Three years ago I had no energy, my financial situation was lackluster, I was always sleepy, and I was depressed. I lead a sedentary life, ate food that was horrible for me, wore a size 46 waist, and weighed 286 pounds, a record high for me. If nothing changed, I would continue to become more depressed, my weight would climb, and my business would sink. I knew I had to do something. So I made a few basic changes to my heating habits and began hiking.
I quickly felt the benefits. My depression lifted within a few weeks due to the release of serotonin that exercise causes, as well as the time spent outdoors with nature. There is a certain deep spiritual connection that comes with spending time away from electronics. My energy levels dramatically increased, primarily due to the fact that I was losing weight and eating healthier. I reduced my fast food intake, dropped unnecessary fatty foods, all but eliminated sweets and added sugar, and increased my vegetable-based food intake to nearly 80%. My physical health began to improve as well. I got sick less. I got stronger. I lost a huge amount of fat. I quickly dropped to 235 pounds, a solid 50 pound loss.
Something else remarkable happened. My business began to shift. I was given more opportunity to earn new contracts, I gained new clients, and my referral market started to expand. I began to work harder at finding new clients, developing my company, and improving my product offerings. I realized where I could best offer value and where I was doing my clients and myself a disservice. My focus on my goals had become clearer and more intense. Improving my physical health had unequivocally improved my business health.
My wife and I are now tremendously more active. She is a runner, with two Ragnars under her belt. She is currently training for her first half-marathon. Her eventual goal is to become a regular marathon runner. I spend at least 4 hours per week hiking, I have participated in mud runs, and I am currently learning to be an effective runner. My goal is to run a 6 man team in next year’s SoCal Ragnar, as well as join a Trail Ragnar team. The best part about all of this is that my kids are learning to be active and healthy as well.
It’s a long story about me, I know. But without outlining my personal experience, I couldn’t possibly give you a reason to trust me when I tell you that exercising and improving your health are dramatically important to your business and long-term success. When you don’t take care of yourself, you have a tendency to let the things around you fall in to disarray as well. Place some emphasis on changing your lifestyle to improve your health, even if it’s only a baby step.
I’m not the only one who has experienced this. Many companies are starting to realize the benefits of good health, offering programs for health and fitness, paying for gym memberships, holding weight loss competitions, and integrating exercise in to the daily work schedule. Fast Company’s David Zax shares this case study of a New York company who exercises every hour, on the hour. Overit has determined that their profits and productivity have both improved as a result of their “OverFit” program. Have a read and share your thoughts below!