Some businessmen thrive under pressure, while others yield. In order to sustain high performance levels, physical and emotional strength as well as intellect are required. In order to bring mind, body and spirit to peak conditions, businessmen need to learn what world-class athletes know – replenishing energy is as important as expending it.
Energy, simply put is the capacity to do work The process begins at the physical level because the body is humans’ fundamental source of energy. Sports science research has established that the key to increasing physical strength is a phenomenon known as supercompensation, which is essentially the creation of balanced work/rest ratios. For example, weightlifting stresses the muscles to the point where it literally starts to break down. Given the proper time to recover, the muscle will not only heal, but will grow stronger. However continually stressing the muscles without adequate rest will result in acute and chronic damage. In both cases, the enemy is not stress but rather the failure to balance between energy expenditure and recovery. The same applies to the corporate businessman who pushes himself too hard mentally and emotionally, and too little physically.
Here are some ways to maintain the optimal energy balance.
Eat five or six small meals a day. People who eat just one or two meals a day with long periods in between force their bodies into a conservation mode, which in turn slows down metabolism. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating first thing in the morning sends your body the signal that it needs not slow the metabolism down to conserve energy.
Drink four to five 12-ounce glasses of water daily, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Studies show that as much of half of the US population has mild chronic dehydration. Increasing your water intake will help relieve symptoms of dehydration such constipation, dry skin, and fatigue as well as improve your skin complexion, digestion and ultimately, brain capacity.
Become physically active. It’s strongly recommended that you have three to four 20 to 30-minute cardiovascular workouts a week. Two sessions of short bursts of intense exertion should be followed by brief recovery periods. This routine can help reduce the risk of heart related illness, assist in weight loss and improve your mood. Endorphins released during the first 30 minutes of aerobic exercise calm your body and reduce your stress level. Additionally, you’ll enjoy an increase in energy after exercise as your heart pumps oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.
Go to bed early and wake up early. “Vampire” individuals, have a much more difficult time dealing with the demands of the business world because they still have to get up with the early birds. They are often groggy and unfocused in the mornings and depend on caffeine and sugary snacks to keep up their energy levels up. It’s important to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
Seek recovery every 90 to 120 minutes. Chronobiologists have found that the body’s hormone, glucose, and blood pressure levels drop every 90 minutes or so. By failing to seek recovery and overriding the body’s natural stress-rest cycles, the body’s capacity is compromised. A few suggestions for combating this include eating healthy foods, hydrating, exercising and changing your mental and emotional batteries.
These five performance management tips address not only the body, but also the mind and spirit. Each of its elements profoundly influences the other and failure to address any one of them compromises performance. So start integrating them into your life and you’ll be on your way to optimum job performance.
Dennis Pierre is the owner of BKLYN Fitness, a personal training business located in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. After attaining his BBA in Accounting from Pace University, Dennis worked in the finance field for several years before deciding to follow his passion for entrepreneurship, finesses and community service. Recognizing a need to teach others how to incorporate fitness into their busy lives to achieve a healthier lifestyle, BKLYN Fitness was born.