The relationship of fitness to leadership dates back to thousands of years, the time when “fit to lead” literally signified that a person was physically well enough to lead the community. Leaders have existed since humanity relied on gathering and hunting for food and sustenance, and their followers looked towards their leaders more forcefully for protection.
While the traits required of the ideal leader have changed and changed drastically, fitness will always continue to play a significant role in becoming a complete leader. According to the old saying, “True leaders lead from the front.” The art of leadership is about setting the example to help others know the direction they should follow.
Therefore, leaders must remain vigilant and maintain the consciousness and discipline necessary to set the appropriate model. A leader must behave cautiously and remain calm when faced with an emergency to make rapid and judicious decisions.
As leaders, it is crucial to pay attention to the bodily rhythms and the energy fluctuation that we may experience throughout the day. Many leaders put all their energy into managing and achieving that they overlook the importance of remaining fit.
Check this article to understand the top reasons why physical fitness is essential to leadership
Exercise Can Improve Mental Clarity
The position of a leader is a stressful and demanding job where you will have to make tough decisions every day. It is here that fitness could assist. A study conducted by the University of British Columbia proves that aerobic exercise can get the blood flowing, which allows the hippocampus to expand, increasing verbal and memory abilities.
It Helps You Focus
In everyday life, we’re exposed to disruptions every minute of the day. Meetings, phone calls, interruptions messages, emails and so on. We need to let our minds rest, but it’s difficult to disconnect entirely. Through sports, you might achieve the focus you need to relax your thoughts and prepare to go back into action.
It Improves Your Resistance
Our strength and energy affect our work—the greater the resistance, the higher our work capacity and focus. Also, performing exercises regularly increases the strength of our bodies and propels us to get through our daily routine.
Exercise Improve Brain Function
Exercise can improve your brain health and improves its function in every way we can assess brain functioning. Research has repeatedly shown that those who exercise far outperform couch potatoes when it comes to testing the long-term memory of a person, their reasoning, concentration, problem-solving as well as fluidity.
Regular exercising has also been proven to improve mood levels and improve mood – i.e., it can help reduce depression, anxiety, and pessimism. In turn, it boosts self-confidence and optimism. It has also been demonstrated to stimulate angiogenesis (or the development of blood vessels) in the cerebellum, hippocampus, and motor cortex. Angiogenesis declines with age, and consequently, exercising can stop the decrease.
New blood vessels enhance the flow of blood, enhancing oxygen supply and the delivery of nutrients (the hippocampus, which is crucial to memory development, is heavily dependent upon oxygen) and facilitating the elimination of waste. A higher blood flow rate (as happens during exercising) is strongly associated with lower cognitive decline, while a slower speed is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Today, businesses are in a fast-paced environment, and the role of leaders has changed dramatically. The boardroom requirements and the job aren’t predictable since the market fluctuates and offices have changed into mobile offices. The demand for self-control and self-awareness is growing.
When we refer to an excellent physical condition, what exactly does that mean? Being physically fit doesn’t just mean following an exercise and diet regimen; it’s about eating healthily and observing a simple and regular exercise routine.
With all the discussion about the relationship to fitness, leadership, and health, you’ll wonder how it could assist. The ability to be disciplined, strong-willed and self-confident are usually linked to leadership qualities. It is not surprising that these are the characteristics that you can acquire through fitness programs.
A routine exercise program is proven to boost your energy levels. It increases the number of endorphins within the body, responsible for boosting your mood and energy levels. You will experience a daily energy boost and positive feeling you want to conquer the challenges you face with confidence.
Research suggests that even moderate amounts of exercise improve cognitive performance and can assist you in making better choices and develop innovative business strategies.
Physical fitness gives an executive the capacity and brain space to apply innovative thinking to the maximum. Research suggests that even moderate amounts of exercise improve your cognitive skills and assist you in making better choices and devise innovative business strategies.
Emotional Contagion and Law OfMimicry
As the leader, you’re accountable for the influence you exert on your subordinates. Your enthusiasm and dedication will reflect on the employees around you. Research studies have proven that leaders are the most infectious concerning their actions. This is also referred to as emotional contagion.
Additionally, the law of mimicry suggests that a typical team member is unconsciously mimicking the behavior patterns of their bosses. If a leader isn’t punctual or disciplined, for instance, studies have revealed that subordinates are more likely to have a lack of punctuality and discipline.
A well-balanced and disciplined leader motivates employees to stay healthier and energetic. This improves the team’s overall performance since the team members are less likely to get disciplined and get less often ill.
It Assists in Decision-Making
When you play sports, the ability to make decisions and quick processing of information are recommended. Physical activity has positive effects on your leadership capabilities since it promotes disciplined behavior. In addition, if the game you’re playing is a team activity, you’ll be able to formulate strategies and achieve the goals you set in a crowded environment.
It Promotes Coordination Between Teams
Being active or experienced in any sport impacts our capacity to organize joint actions and handle scenarios that require cooperation with other departments or individuals. For example, an HR manager who wishes to coordinate the development of a training program could use their previous experience in sports to plan and execute better a training plan.
Increase your physical activity by moving more frequently during the daytime (a step counter could help in this regard) and by participating in the regular, scheduled exercise that is different in duration and intensity. It is essential to maintain consistency throughout time. Also, try to reduce your sitting time and get moving more. Make sure to get up every 20-60 minutes and stand, move or walk. Regular exercise can not only aid in your overall health; however, it can also benefit both you and the people at your workplace, which will make you an effective leader.