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The Link Between Fitness & Career Success

Brian Calkins - NSCA-CPT, ACE | Cincinnati, Ohio

It's no mystery to successful people that there is direct correlation between sound health & fitness and success in their career and personal lives. Take of moment to recall a successful person you know and they likely show up at the health club consistently, work with a personal trainer, or get up a few minutes early for a heart elevating jog. Successful people like to jump start their day with an abundance of energy and the feel-good endorphins that exercise offers. Recent studies identify the direct correlation between fitness and success.

Better ability to focus, improved confidence and enhanced ability to follow through were directly attributed to improved fitness levels according to a 2007 University of Georgia study. Further, a leading executive search company surveyed more than 1,300 executives who earn $100,000 or more annually. When asked to describe their perceptions of weight and work, 75 percent said good physical fitness is "critical for career success at the executive level." Seventeen percent, by contrast, said staying in shape is "a nice goal, but secondary to fiscal fitness."

The founder and CEO of that executive search firm said, "Good physical fitness is critical to success as an executive in today's work world. The days of a little extra padding being a sign of maturity and success are gone.''  When asked about obesity, 75% of executives said that being overweight is a "serious career impediment."

Do these responses reflect our obsession with weight loss and mirror the constant barrage of skinny images in popular culture? Probably not. Rather, there is a very strong link between improved fitness and increase productivity, enhanced ability to solve problems, superior stamina & energy, not to mention reduced stress and fatigue, all leading to better job performance.

It goes well beyond looking good. Fit people tend to have better eating habits and miss fewer days at work due to a higher resistance to illness. And with competition continually increasing in every industry, companies are now rewarding employees and managers who miss less work and produce more.

A study by Jim McKenna, a British researcher, showed that after exercising participants returned to work more tolerant of themselves and more forgiving of their colleagues. The study goes on to conclude that “work performance was consistently higher, time management skills improved, as did mental sharpness”.

All it takes is investing 3 – 4 sessions a week, 30-45 minutes each, to experience these benefits. Combine strength training and cardiovascular exercise, along with sound nutrition to rev up your mental sharpness, enhance your productivity, elevate your mood, better manage stress and simply feel good. As your fitness level increases, likely your position on the ladder of success will too!

Resources to Help You Get Fit & Enhance Your Success:

Cincinnati Fitness Boot Camp for Women

Mason, Deerfield Township, West Chester Fitness Boot Camp for Women

The Total Fitness Makeover

Personal Training