Boosting Your Fitness Routine to Improve Your Leadership Skills

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Sally Raith-Riches Group Director of Sales at The Foxhills Collection

Friday, August 7, 2020

A good leader needs to be motivated, confident, and decisive, among many things. These skills can take a long time to develop, and even then, they must be carefully maintained. One effective way to hone skills like these is through physical activity.

Article 3 Minutes
Boosting Your Fitness Routine to Improve Your Leadership Skills

In addition to the wide range of benefits that come with regular exercise, there are many which apply to effective leadership. Take a closer look at the relationship between fitness and leadership skills below.

Positivity

It’s widely known that exercise triggers the release of endorphins – a hormone that stimulates the brain’s opiate receptors, thereby reducing pain and boosting pleasure. This is the reason why we feel good after having spent an hour in the gym or swimming.

This positive attitude is imperative for those who want to be skilled leaders. Leaders who have an aura of negativity will find that their team soon reflect this same mood. In a professional capacity this means pessimistic and unhappy staff. Leaders who are getting regular exercise, on the other hand, are more likely to greet their staff with a smile, exuding optimism and appreciation. This kind of attitude is infectious, and is likely to lift the spirits of others.

Creative thinking

Recent studies have suggested that physical activity also helps facilitate a person’s creativity. One experiment revealed that walking helped a group of people to think of new ideas, and another study showed that regular exercise helped with creative problem solving. The reason for this change in cognitive function is thought to be because exercise leads to the birth and extended life span of brain cells in the hippocampus area of the brain.

Creative thinking is another quality that can be extremely useful for leaders. This is because with leadership often comes the need to think outside of the box. Whether this is to produce original ideas or to solve unusual problems, creativity can be a significant help.

Motivation

Those who keep a strict fitness routine will know that it’s important to regularly change your goal to avoid complacency. This could be anything from a longer run to increased weights, but having something new to aim for is vital in order to sustain motivation and keep working hard.

This habit of staying motivated is also one that will prove helpful in a leadership setting. When a leader’s team feels disheartened or doubtful, this will only be worsened if the person in charge shares the sentiment. However, if a leader remains motivated and positive, the team will see this and take confidence from it. If the leader believes in the work, the team is more likely to do the same.

Clarity

One study has shown that physical activity benefits brain function and cognition, because of the activity it causes in the hippocampus area of the brain. This improved brain performance can lead to mental clarity, which is another important skill to have as a leader.

Mental clarity means a person is better-equipped to reason and make decisions. These skills are needed by leaders who must regularly face tough decisions, because on such occasions it’s vital to avoid hesitation and be in no doubt.

Stress management

The effect of the release of endorphins is the reason why so many of us choose to engage in physical activity after a difficult and stressful day. Regardless of what’s bothering you, going out for a run or attending a fast-paced fitness class will often leave you feeling better, if not stress-free.

Leadership roles are rarely without stress, which must be effectively managed in order to keep a clear head and continue to effectively manage a team. Regular exercise is an ideal way to achieve this.

Joining a gym and keeping to a regular fitness regime is hugely beneficial for honing many qualities. Good leaders can become great leaders if they’re able to achieve all of these skills, which in turn will motivate and inspire their team. While there are likely to be unforeseen challenges along the road, armed with these tools it should be possible to tackle things head on, and in a calm and efficient manner.

Sally Raith-Riches

Group Director of Sales at The Foxhills Collection

https://www.foxhills.co.uk/meet

Sally Raith-Riches is Group Director of Sales at The Foxhills Collection, a group of some of the UK’s leading luxury leisure resorts ideal for short breaks, corporate days and sporting activities. Her wide range of knowledge has continued to grow at Foxhills, meeting the specific and varied requirements of members, hotel guests and corporate partners.

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