It was Richard Branson who said that for every hour of exercise he does, he gets an extra 4 hours of productivity. Who wouldn’t want to be as productive, have as much energy, achieve as much and be as successful as he is? He does know what he is talking about.
Any of us who exercise on a regular basis would agree with him.
Exercise gets our hearts pumping. It sends fresh oxygen streaming through our bodies. It enlivens us. Rather than making us tired, it energises us. It clears our heads and brings clarity of mind. It focuses us. It keeps our bodies young and strong. There is increasing evidence that it protects us from a whole range of diseases.
So why, when we know exercise increases our energy and productivity, do so few of us do it?
Exercising is hard – much harder for our mind than our body. We engage our heads in a debate as to why we can’t or shouldn’t do it and put all the obstacles we can think of in the way. We’ll start tomorrow. It’s too cold today. I can’t go in the rain. I’ll wait until the weather gets better. I’m just too tired and overwhelmed with work at the moment. I’ll wait and see if I can get someone to do it with me. I need to check out which gym to go to. So it goes on and nothing happens. Once we get out there, however, our body thanks us profusely.
Even those of us who exercise every day don’t like getting out of bed to do it, but we don’t allow our head to start talking us out of it. Once we start having a conversation with ourselves about it, we are finished because our self-indulgent self will always win. So we JUST DO IT!
Why do so many of us start and stop and start and stop?
When many of us make the big decision that we are going to start exercising, we go right over the top. We take out an expensive gym membership or we decide to run 12 kms every day or walk 6 kms everyday. Of course, we can’t keep it up. This commitment is unrealistic when we’ve never exercised before or, at least never been able to make a long term commitment to it.
My motivational challenge for you this week then is to see exercise
as a lifestyle change that you make over the next 12 months
that will increase your energy and productivity.
View that lifestyle change in a realistic time frame, one that you can achieve.
Start with incidental exercise – use stairs instead of lifts or elevators; park the car a kilometre from work and walk to work; stand at your desk instead of sitting when appropriate, for example, when answering a phone call; take the kids to the park and run around with them.
Decide to do some form of exercise twice a week for the next 3 months. Get a friend to do it with you because that makes you more accountable. You don’t want to let your friend down.
Once you have made these kinds of changes to your life, you can build on that. I can assure you, you will want to. It will have made such an impact on you.