Exercise helps people make more money

You can’t help but be inspired by the Olympics. There’s something about seeing 16-year-olds swim faster than you can run that makes you look at your bulging belly and reconsider your choice to watch TV instead of going for a run.

And a study shows that exercise isn’t just good for your health — it’s good for business too. The study, performed by the Journal of Labor Research, found that people who regularly exercise earn 9% more on average than those who don’t exercise regularly.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/666_is_money/

So why is this?

There are certain traits/behaviors that cross-correlate between working out and working. Here’s a few:

1. Discipline.

If you really want to do something, you’ll make it happen. I want to exercise regularly, but when my alarm goes off in the morning, it’s so easy to press the snooze button instead. Going for a jog and doing pushups is the last thing I want to do at 6 a.m.

Exercising regularly takes a lot of discipline, and so does building your business. To get a promotion or achieve a sales revenue goal for your business, you have to work hard. And sometimes that requires that you do work that you don’t necessarily want to do (like running and pushups), but if you really want your goal (promotion or sales revenue goal), you’ll make it happen.

2. Intelligence.

When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called “growth factors” that help create new brain cells and connect brain cells together that help you learn. Researchers in Germany studied high school students during 10 minutes of complex fitness routines compared to 10 minutes of regular activity. Those who did the fitness routine scored better on high-attention tasks, and those who didn’t scored the worst. If you learn better and perform better, you grow. Exercise is a tool to help you do that even more.

3. Confidence.

Exercising releases several hormones including dopamine and serotonin, as well as endorphins. These chemicals affect your mood, make you feel relaxed, refreshed, positive and confident. Some people call it “runner’s high.” And when you see physical results from working out, it only adds to your self-esteem and confidence.

Confidence is key in business — in negotiations, key decision-making and selling. If you present your proposal to a prospective client and are timid and not sure of your solutions to their problem, you won’t land the gig. If you do it with confidence, and instill assurance to your prospect that you can solve their problem, they’ll buy.

One of the biggest challenges every business owner struggles with is doubt. Either it’s having a great business idea and too afraid to make the investment – they don’t have the confidence to try it. Same goes for investing in a new product at your business, or changing something in your business model – if you don’t have the confidence to make it happen, it won’t happen. Having confidence opens up so many doors. Exercise is one way to harness it.

The study found that those that made 9% more on average worked out at least 3 times a week. Like #1 – it takes discipline, but the more you practice it, the better you’ll get, and maybe — the more you’ll make.

Do you have an exercise routine? Do you think it helps you be a better business owner?

Devan Perine

Devan Perine works with small business owners on their marketing and multimedia efforts. She's passionate about helping businesses build their presence online, and giving Gen Y a voice in the workplace. When she's not working, she loves to make a mess in the kitchen, and play with her band around Chicago. She loves to chat! Give her a shout on Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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