You likely know the physical and physiological benefits of regular exercise … reducing your risk for disease, creating a toned body, improving your quality of sleep, increasing or energy and vitality, and so much more.
Working with hundreds of clients for twenty years, I’ve seen time and time again another incredible yet often overlooked benefit from regular and consistent exercise…the link between a strong body and a strong mind.
When you understand that regular exercise boosts your mental fitness, you have even more incentive to get up off the couch and move it. Here are 7 ways – some may surprise you! – that exercise keeps your mind fit:
1. Sense of control.
When things are out of your control, you can become anxious, agitated, stressed and uncomfortable. Exercise is something within your control. You can choose the way you exercise, the level of intensity you put in, and the results you receive.
Gaining control in certain areas of your life gives you a greater sense of order and routine. It creates the sense that you’re proactively creating the life you want instead of reacting to what’s happening to you.
2. Increased ability to focus and concentrate.
Exercise encourages more restful sleep and clarity, allowing you to wake up sharper, refreshed and energized instead of fatigued and lethargic. These qualities give you an edge and advantage in business and life.
Exercise improves your retention, allowing you to get more from what you read, hear or see. You’re also able to react more quickly and make faster decisions. Through regular exercise, your reflexes become quicker and sharper.
3. Improved self image.
Through regular activity, your posture improves and you hold yourself straighter and with more confidence. This impacts the way you move and your body language.
With an improved image, you tend to dress better. Studies show that this causes others to see you as being more competent, confident, successful and trustworthy.
4. Character development.
Who would think that exercise can make you a better person? When you exercise regularly, it demonstrates qualities such as consistency, persistence, commitment and dedication.
When others look to do business and they see these qualities when it comes to your fitness and health, they tend to assume that you have those same qualities when it comes working business or partnering with you.
5. Quality of life.
Exercise floods the body with “feel good” chemicals and endorphins. We all seek this type of “high”. Non-exercisers may try to achieve this feeling through other self-soothing and self-medicating behaviors like overeating, compulsive shopping, drinking, smoking, taking drugs or getting involved in reckless behavior.
Creating a natural high leads to a healthier you. Over time, preserving your strength and health means preserving your independence, dignity and pride.
6. Improved emotional outlook.
Through the release of endorphins and the mental and emotional benefits of regular and consistent activity, you develop a healthier and more positive perspective.
Studies show that mental health professionals who incorporate exercise into their work with depressed patients report more positive results. Exercise makes you feel good — isn’t this what we all want?
7. Greater self-love.
Giving yourself the gift of fitness shows yourself that you’re worth the time and effort it takes to achieve a healthy and fit body. As you take better care of yourself physically, you begin to do so mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
The more you show love to yourself, the greater capacity you have to love others. The result of your self-love benefits all within your care and reach.
Over time, the “mental muscle” you gain through improving your physical strength will support you in coming back after a crisis, illness, tragedy or trauma. You will become more resilient.
Whether recovering from a disease, choosing a new professional path, getting back in the game after a divorce or bouncing back from a setback, a strong body leads to a strong mind.
Have your experienced that a fit body means a fit mind? Please share below!