Apr 06

A Fit Reputation

Peppercommer and Stand-Up Executive Deb Brown interviews fitness expert and International Kangoo Master Trainer Mario Godiva about the correlation between being fit and successful in your job.

Mario godiva green 640-360How does being fit help your personal image and reputation at work?

When people are fit, they’re more energetic, more motivated, and have a confidence about them.  They’re generally more productive, handle stress well, and other people admire them.  Studies have shown that when employees are fit and attractive, they are usually more successful and paid more.  But, it’s not just because they look fit.  A lot of it is because of the effects of exercise:  mood, energy, motivation, and productivity. 

What do you say to people who say they just don’t have the time to exercise?

Anyone who tells me that they are too busy to work out, I say “You know what? There is always someone busier than you who exercises and eats healthy. Don’t make excuses, make the time.”  If you aren’t responsible enough to take care of your own personal health and wellbeing and make it a priority, how can you be responsible enough to take care of anything else and be efficient and excel at your job? Instead of talking to your friend for an hour, you can work out for an hour. It’s all about prioritizing.

Why don’t bosses encourage exercise?  What’s the barrier?

The barrier is cost.  It’s expensive to eat healthy.  It’s a lot cheaper to order pizza.  Some companies are good about it and provide a gym membership.  Those companies are few and far between.  Companies are looking to cut.  The last thing they want to do is spend more money.

Can exercise make a difference in how bosses manage employees?

Absolutely.  Exercise affects your mood. Exercise produces endorphins, which help to relieve stress.  They’re induced by exercise as well as by laughing.  Employees who are mean are the ones who don’t experience those endorphins. If they exercised enough, they would be happier, calmer.  They don’t know how to take care of their stress, so they take it out on others.  If they’re exercising, they’d be better at handling that stress. 

When you do corporate training, are most employees fit or not fit?

It depends on the company.  There’s usually a small subculture that is fit.  Unfortunately, at some companies, I’ve met with people who’ve gained weight because of working at the company. They may have gained 10, 15, 20 pounds because of the stress. And, that’s more of a common theme that I see. They get a new job and then gain weight because of the stress that accompanies the job, or they’re sitting all day, or they’re eating the unhealthy food in the cafeteria.  It’s a very sad thing to hear.  

Can being fit help you move up the corporate ladder?

Yes. You become more visible, you stand out more.  You’re the calm one, you’re the one handling stress.  It’s the feeling that exercise gives you that makes you more successful.

 

Jan 25

Fit to be tied

A government sponsored study of more than 15,000 black and white men over a 23-year period hasExercise
proved that fitness levels are better indicators of longevity than age, blood pressure or body mass index.

The researchers, who work in the cardiology department of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC, say their studies also show that even moderate exercise can ‘dramatically’ prolong a man’s life. By ‘moderate,’ they mean walking as little as 30 minutes a day four days a week. And, that’s a piece of cake for most of us.

In fact, the more one exercises, the greater effect on longevity, says the study. ‘Very high-fit’ men cut their risk of early death by 70 percent, ‘high-fit men cut it by. 50 percent and even low-fit guys had a 20 percent lower risk, said the researchers.

And, yet, the couch potato generation continues to proliferate at an alarming rate. What don’t American men get? Here’s proof positive that just a little exercise can have a profoundly positive effect. But, two-thirds or more of American men literally fail to take the steps necessary to prolong their lives.

The most common excuse I hear is a lack of time. Then, there’s the complaint about not being able to afford a health club membership. Last, but not least, is the lament that, ‘Well, I don’ know how to use those complicated exercise machines, and I don’t want to get hurt.’

The researchers emphasized that none of these excuses hold water, stating: ‘What’s really important to understand is that you don’t need special clothes, special memberships or special equipment…It’s something everyone can engage in.’

My take on all this? The average joe could care less that he looks just like the Pillsbury dough boy. And, he’ll continue to channel-surf his life away until, and unless, it hurts him in the wallet. So, here’s hoping that more and more organizations start mandating regular fitness as a condition of hiring and ongoing employment. After all, it will simultaneously increase productivity while lowering health care costs (and force all those sedentary souls off the friggin’ couch).

I’d say more, but it’s time for a run.

Thanks to Greg Schmalz for the idea.