I want to first thank Kolby and Kari for allowing me to guest blog for them. I think their message “we lift” is very powerful, and I hope you feel lifted after the read. Enjoy ☺
Did you know that health and fitness are synonyms to one another? If you did, kudos to you, but this was a surprise to me. I always looked at fitness as a component of your health, not the meaning.
The definition of health is “physical and mental wellness.” So if fitness is a synonym of health, then fitness must impact you more than just physically. That’s what I’d like to share with you today. In this article, I talk about how fitness goes beyond physical benefits, and how it improves you outside of the gym.
Better Work-Life Balance
Everyone needs this. If you spend too much time at the office, your family life suffers. Not enough time and your work suffers. If this balance isn’t fine-tuned, stress starts to build.
By now, close to everyone knows that exercise reduces stress. But unfortunately, it’s the stress of improper work-life balance that’s a popular reason for skipping a workout. People convince themselves they simply don’t have time for exercise. I’m especially guilty of this. As the stress seems to just pile up, I feel like stopping to workout would only add to it. I tell myself that I need that time as it will help me feel balanced.
Not too long ago I found a bit of research that talked about this seemingly vicious cycle. In it, researchers measured the effect exercise had on individual’s ability to cope with work and home stresses. They conducted the experiment over a 12-week span. The only behavior that changed was the introduction of exercise. In other words, the volunteers lost another hour in their already busy day.
At the end of the experiment, researchers found that not only did the exercise significantly lower stress (expected), but nearly everyone reported feeling more empowered to handle their work and home life balance.
This seems counterintuitive. How can spending more time help with time management? Even though they lose that hour, researchers believe it’s the ability to detach from the day to day stresses that fuel this empowerment. So, if your go-to reason for not running after work is that you don’t have time, you may need to find another excuse.
Better Coordination, Better Communication…O and Mo Money
There is a popular Finnish study that measured the mental effect that exercise has on sets of identical twins, specifically when one twin exercises more than the other. In the study, researchers tracked the effects of exercise over the course of 30 years. What that study showed, was that the twin who exercised more frequently had a larger percentage of gray matter (bigger brain).
Now, a bigger brain doesn’t necessarily mean greater intelligence without confirmation. So, the researchers tested a few other variables to confirm that this size increase was scientifically significant. What they found was that the twin that worked out exhibited better coordination and communication skills. They even discovered that the twin who exercised, happened to make more money. Roughly 14% more on average. Researchers believe this is a result of the twin being more competitive in nature and quicker to rise to a work crisis if needed.
I have a few takeaways I would like to leave you with. The first being, remember the language. Next time you say “health and fitness,” know you have said the same word twice.
Second, if you are struggling with a proper work-life balance, don’t look at exercise as a time sync. Look at it as a time saver. It may be the solution you’re looking for.
Last, whether you want to improve your physic, leadership, or overall quality of life, fitness needs to be made a priority. It’s a great personal and business investment.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my post. If you would like to share any of your experiences, I would love to hear them (comments below). Keep lifting those around you and push yourself to be great at what you do.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out my site MillennialLeader.com. It’s a site dedicated to becoming and understanding young professionals. Thanks!!!