Why Working Out Makes You a Better Leader

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Working out has its benefits, but out of all them, one takes the cake. Do you know what it is? Your mindset. It’s less of a measure of how fit you are, and more about how you approach challenging situations once it becomes a consistent habit. That said, it comes as no surprise that a stronger and clearer mindset can influence your ability to make a positive and powerful impact in your professional career and home life. It most definitely has for me over the course of my life, and it’s something I want to help you realize in your own day to day life. So let’s get to the juicy details on exactly why working out makes you a better leader!

Just Get Started

Some of you may be intimidated by the thought of leadership, and think it may not be a quality you can hone. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Here’s the dealio: you don’t need to be a high powered executive or manager to be a leader either. It’s a character trait that each of us can leverage to build the most confident and secure version of yourself. Like anything else, it takes a little courage to start.

You don’t need to be a fitness beast either to get the most out of it. Be kind to yourself: set realistic goals for consistency. If you go balls to the wall right away, it can lead to burnout, or worse, giving up entirely. Trust me, I’ve been there before. Make weekly achievable goals to carve out a few minutes a day for a sweat session. Now that we are at home, you can really customize when and how long you can commit to it! Do half a streaming class, knock out a simple 10-minute circuit. There are no rigid rules, just that you allow SOME time for yourself to complete something.

Perseverance

This was one of the attributes I learned at a young age through sports. Sometimes you fail, and that’s okay. It’s how you handle yourself after that builds the foundation of self-confidence. Growing up, I often got teased for the way I looked: having glasses, braces, and being the tallest girl in the class. Things changed completely for me after starting Taekwondo lessons. It taught me to remain calm and fearless in the face of adversity and to get up after being knocked down, whether physically or mentally.

However, the most transformative benefit was my ability to remain calm in negative situations. You don’t need just martial arts to build that, any team sport will also help you build those traits. Feeling low? Sign up for an adult sports league, or a new workout you’ve never tried before. The uncertainty and new challenges you’ll face while doing so will slowly teach you how to get up and try again if you fail the first time.

Clarity

A long solo run, walk, or workout can provide a surprising amount of clarity in difficult situations. Being in a more critical thinking mindset while working out can give you a powerful edge on making a sound decision. It’s one of the reasons I love long slow trail runs so much. By immersing myself in a more quiet setting outdoors, I feel more grounded in my decisions as I work through my thoughts. That’s the real point here: thoughts. Going for a run/working out won’t give you all the answers, but it will allow your mind to wander around the subject. Post working out, you’ll feel a renewed sense of productivity/motivation to begin completing the task at hand. It also helps boost your creativity, so if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, a short workout can remedy that a bit.

Perspective

Just like Elle states in Legally Blonde, people that workout tend to be happier, more focused individuals. It’s based on science too. Regular workouts can help you make more sound decisions, and not ones influenced by fatigue or burnout. I see it in my own life all the time. I feel clouded in judgment, and on edge when I skip my workout routine. Especially as a business owner. It can be tempting to never shut off, especially when you’re like me with a full-time job and side hustle. However, that kind of mentality leads to burnout and rash decisions. You know the feeling: going through the motions, doing the bare minimum, all that shitty stuff. Something as small as a 15-30 minute workout during the day can be a powerful reprieve in your schedule, allowing for a more open mindset to tackle your to-do list more effectively.

Accountability

This is in my opinion, one of the most powerful results you’ll see in your own leadership journey. It’s no secret that employees quit managers, not companies. As a young professional, I found it difficult to trust or respect leaders/superiors that had no personal accountability. Why? It made them very negative individuals that were hard to trust; they didn’t hold themselves to any standards of consistency or honesty. That doesn’t have to be any of us: it’s something we can easily change by holding ourselves to realistic goals on working out. The more you push yourself out of your comfort zone, the easier it will be to hold yourself accountable for future missteps or challenges.

I believe there is a powerful fire in all of us: our own self-confidence and self-love. It’s why working out makes you a better leader! Those traits will build the foundation of the leader you are destined to become in your own daily life. I’d love to hear about your personal journey, no matter where you are! Let me know in the comments.

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2 Comments

  1. Sail
    May 6, 2020 / 11:30 pm

    Great read! Thank you for bringing clarity and perspective.

    • Mandy Gragg
      Author
      May 7, 2020 / 4:04 pm

      Thank you so much! So glad it resonated with you.

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