Back in the day I could put away a “Big Mac” in seconds and fries in milliseconds….all before my next business call. I went on to have this type of diet regimen for many years while out there beating the pavement chasing customers, and it never occurred to me later how I would pay for such poor habits. High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes…staples from heredity. Today, I have an insane diet and exercise lifestyle where almost every morsel I place in my mouth is diagnosed and examined before consuming. Many of my business brethren that I see at airports, meetings, conventions etc unfortunately don’t abide by these healthy eating and exercise habits. Most business people who do not report to an office everyday but are always on the road sometimes don’t have access to good food. The Cinnabon stations, the quasi Asian restaurants and the main-stays McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy’s are littered all over the place in airports and off high-ways. When you’re starving between business visits these establishments are analogous to hallucinating seeing fresh water in a hot desert. The last few years of my corporate career I used to carry my lunches in styrofoam coolers and pull over to a park or rest stop to eat, that was a major transition in my life back then. I’m proud to say that habit and discipline has carried over to my current life. It’s a fact, striving to be successful in this thing called life takes a great deal of energy and having a healthy diet and exercise regimen should be a priority of yours throughout the rest of your life.
Sense of Clarity
I also want to spend just a second to talk about the positives of keeping fit. You often hear the statement “a fit mind should be just as strong as a fit body”, this is true but only if the mind is physically fit. I can honestly say with some compunction that my mind is much sharper now than it was in my younger years. Perhaps I’ve gotten a bit wiser in my latter longer tooth years, but I can’t help think that much of my sharpness has to do with my lifestyle change. As a management consultant currently my best ideas for my clients come to me while I’m running or killing myself on the elliptical. This phenomenon didn’t happen too much in my McDonald’s years. An article from the Scientific American (Why do I think better after exercise?) provides the best answers as to why clarity happens after rigorous exercise:
- Research shows that when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better.
- Working up a sweat enhances our mental capacity in that the hippocampus, a part of the brain critical for learning and memory, is highly active during exercise. When the neurons in this structure rev up, research shows that our cognitive function improves.
- (PERHAPS MY FAVORITE FINDING): Other recent work indicates that aerobic exercise can actually reverse hippocampal shrinkage, which occurs naturally with age, and consequently boost memory in older adults.
Perhaps the best quote from the article:
“When our ancestors worked up a sweat, they were probably fleeing a predator or chasing their next meal. During such emergencies, extra blood flow to the brain could have helped them react quickly and cleverly to an impending threat or kill prey that was critical to their survival.”
I am NO professional when it comes to instruction on proper diet or exercise, however, I always try to find those who are and I was ecstatic to find a notable professional in the field of diet and exercise accept my invitation to be interviewed on the subject. A few years ago I hosted my own podcast named “The Sales Professional Network”. Check out my podcast where I interviewed Stacey Shipman (Speaker, Writer, Public Speaking Coach, and Founder of “Healthy South Shore”.
Click on link to listen to entire podcast:
AH2 & Beyond Consulting