As I ride down the elevator after an hour of working out at our office gym, I would encounter a colleague who asks, “Gym?”. “Yeah,” I would reply. “Buti ka pa may time,” would be the usual comment (It’s hard to translate but essentially the statement implies that I am lucky since I have the time to exercise). I would politely smile and say, “Oo nga, eh. Pero kailangan talaga mag-exercise.” (I really need to exercise).
As we grow older and assume more responsibilities, we tend to prioritize other things over exercising regularly. Thus, we encounter the usual excuse that it’s so difficult to “find” time to exercise. These excuses range from meeting deadlines, finishing work, addressing backlogs, feeling “too tired” to spending time with the kids. If our mindset is to “find” the time to exercise, guess what; you won’t because there will always be more pressing matters to attend to. I would argue that similar to scheduling your appointments with a doctor or setting meetings with staff, you should “make”, as opposed to “find”, time for regular exercise.
Here are some of the compelling reasons:
- Improves health. We all know regular exercise is good for you. It helps us combat illness and diseases. As we become more busy, stress is inevitable. Regular exercise decreases risk of cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and depression. Do yourself and your employer a favor: don’t call in sick. All those long hours clocking in at the office will simply go down the drain if you regularly need to see the doctor. Give your employer a break: try to live longer.
- Increases energy and enhances performance. Research indicates that at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, three days a week will release chemicals in the body and brain to help boost immunity and prevent depression. Further, it increases energy levels, enhancing your ability to think clearly and work well. I have noticed this myself. Whenever I stop my regular exercise routine, I tire easily. Then, it becomes difficult to get back into the regular routine because now I have the excuse that I am too tired to exercise. Feeling tired certainly impairs my ability to provide excellent output: I tend to get lazy and careless, and try to rush things up just to finish the task at hand. Regular exercise helps you finish the job in half the time. The time you “lose” by exercising is easily recovered as you become more efficient.
- Helps you lose or maintain weight. Exercising regularly can help you control your weight. There are so many research and articles on this matter that I need not expound further.
- Makes you look toned and fit. Exercising regularly not only makes you feel good by increasing energy levels and releasing stress, it will make you look good. This is particularly true if you also engage in strength training exercises to tone your muscles. You don’t want to look like a tired, worn-out, executive nearing the age of retirement when in fact you are just in your early 50s, do you?
I have seen executives squeeze in a regular schedule for physical activities. It is not by accident that they are able to do this. Neither does it imply that their workload or schedule is less busy. The simple act of scheduling regular workouts actually indicates good leadership traits since this shows you have discipline and organizational skills. It helps, though, if you can find an efficient way of working out.
It also helps if you can spend engage your family members in your routine so that you can spend quality time together.
Executives work incredible hours and may also travel a lot. People who can do these and still exercise indicate that they can handle the pressures of life and can sustain their performance. Making time to exercise requires commitment. Of course, it helps if you really enjoy physical activities. They say that if you love your job, you will never have to work another day in your life. Similarly, if you love exercise, you will never feel like it is a work-out.