While I have been working out for a long time, I have grown more consistent over the past 18 months. Earlier, my workout routine revolved around other factors—mainly, the places I needed to be at different times in the day. Did this happen with you as well? We would plan our workout routines in the morning, or plan to get back home and exercise… only to miss out because we were so drained. Sometimes, we’d even catch a quick workout in the office and have fun blowing off steam before getting back to the work at hand. But, it came with an advantage—working out with your team or in groups brought out the interactive side of us, while fueling our team spirit.
However, working from home changed our workout routines extensively. It became necessary to persevere, so I made it a point to start running in the morning consistently until it became second nature to me. In the midst of this process of adapting is when I realized that every leader has their way of riding the tide. Sticking to a daily workout routine takes effort, but it is essential to people in general and leaders in particular to bring in the sense of certainty and equip them to handle stress better. It is no secret that leaders have certain practices in common, and regular workouts are one of the most common ones.
Your workout routine is intensely personal and is aimed at making your life better. Some pick an activity like aerobics, where they can have fun and unwind. Others might prefer yoga for self-reflection and stress relief. People seeking to improve their mind-body connection could opt for activities like Zumba or aerobics, while those who want to let their mind wander might pick a more repetitive set of exercises. But, no matter what your aim with exercising regularly is, it is a habit that must be inculcated. Here are some reasons why I believe that leaders should work out religiously every morning:
● Complete awakening: Exercising in the morning increases your alertness before the workday begins, leading to better mind and body function.
● Preparedness for challenges: The ability to push your body to the limits daily enables you to take unexpected situations in stride and work through them with ease.
● Building a self-care routine: By exercising first thing in the morning, you always have time for yourself, even on long and arduous days. With this, your mind and body are rejuvenated with each new day.
● Knowing your limits: As you push yourself to the breaking point, you learn to understand when to try and go beyond and when to stop for breath. At work, this translates to knowing when to try harder and when to stop and rethink the current approach.
Working out brings discipline into life, and a disciplined leader can face uncertainties and guide a team through tough times. By working out, you also become intensely aware of how each part of your body contributes to your overall movement. And on acknowledging these more delicate aspects of our bodies, we, as leaders, become thankful: both for our bodies and those who work around us. While thinking further about this, I realized that being grateful makes leaders happy and their teams happier. I will be exploring this line of thought further in my next article. In the meanwhile, do let me know what you think!