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6 ways exercise makes you a better boss

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Time management is critical to making sure we work through our to-do lists in the office and still have enough energy and time for life outside work.

However, if you haven’t managed to include exercise into your regular schedule, you may be missing out on one of the biggest keys to making you a better leader.

Here are six ways working out could be exactly what you need to make you an even better boss:

1. It instils discipline

We all know how hard it can be to get out of bed half an hour earlier in the morning for a run, or to go to the gym after a long day at the office. But forcing yourself to do this until it becomes just another activity in your regular routine does not only instil discipline, but also proves that committing to a cause will pay off in the long run.

2. It might help you kick your morning caffeine addiction

Exercising releases a hormone called endorphins, which helps you feel better, increases energy levels and kicks starts your metabolism.

This is a great way to replace your morning cup of Joe if you manage to work out before hitting the office. It also helps your start your day fresh and in better spirits, plus you get to feel satisfied about having completed a 5km run while everyone was still in bed.

3. It teaches you that failure is okay

Exercise, or any form of sports – particularly team sports – drives home the lesson that sometimes it’s okay to fail, and that there is no need to be a sore loser.

The business world is rife with opportunities to fail, and being able to better manage, accept and learn from your short-comings, and those of your team, will only make you a better leader to be around.

4. It makes you smarter

You read that right. Research by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois found mice that spent time on the running wheel performed better on cognitive tests, suggesting exercise can slow down or even reverse the brain’s physical decay while keep the brain’s neurons active.

5. It allows you time away from work

Leaders often cite taking time off to reflect on their day or week as a powerful tool in becoming a better manager. Spending a couple hours at the gym or even just half an hour for a jog around the block prevents the perfect opportunity to contemplate problems you may be facing, think about your recent challenges and opportunities, or just take a break from the hustle of the office.

6. It makes you a nicer boss

A study by the Northern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Chicago found bosses who do not exercise are more likely to vent their frustrations on their employees. The report said just half an hour of moderate exercise once or twice a week was enough to help managers cope better with stress, who therefore became less likely to take their anger out on their subordinates.

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Sabrina Zolkifi
Deputy editor
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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