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Being Fit is a Good Business Investment

Do you sometimes feel like you're being burned out with your job? Like you can hardly drag yourself out of bed in the mornings? Do you find yourself missing work because of minor aches and pains or maybe, serious illness? Do you suspect that you are capable of doing more at work but just can't find the energy to do it?

You may start blaming your boss, your job or the traffic when, actually, you may be feeling this way because you are unfit. Yes, being unfit can affect your performance at work.

Fitness is defined by the U.S. President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as "the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy leisure time pursuits and to meet unforeseen emergencies."

This is the kind of fitness you need to meet the demands of your job and at the same time, have leftover energy for your recreational activities. Regular exercise can give you this kind of fitness. It does it by improving the functioning of your brain and your heart, by improving self-confidence, and by protecting you against stress, injury and disease.

Exercise improves brain function.
You need to be alert and in full control of your mental capacity to make sound business decisions. Proper brain function depends on a good supply of oxygen. A group of clinical psychologists at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Buffalo, New York, found that mental alertness in senile patients improved when they were given large amounts of pure oxygen.

Vigorous exercise increases lung capacity so that eight to ten times more oxygen enters the lungs. It also improves the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood so the brain gets all the nutrients and oxygen it needs to perform at top capacity.

Exercise strengthens the heart and blood vessels.
The medical profession has said for years that exercise plays a dramatic role in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Exercise does this by strengthening the heart so it can pump more blood per minute, which causes the resting heart to beat more slowly. This saves on the wear and tear of the heart.

Exercise also increases the elasticity of the arteries. It decreases the LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) while increases the "good", the HDL cholesterol thus reducing the possibility of hardening of the arteries.

Even blood pressure is improved by exercise. According to experts, exercise lowers diastolic blood pressure (the second figure in your blood pressure measurement) and causes the systolic pressure to increase less during activity.

Exercise improves self-confidence.
A study done at Purdue University placed 60 unfit, middle-aged men on closely supervised exercise program for four months. The men were given a standard personality test before and following the test period. Their scores were compared with those of fit men of the same age. While the athletic individuals showed no change in personality, the unfit participants experienced a marked increase in self-confidence, imagination, and emotional stability. Interestingly, those who at the start of the program were the least active showed the highest degree of improvement.

Researchers attributed these changes in self-confidence to an improved appearance. There is no denying that looking good has a positive psychological effect on most people. The exercise activity itself also creates a sense of well being. People make better business decisions when they feel confident and self-assured.

Exercise protects against stress.
Scientists have discovered that physically fit people have a larger reserve of hormone-like chemicals such as adrenaline, which helps the body overcome prolonged tension. Exercise also releases nervous tension and anxiety by providing an outlet for pent-up feelings of aggression and hostility. When the body is freed from the bondage of stress, it functions more efficiently. Digestion improves. Stress-related disorders such as ulcers and high blood pressure are minimized.

Exercise reduces injuries.
Authorities agree that exercise can significantly reduce one's vulnerability to injury or disease so you will miss less days of work. If you do get sick, you will have shorter periods of convalescence if you are physically fit.

Posture improves with regular exercise. The internal organs function better in a body with good posture because they are positioned properly. Proper posture together with strong abdominal muscles lessens the likelihood of lower back pain.

A fit person is less likely to suffer a broken bone, since exercise strengthens bone tissue as well as muscles. Exercise promotes a better production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow as well.

Exercise offers protection from disease.
A fit body performs more efficiently so it is naturally more resistant to infection. Conditioned lungs are less prone to respiratory infections as well as lung diseases. A study of men with chronic lung disease who underwent an exercise program for six weeks revealed that exercise increases total volume of the lungs, increases the number of air cells in the lungs, and improves the endurance of the muscles of the chest which aid breathing. Subsequently, the men improved their oxygen consumption by 10 to 20 percent.

Exercise as an investment in your career.
If you value the quantity and quality of productivity in your business career, exercise is one investment you should not skimp on.

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