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leadership lab

Ivan Ho is co-founder of Fit Factory Fitness.

Fitness has changed over the years; it doesn’t start and stop at the gym, it goes beyond – from what you put into your body to developing good habits and more. To cater to those changing demands, business owners have implemented revolutionary training programs and incorporated diverse classes, in-house nutritionists and fuel bars to keep members engaged.

Technology has also shifted the fitness market, making it easier to monitor your pace, heart rate, energy expenditure, and sleeping patterns with apps and trackers – all to not only keep you mindful, but accountable as well.

Tech has also mimicked what gym spaces offer to clients – a sense of community. However, nothing beats a one-hour sweat session with a community of people that have a similar goal, where you can also feed off their energy to push you through. All this combined with new, evolving equipment revolutionizes workouts to deliver results and keep fitness exciting.

We’ve all heard about putting health first and everything else second, but how many of us truly understand this principle and live by it every day? With round-the-clock work schedules and the hustle and bustle of our metropolitan lifestyles, it’s important to consciously make health and fitness a priority. Treat your workout sessions as you would a work meeting – add them to your calendar, don’t skip them, and take 2-3 days out of the week to sweat it out. Great things only come with consistency.

The 180 Rule

When you think about fitness, you immediately think exercising, biking, running, or any other activity that makes you break a sweat. Fitness is much more than breaking a sweat; it’s a 180-degree change in your lifestyle. It helps improves both your mental and physical health.

Fitness also affects that way you think, breathe, speak, react to situations, digest food and more. It enhances the energy you put out into the universe. From cumbersome deadlines to client-facing tasks to on-the-go projects and more, you will see a difference in the way you execute tasks in all areas of your life. It’s all full-circle.

Mindfulness through fitness

When you exercise, it increases blood flow to the brain, making you more aware of your health overall. You’re more in tune with your emotions and generally more alert. This helps you understand what is upsetting or stressing you, and from there you can decide on next steps and how you will tackle it.

This also applies to the workplace, and explains why we’ve seen corporations and even small businesses integrating team workouts into their training programs and company culture – it improves productivity, helps you appreciate discipline and plays a massive role within communities.

The scientific approach

When you exercise, your heart rate goes up, in turn increasing oxygen intake, which boosts your brain and organ function. Exercise releases endorphins or “happy hormones.”

Once you’ve had a great workout and exhausted your body, you need to refuel. Instead of filling your body with the nearest convenient food, you’re going to want vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to replenish the resources you used in your workout.

Both of these complementary factors will ensure you sleep better at night and wake up feeling great (albeit just a little sore). You will go into work with better energy, find yourself feeling more productive, and even develop better posture.

Routine and long-term effects

Over time, staying fit will become part of a routine. As you start noticing a healthier, happier, motivated and more inspired self, the good habits become addictive. Then, in a domino effect, you will start looking at other areas of your life in which to improve.

Maybe you pick up a new book to read or plan a hiking trip to Peru – the bucket list is endless! Gradually, you will become more knowledgeable and gain a bigger and better perspective on your life, career, and family because you’ve put health first.

Age shouldn’t matter

Remember, it’s never too early or too late to start a fitness journey. Whether you are in your 20s or 60s – nothing can stop you if you put your mind to it.

Being healthy not only allows you to do more with your family and friends in the present, but also helps pass on these healthy habits to your children, giving them a head start on a healthy lifestyle.

Keeping your kids engaged and planning family activities for weekends helps strengthen the relationships that matter the most.

At Fit Factory, we also are proud to host The Kids O Course – an educational health and fitness program for youth. It encourages kids to see the value of an active lifestyle while testing their mental and physical limits.

Executives, educators and human resources experts contribute to the ongoing Leadership Lab series.