We have all heard the dos and don’ts of networking, but lately, there’s a growing trend among business professionals: sweatworking. Coined by the New York Times, the term is exactly what it sounds like: networking while sweating it out at the gym. An increasing number of people professionals are taking advantage of the country’s current fitness obsession by forgoing the wine and cheese, and hitting the gym to make connections and cut deals. Here are a few of the benefits to taking a potential client to a Zumba class instead of happy hour:
1) We’ll start with the obvious: it’s healthier. We’re all aware of the damaging effects alcohol can have on our bodies, including packing on the pounds. No one is saying that you can’t partake in that glass of Pinot after the class but at least you’ve burned a few calories beforehand to make up for the 110-300 calories per glass. Less calorie intake and no hangover the next day; how can someone not appreciate you offering an option that benefits his health?
2) You don’t have to worry about saying something you’ll regret later. Alcohol impairs your judgment. The more relaxed and loose you’re feeling, the easier it is for something negative, or just plain stupid, to slip out. Also, you’re less likely to drink heavily right after a routine, as you are in ‘feel good mode,’ which aids in keeping a positive vibe going.
3) You most likely handle stress well. Working out releases endorphins and serotonin, both of which help obliterate stress and anxiety. That spin class will dissolve that nervousness of speaking with a potential client or investor just as easily as that vodka tonic.
4) You’re more impressive. Exercise helps keep the mind clear and studies show that it can improve cognitive function. The clearer your mind is, the more likely you are to come up with innovative ideas or solutions.
5) You will form more of a bond. Making it through a rigorous experience with someone creates a connection, as you both have accomplished something challenging. You will always have this experience to talk about other than how great the food was at that fancy restaurant.
6) It shows that you think differently. It’s a gutsy move to ask someone to do something out of their comfort zone. If the potential client recognizes that, she is more likely to see you as someone that thinks outside the box, which is always a coveted trait in business deals.
7) You are up for the challenge. Every client wants to know that you are able to take on difficult situations. If you show resilience in that wall climbing class, then it’s fair to assume that you will take that can-do attitude with you on any project or account. Clients want to know that you can handle anything that comes your way with remarkable aplomb.
Caring about your body and health is always an admirable quality in any situation. However, when applied to the business world, it can give you an edge on the competition.
Suncear Scretchen is a Certified Holistic Health Coach who wants to help make the world a healthier place. Share your thoughts and ideas with her on Twitter (@ConsciousChick1).