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How Regular Workout Keeps Our CEOs Up and Running Exercise enhances the serotonin levels and thus the mood and when in a good mood, you will deliver with better ability, says this fitness expert

By Baishali Mukherjee

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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What do a world-class sportsman and a Fortune 500 CEO have in common? Apparently, not much! But on a closer look the resemblances will be visible. The corporate space is not all that different from the sporting one. It's severely competitive, mentally and physically demanding, and requires constant training to succeed.

However, while athletes train meticulously for the brief moments of contests, professionals have to be agile all day and every day — in the boardroom, during negotiations and strategy meetings, and when planning budgets and meeting deadlines. Unfortunately, not many are trained for these unrelenting demands.

Business leaders strive to eke out as much as they can of their working days — waking up early and staying up late, depending on coffees, and business lunches to stay on the move.

So, when it comes to a vital presentation, sales meeting, or gunning for a promotion, they often face issues as they become more reactive, frazzled, exhausted.

It is time professionals start thinking of their work the same way a sportsperson thinks of sport. What if they took a hard look at their sources of energy and prepare for each workday the way a pro athlete prepares for the demands of competition? What if they are actually trained to sustain the rigours of a successful career?

"Evidently, the higher the fitness level, the greater is the ability to execute your job and the greater capacity you will have to deal with the demands in your life," explained Nikhil Kapur, Founder Director, Atmantan Wellness Resort.

"Every day is a new challenge in a typical corporate scenario and you need be at your best, creatively, mentally and physically to do one task at a time. The pace of not just work, but life has increased and fitness helps one sustain in the daily rigmarole. The other aspect of fitness is overdoing it. One should stay fit mentally and physically as opposed to just pushing their body physically or taxing themselves mentally at work. A fit mind, body and soul is a revitalising equation for oneself," he elaborated.

Debyani Banerjee, Co-founder of Club Salon, said fitness augments resistance and lightens the mind, thus reducing the number of sick leaves among employees. "Exercise enhances the serotonin levels and thus the mood, and when in a good mood, you're going to be more patient, think more clearly, and deliver with better ability," she opined.

Benefits of Yoga in Business

Yoga is an art that teaches us to master the mind and body with controlled breath, word and flexible asana practice. The right practices of yoga teach us to slowdown and even get fitter while mentally and physically healing the self. According to Kapur, in business and in life, an individual needs to master one's mind to unleash his/her true potential. "This again is a matter of bringing mental and physical fitness into your work space and having your personal wellness percolate into your business life. This will then translate into perpetual improvements in your performance," he explained.

According to Dr J Chakravorty, Business Coach, Mind trainer and Growth Educator yoga, helps improve focus and also uses sounds to soothe your sinuses. "This relieves stress, which professionals face during taxing hours and in their day-to-day lives," he added.

Chakravorty has trained corporate leaders in wellness across India and has witnessed the benefits of availing such programmes. "I have seen how fitness causes the brain to develop new connections and get sharper. Professionals who take fitness seriously are seen to be rated highly by fellow workers on the leadership-strength scale than those who don't," he said

Wellness as an Industry to See an Upsurge

The beauty and wellness market in India, with a growth rate of 18-20% annually, is estimated at INR 1.3 trillion. Wellness in the travel industry world over is also showing the highest pace of growth! In fact, the concept of health and fitness is now obviously inclusive of wellness, and people now specially plan their wellness travel looking to maximize their personal health and rejuvenation goals.

"In India, too, this is apparent," said Kapur and added, "Indians know that staying fit is but one side of the pyramid and they also aspire to rejuvenate themselves mentally. The affluent and educated Indians are supremely self-conscious about their looks and realize that wellness and health by definition bring anti-aging benefits to them and are hence worth pertaining."

Banerjee, who has been dealing with women corporate honchos for long, has seen increase in the demand for wellness and fitness services among them in the past five years. "Women are gradually being more and more aware about living a complete life and are joining fitness and wellness programs in great numbers. This augers well for the society at large as women gradually become the key drivers of economic and social development" she concluded.
Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer


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