A New Season and A New Focus

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Leadership Articles

We are coming upon a new season in 2010, Autumn. I have been reflecting on the season and the opportunity to re-focus and re-commit to some of my most important goals in my life.

Two of the most important goals, that will become daily disciplines in my life, are staying energized and healthy both mentally and physically. I have committed and built in daily rituals in my life to exercise, both mentally and physically.

I recently read some research by Gomez-Pinilla at UCLA that highlighted the importance of physical exercise, how it relates to our mental abilities and our overall performance in life.

The research suggests that exercise is vital for not only physical health but brain health. It appears you can learn 20% faster immediately after working out as opposed to sitting in a meeting. But like everything, you have to use it or lose it. As in anything worth having, consistency is critical.

Other desirable side-effects of physical exercise include:

  • Physically inactive people have 45% greater chance of developing heart disease
  • Colon cancer is approximately 40% more likely to occur in those who are inactive
  • HDL cholesterol (involved in reducing cardiovascular disease) increased an average of 4.6% with exercise
  • Epidemiological research suggests that each of us can gain 2 hours of life expectancy for each hour of vigorous physical activity
  • Women being treated for breast cancer who practice moderate exercise have 50% less recurrence and death than those inactive
  • Depressed individuals who walk 180 minutes a week experience 30% more remissions than those who don’t work out
  • People who aren’t physically active have approximately 60% greater risk of developing osteoporosis

Those are some wonderful benefits from spending 45 minutes to an hour of a day getting better physically and mentally.

A key component to my new rituals around exercise involve support and accountability from my best coach, my wife Jewell. We all need coaches, not because we are weak but because we want to remain strong.

Jewell, and I are doing P90X in the garage 3 days a week and providing time and support for each other to go to our gym the other 3 days for individual workouts. On Sundays, we take a “break” by having a good 30 minute walk or doing some physical activity with our 2 kids. We hold each other accountable for our exercise and nutrition, everyday.

The discipline of physical exercise is critical to my performance, leadership as a husband and father, and overall success. I feel more confident, more in control, energized, action oriented, decisive and accomplish more when I am consistently taking care of myself and my health.

I challenge each of us to invest in ourselves and success by using this new season to re-commit and re-focus on a goal.

Start small, get consistent to build momentum, and realize this is a process. Enjoy the process with the constant belief that you reap what you sow. You will feel and see the difference.

In my next post, I will provide some insight into my strategies around mental fitness.

Until next time, leaders develop daily – not in a day

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