The phrase “fit to lead” has been around for a long time, as good leadership became synonymous with being fit; mentally, physically and spiritually. Today, physical fitness has particular power to improve one’s perceived leadership credibility. Apart from anything else, the modern business is physically taxing, and you need to have the endurance, confidence and decisiveness to handle it. 

A good leader is in tune with the fluctuations of energy levels and body rhythms that everyone has every day. Here are five ways improving your physical fitness can improve your leadership skills:

1. Leading by example

Team members in the office will unconsciously mimic the behaviours and activity levels of the person leading them. If a leader lacks discipline or punctuality, their subordinates are far more likely to do the same. Similarly, if a leader doesn’t take good care of their health and body, their team members are more likely to follow suit.

2. Mental wellbeing

Exercise is one of the most effective techniques for managing stress levels because it triggers the release of the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. Furthermore, if you spend time each day focusing primarily on your body’s movements, you take your mind off the stresses of the day, at least temporarily. There is also lots of evidence suggesting that exercise fights symptoms of anxiety and depression, and helps to improve sleep patterns.

3. Creative thinking

Having a good level of physical fitness equips a leader with the brain space to maximise their creative thinking. There is evidence that suggests even moderate amounts of exercise help to boost cognitive powers, helping you improve your decision-making and think more creatively about business strategies.

4. Become more productive

In much the same way that a car in top condition, with a full tank, can go on longer journeys without engine troubles, a human body that is in good condition to perform at its full potential can get more done.

5. Boost your confidence

Self-confidence is a fundamental requirement for good leadership. Through regular exercise, you will get the endorphin boosts that make you feel better about yourself, and feeling comfortable in your own skin will help bring you out of your shell if you have confidence issues.

A great leader pays close attention to the state of their body. Physical fitness is, at its most basic, key to a healthy body, but it is also the foundation upon which we build intellectual activity that is dynamic and creative.