You may think why is health and fitness important for my work? Think about the amount of travel you do, having to do all the night flights, being jet lagged, eating different foods in different parts of the world, and then obviously having to be energetic when you’re working with different people. Health and fitness is really critical to work.
As some of you would appreciate and realise, when you’re younger, health and fitness are probably not something you have to spend a lot of time thinking about because by the nature of your youth, you tend to burn things off. As we become older however, this certainly becomes an area that we need to give some degree of attention to. Some people find this easier than others in terms of maintaining this as an area of focus.
Speaking for myself, I find that this is not an easy area for me. When I was growing up, I was never the fittest or the sportiest of kids, so it’s never been a strong part of my psyche. I do remember doing a programme in the ’90s with Anthony Robbins, and it was the weekend, ‘Unleash the Power’, and one of things I took onboard from that weekend in terms of changing behaviour was actually to start running. I did start running after that, and I did a couple of 5km and 10km runs, and I really enjoyed the running until I started getting some injuries. Even though I tried to get rid of the injuries, I just couldn’t do it. So that stopped me from running.
I then joined a number of gyms, and I was like your typical 95% of people who joined gyms. We turn up for three times and then we stop.  I just found that was not a useful thing for me. A way that I got around that was to join a gym where there was a personal trainer. That gave me a commitment to turn up, and that has worked for me, and is something which I have done now for 15 years. It is really that commitment to turn up and have somebody put you through the paces. That gives you also a sense of discipline.
I also find that you need to change your exercise as you age. As you get older, you probably can’t run as much, which is why, you see a lot of baby boomers who’ve  picked up the cycling phenomena. Cycling is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and it’s partly due to the baby boomer generation. Over the last few years, I have incorporated a lot more yoga and Pilates. Although I have been a yoga practitioner now for more than 20 years, it’s something I’ve increased over the last few years because it helps maintain my flexibility.
It is really around working out for yourself, what the cadence is that works for you when it comes to health and fitness. You need to find a program that fits in with your lifestyle and what you like doing. It’s about being able to maintain that and understanding yourself, how do you manage your diet together with your health and fitness. I believe it’s incredibly important for us to be able to maintain energy and passion, which also is very much part of your health and fitness. You need to be healthy because if you’re not healthy and you’re not fit, it becomes extremely difficult for you to do your job. It becomes extremely difficult when you’re turning up to talk to your teams, your customers, your stakeholders if you’re tired, weary, and not sharp in your thinking, obviously you are going to be ineffective.
Here’s the reflection point for you, what’s your plan when it comes to maintaining your health and fitness? And the second point is how do you sustain your energy to make sure you’re being effective?