If you’re in a leadership position, you might feel chained to your desk – like you have to be the first one in the office and the last one to leave. However, what if we told you that fitting in a regular workout is essential for both you and your employees’ success? After all, your health is important to keep the office running.

If you get sick or are constantly run down, you can’t support the people that rely on you.
Jenny Noiles, Performance Director for EXOS at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

A healthy body isn’t the only bonus of an active lifestyle.

Here are five ways leaders can benefit from carving out time for fitness:

1. Get a reset from the mental grind

When you feel that afternoon fog roll inadding some movement to your day might help. “Instead of going for coffee, challenge yourself to do something that elevates your heart rate. It’ll give you more energy and revitalize your day, says JennyAnd if you’re feeling rundown, it’s likely your employees are, too. Try opening afternoon meetings with a meeting energizer  a quick session of targeted movement designed to get the blood flowing.  

three people running down a road, Leadership
Time for your weekly team catch-up? How about taking it from the meeting-room to the street, and talking as you run?

2. Increase your productivity

Whether you exercise before work or find time during the day, exercise has proven benefits for your focus and mental capacity. When you think about the endorphins you get from your fitness routine, it’s probably no surprise that getting your blood pumping can improve your mood at work. One study at the University of Bristol found that employees had better concentration, were more likely to finish their work on time, and felt more motivated on days they spent time at the gym.

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3. Discover more effective “me” time

Leadership can be demanding, and bowing to the needs of others can leave you burned out. You need to take care of yourself before you can help others. Whether it’s a full hour or just 20 minutes, let go of distractions and focus on yourself for a while, and if you can get to the gym, that’s a bonus. “That time might as well involve something that will improve your overall health and wellness, which ultimately enables you to keep supporting the people that rely on you,” says Jenny.

women squatting against wall, Leadership
Finding time each day to focus on your own thoughts can be a valuable way of maintaining your mental health and ultimately make you a better manager.

4. Find comfort in consistency

Having a scheduled fitness routine can help you and your employees feel more in control of an otherwise chaotic schedule. “The more consistent you are with your schedule, the easier it is for people to know when they can rely on you,” says Jenny. Just like you plan around days when Karen from Accounts needs to leave early to be at her son’s soccer game, your employees can plan around your daily 10 a.m. workout.

Plus, a solidified schedule will help you feel more organized and prepared for the week ahead. Jenny recommends that you pick a time and block it on your calendar. That way everyone knows, and you’ll have an extra reminder when it’s time to grab your gym bag and head for the door.

5. Inspire your workforce

When it comes to creating an environment where health is valued, your employees will follow your lead. Committing to a regular fitness routine tells your employees that your health is important to you. “If health and wellness are a priority for you, other people should know about it,” says Jenny. “You never know, it might influence or encourage others.” On the other hand, if you never use your lunch break to hit the gym or get out and move, your employees might be more likely to set aside their health goals as well.

three smiling people in each others arms, Leadership
Lead by example. If your staff see you prioritizing your health and wellbeing then they will also feel empowered to do so.

Let’s hear from you. How has a regular fitness routine helped you be a better leader?

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