building fitness and this physical strength can be very handy at crunch-time. Entrepreneurship can sometimes be physically gruelling and tasking making it essential that energy levels are optimal all through the day.
A good breakfast routine helps as much as regular exercise in this aspect. Researchers in 2008 reported a 20% rise in energy levels and a 65% reduction in fatigue among people who had frequently complained of low energy. This stunning result was achieved following the institution of low-intensity exercises among the subjects.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a 30-minute workout at least 5 times a week for healthy living. It may seem like a lot of ‘wasted’ time but on the contrary, could actually be the soundest investment of any entrepreneur. Find a sport or activity you enjoy as you are less likely to default. It also helps to make it as social as possible by either doing such exercises with a spouse, business partners, or friends. You can also join a gym where you can work out and even build your network by meeting and conversing with other members. Who knows, you just might land your next deal there!
The proponents of the ‘Health is Wealth’ school of thought appear to have been well-informed. Many successful business leaders across the world are physically fit and they exercise regularly. While this will not solely explain the successes they have recorded in their endeavours, it has certainly got them ahead. Do likewise!
Photo Credit – iStock/Alija