“I’m too busy to exercise.”
It is the ultimate excuse. When you are are working crazy hours or running your own business, you’ve got a family to feed and places to go, exercise can easily slide to the back burner. The importance of exercise is pushed into our faces by online articles, social media, and our overachieving marathoning friends all the time. But we’ll need more than that to motivate us to throw our sneakers on and head to the gym.
Study after study about exercise have been conducted, each revealing greater benefits than the last. Some recent discoveries include (but are not limited to):
- Decreased risk of alzheimers by 50%
- Strengthened bones and muscles
- Regulated appetite
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Reduced risk and treatment for dementia
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Decreased risk of stroke by 50%
- Improved immune system
- improved blood lipid profile
Apparently impending stroke and heart attack aren’t concrete enough to push the majority of us to the gym. While the benefits of exercise are well-known, a new government study estimates that 80% of Americans are not meeting recommended exercise goals each week. We all know that exercise is helpful, and yet the excuses continue to ring.
“I wish I could exercise, but I’m too busy.”
You may be too busy to exercise if all it means is living a happier, healthier, longer life. However, just remember that the benefits of exercise do not end with weight-loss and personal health.
The truth is, exercise is just as important to mental health and cognitive function as it is to health and physique. Without exercise, you cannot work at peak performance. In fact, so much research about the importance of exercise for productivity has been amassed in the last few years, that entrepreneur.com recently posted an article about how “Exercise isn’t just good for you. Your start up may depend on it.”
You see, exercise gets your blood flowing. Improved blood flow results in your body creating more blood vessels. More blood vessels can then penetrate deeper into tissues, increasing the speed of oxygen flow to the brain. The more oxygen you can get to your brain, the more efficiently your brain works.
John Medina makes a compelling argument for exercise in his book Brain Rules. He says that in over 18 studies of adults, exercisers out-performed couch potatoes in numerous tasks important to good business, such as long-term memory, problem-solving, abstract thinking, and reasoning. It turns out that exercise improves many of the skills you need to be successful.
Wouldn’t it make sense to make the time to exercise if it gives you more time to live and helps you to use your time more efficiently?
To summarize, this actonthis.tv infographic pulls together the link between fitness and career success: