In a recent Jimmy Kimmel interview with former President George W. Bush, Kimmel asked Bush about how much free time was available in his daily schedule when he lead the White House. Bush said that while free time was scarce, he “exercised every day” for an hour, no matter what. Kimmel chuckled, “Funny, because that’d be the first thing I’d cut out.”
Kimmel is not alone in this sentiment, especially among many fledging (and even experienced) entrepreneurs with laser focus on achieving their goals. After all, working harder than the other guy is a basic, yet decisive method to set yourself apart from your competitors. How do you have time to waste grinding at the gym when you could be grinding at making sales or setting up your business? But when the former leader of the free world tells you that – despite the nearly infinite heavy decisions with international consequences to make throughout the day – he makes time for physical fitness, then why should it be less important for you? And he wasn’t alone; Barack Obama had a vigorous fitness regimen, and you’ll find that a number of billionaires and top business leaders make fitness a priority as well.
Must you be ripped like Michael Phelps or be massive like Hulk Hogan? Of course not. This isn’t a prescription for a pro-athlete or bodybuilder or supermodel, unless that’s truly what you want. It doesn’t even require that much exercise; a well-formulated, balanced diet weighs more heavily in your favor than anything for your personal health. But it does mean that if we consider two people with equal IQ, equal experience and otherwise equal ability, yet one is physically fit and the other isn’t, the physically fit individual is more likely to succeed.
1. Maintains Stable Energy Levels:
When sugary, carb-heavy foods are a mainstay of your diet, you may get the immediate pleasure of a tasty snack in your mouth, but you will also get an immediate spike of glucose in your bloodstream. It isn’t just those inflicted with diabetes who must worry about this; they just have a more serious, life-threatening reaction to it, without immediate intervention. If only you could step into a time machine and see the ultimate consequences of a lifetime full of junk food – those “few errors in judgment, repeated every day,” as Jim Rohn aptly put it – you might choose differently.
It may be hard to resist, but once you change your relationship with food from primarily a source of pleasure to a source of fuel, you will feel the difference in your day-to-day life. Consistent energy is reliable and will yield reliable results. This doesn’t mean that food must be tasteless to be good for you, but requires a shift in focus for what you want from food. It’s the center of the age-old debate of whether you should “live to eat, or eat to live.” Sure, there is a price to pay for a well-formulated diet; it means you must be mindful of what you are consuming. As Dr. Jordan Peterson noted, “you don’t get to choose not to pay a price, you only get to choose what price to pay.” The price of ignoring your diet is your energy levels spiking and dipping throughout the day, which will make you remarkably less productive than you are capable of being.
If you want optimal energy, if you want to work while in your prime state, the secret is in your diet. Thankfully, your diet is 100% in your control. While the responsibility lies on you, it also is in your power to reform it, which is always preferable. There are abundant resources you can use to learn how to attain consistent energy levels from your diet. My preference is a low carb, moderate protein, high fat ketogenic diet, but other programs, such as the Paleo diet and the Dash Diet, show promise as well. Coupled with moderate exercise (which is shown to improve sleep and wake up your system) you will have a powerhouse of energy that you can rely on to achieve any goal in your sights.
2. Results in Better Relationships (and Better Sex):
Of course, there is a lot more to maintaining a healthy relationship than a healthy body, but it sure as hell makes it a lot easier. Like Bonobo apes, in relationships, partners often can soften the blow of an argument with some good make-up sex. That make-up sex will be all-the-better when you have a well-running circulatory system, longer endurance and your ideal physique. In general, physical fitness will keep the fire burning in your relationship; let’s face it, it’s not all about personality. There is a primal aspect that first attracted you to your partner, and they to you. Although a good relationship will not last on this alone, it will keep it fresh and exciting for the both of you. If you’re not in a relationship and don’t desire one, physical fitness may be even more of a priority for you, considering you have more options on the sexual marketplace.
The success of your relationships and sex life is directly linked to the success of your other pursuits. In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill asserts that sexual experiences “develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times.” This is partially due to positive chemicals released during sexual activity, like Oxytocin, but it is also due to the energy you give and receive during the act; it’s transferrable.
Hit the gym or walk around the block, control your diet, and you’ll find that any price you had to pay to do so will be more than paid for in the bedroom. In effect, you will feel like an Alpha, and therefore succeed like an Alpha. Just make sure you don’t become some nymphomaniac. Follow the adage, “Work hard, play hard.”
- Naturally Garners People’s Respect:
Unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover. Human beings are a visual species that make split-second value judgments based on appearance. Do not believe that this will change anytime soon, because it’s hard-wired in our brains to think this way (and don’t think you’re not susceptible, we all are to a certain extent). When someone gets to know you personally and builds a history with you, those old split-second perceptions often change, but why not be ahead of the game? Physical fitness will ensure that you are not immediately perceived as lazy and weak.
It may seem harsh, but doesn’t it also make some modicum of sense? Your appearance is an indication of how much you value taking care of yourself. It’s an indication of how responsible you are and, from an evolutionary standpoint, how good of a parent you could be to their offspring. Now, we all know our fair share of shallow people who have an impeccable appearance. But the point is, there is something to be said about someone who has the will to maintain good health, and about someone who doesn’t. Even if we can’t determine everything about them, there are some dependable judgments that can be made.
The good news is, you don’t have to be born looking like David Beckham or Megan Fox to win this game. There are many studies that have been carried out on attraction; while uncontrollable traits like height and facial symmetry are certainly factors, the vast majority of variables are those completely in your control! Among them are grooming, clothing, posture, smiling, and yes, fitness. Knowing this, you can put yourself in the best situation possible when meeting a new person and interacting with the world around you, leading to more successful encounters.
- Generates More Confidence and a Better Temperament:
When we’re our happiest, our brains tend to be producing dopamine, serotonin, or some other endorphin that gives us a natural high. Exercise has been shown in many studies to activate these neurotransmitters; in fact, exercise is so beneficial that it can help ward off stress and depression. While high-intensity exercise can accomplish this, even just a few sessions of moderate exercise every week can provide immense benefit compared to a sedentary lifestyle. Why is this? There are multiple scientific explanations, but one popular one is that when the body experiences physical or mental stress, the brain’s natural response is to “cheer up” our system, which provides a natural feeling of euphoria.
It may seem impossible for someone who is seriously overweight to understand how they could possibly feel better doing activities that cause pain. It’s certainly more of an uphill battle for those who must lose not 10 or 20, but 50 or more pounds to be at optimal health. But when you lose the weight, when you reach your ideal fitness, that is something no one can take away from you. It may even become your best accomplishment, which you can use as fuel to conquer any other struggle. As a personal example, I have lost 50 pounds in a little over 4 months – through dieting and a little bit of moderate exercise alone – and I can tell you, the difference between how I felt 4 months ago is astounding. I have further to go, but with the momentum I’ve gained, I’m more confident than ever that I will lose the rest of the weight. While you drop the pounds, you will gain confidence.
A better temperament and more confidence means more sales, more networking, and more success in every arena. It means your base level will be contentment with yourself, as opposed to wishing you were your best self, which makes all the difference.
- Saves Money:
The American Heart Association published a study that found, on average, those who committed themselves to 5 days of moderate exercise a week, or 3 days of high-intensity exercise saved as much as $2,500 in medical costs per year. Other studies show similar results, but it’s not just medical costs. If you are overweight, more food means higher grocery bills. If you are beyond XL, you know that often the only stores that will carry decent clothing in your size are specialty and custom stores, which means more $$. I’m sure we could list endless examples, but the point is, physical fitness saves you money, perhaps thousands a year, if nothing else on this list motivates you.
What could you do with thousands of dollars extra per year? Simply depositing it into a savings account will give you a rainy-day fund, which many Americans alarmingly don’t have for emergency situations. Banks today recommend setting aside 3-6 months’ worth of expenses. You could set it aside for investment, which is the best, most accessible path for economic mobility: from working class to upper class. You could also just spend it on other products that make you happy; point is, don’t you want that money?
Own it. You could have so much more play money in your hands. Charity begins at home, so pay yourself by getting physically fit.
With more stable energy levels, better relationships, better sex, better temperament, more respect, more confidence, and more money, it’s no wonder why the world’s most successful people prioritize physical fitness. You can join them. Start your research today, and get moving!
I invite you to comment below for suggestions, questions and for any other reason!