Exercise for Excellence

We have all heard why exercise is so important for health and well-being. I would like to point out that exercise results in increased mental performance and productivity. A study in the Journal of Ergonomics established that mental performance was significantly better in the physically fit than in the unfit. Fit workers committed 27% fewer errors on task involving concentration and short-term memory as compared to unfit workers. Eighty executives were studied over a nine-month period. Those executives who exercise regularly improve their fitness by 22% and demonstrated a 70% improvement in their ability to make complex decisions as compared to other executives who did not exercise. Even moderate exercise can increase cognitive capacity by increasing more blood and oxygen to the brain and producing chemicals to help repair brain cells and prevent damage.


 The most common reason people give to not exercise is that they do not have the time in their already busy day. While finding the time is a legitimate challenge for many people, exercising will increase energy and lower stress level, allowing one to better address other time-consuming activities. With a clearer mind, better self-esteem, and a more positive mindset you will make decisions and address situations with higher performance and greater efficiency.


 A well-balanced diet and regular exercise are necessities to lose and maintain body weight. Once one gets into an exercise routine, the desire to overeat will be reduced. A low-calorie diet containing highly nutritious meals will help maintain a steady supply of energy and important nutrients. It is recommended that you drink 64 ounces of water daily to cleanse your system. Saying you do not have the time is an easy excuse to make; however, changing your mindset and gradually finding a way to work exercise into your daily routine will make you feel better in the long run.


 It is not necessary to go to a gym or to put on jogging clothes in order to exercise and increase your heart rate.   For example, you can park your car a few blocks from your office and walk to and from your office several times a day.  It is not necessary to always take an elevator and walking up several flights of stairs several times a day is also a fine example of increasing your heart rate and burning extra calories. You can also drop down and do a few push-ups several times a day to increase your upper body strength.


 Bottom line:  a well-balanced diet and regular exercise are necessities to achieve excellence in your personal and professional life. Find ways to increase your daily exercise and you’ll find that your outlook, energy level, and your productivity will increase significantly.


 This article was modified from an article appearing in Podiatry Management in November 2011 by Dr. John Guiliana and Dr. Hal Ornstein. 

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