It is kind of like asking if the chicken came before the egg. The difference is there is some scientific evidence that says fitness may come before success. It is true that successful people are typically very motivated individuals so it is possible that their genetic make up or personality drives he or she to be fit as well. The fact is, when a person is being physically active their body goes into fight or flight mode. This response releases an endorphin called “Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF)” that gives you the ability to think more clearly and better respond to business demands. When you exercise you actually increase the amount of BDNF in your Hippocampus, which is associated with heightened cognitive functions such as memory and emotion. Even better, studies show that this endorphin is sustained for as long as several weeks after exercise.
Interestingly, if you were to ask a successful person why they exercise and eat right, the above information would not likely be their answer. They just know that they feel good, have more energy and stamina, and stay healthier year round. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group says that he enjoys 4 additional productive hours per day when he gets his morning workout in. As a matter of fact, in a survey of 1300+ executives, 75% of successful executives said that physical fitness is critical for career success at the executive level and also said that being overweight is a serious career impediment.
So the question is, if you get fit now, can you improve your career success? I don’t see why not! Without question you will improve your work performance and productivity, mental sharpness, and ability to manage stress. Just these things, alone, will likely improve your career not to mention your quality of life. Check out these highly successful household names that take their physical fitness serious!
- Barack Obama, President of the USA
- Mark Zuckerberg, CEO Facebook
- Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group
- Tim Cook, CEO Apple
- Ron Shaich, CEO Panera Bread
- Tory Burch, Fashion Giant
- Gwyneth Paltrow, Actress
- Michael Corbit, CEO Citigroup
- Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State
- Oprah Winfrey, Actress