In an article entitled “The Making of a Corporate Athlete” in the January, 2001, issue of the Harvard Business Review, authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz describe executives as “corporate athletes.” They explain the concept of recovering energy to bring the body, emotions, mind and spirit to a peak form and thus sustain high performance over the long haul.
Practices for Renewing Physical Energy
The authors consider physical well-being as fundamental to the high performance state of an executive. Here is a (paraphrased) list of six healthy practices they recommend for renewing physical energy.
- Eat multiple small-meals a day. Eating just one or two meals a day with long periods in between may slowdown metabolism.
- Never skip breakfast. Eating breakfast early in the morning helps maintain metabolism during the morning.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Reduce the consumption of sugars. Sugars represent empty calories and cause “energy-depleting spikes in blood glucose levels.”
- Drink at least 1.5 litres (four 12-ounce glasses) of water every day, even if you do not feel thirsty.
- Exercise regularly. The authors recommend “three to four 20- to 30-minute cardiovascular workouts a week, including at least two sessions of intervals—short bursts of intense exertion followed by brief recovery periods.”
Call for Action
In the face of ever-increasing demands to perform, deliver and excel, both at work and outside, it is easy for us to ignore our physical well-being; most of us do.
Critically examine your current lifestyle and fitness level: your eating and sleeping habits, your relaxation and entertainment choices, and, your commitment to physical and brain exercises. In consultation with people around you, viz., family, friends, bosses and physicians make the right choices to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Pick physical activities that work for you and you will enjoy. Get to and stay in the ‘Zone’.