If you’ve read my book “Homeless to Billionaire: The 18 Principles of Wealth Attraction and Creating Unlimited Opportunity”, you’ll know that one of the principles I follow is mimicking successful people and business models. Naturally, I researched the habits of other highly successful people. How did they accomplish so much in the same 24-hour period I had? How did they increase their output of great ideas?
It didn’t take me long to discover that one thing successful people have in common is the habit of exercising. They start their days early, making exercise a priority, and they have lots of variety in their routines. I was fascinated by this but faced a problem. Anyone who knows me understands that I am not a morning person. My body clock is not wired to wake up early in the morning. The thought of exercising before six in the morning is not something that I relish.
An Expert Opinion on Exercise
John Ratey, MD, a leading expert in this area, wrote a bestselling book on the topic called “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain.” In the book, Ratey calls exercise “the single most powerful tool you have to optimize your brain function.” He points out that exercise helps:
- Improve learning ability and grow brain cells.
- Alleviate stress, anger, anxiety, and depression.
- Increase focus, attention, and alertness.
- Reduce the risk of age-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other forms of dementia.
He also details the best exercise regimen for optimal brain performance:
- We should do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least five days a week. For aerobic exercise, activities like running, cycling, or swimming are great. However, the best type of aerobic activity is whatever you can genuinely build into your lifestyle. If you haven’t been active in a while, the best way to begin is to start walking.
- It is best to do some form of aerobic activity six days a week, for forty-five minutes to an hour. Make sure not to do the high-intensity days back-to-back to let your body and brain recover.
- Add some form of strength or resistance training to build muscles, strengthen bones, and protect joints. Adding in more complex activities develops skills, challenges the brain, and helps you stay agile. For example, rock climbing, martial arts, gymnastics, dance, yoga, Pilates, or balance drills. Racket sports are especially good because they simultaneously tax the cardiovascular system and the brain. The combination of challenging the mind and body has a more significant impact than aerobic exercise alone.
- Consider joining an exercise group to get going and keep you on track. Social interaction is excellent for health, reduces stress, and boosts motivation.
Basically, Ratey advises doing something almost every day but keeping your exercise program flexible and trying new things. He emphasizes doing complex activities like martial arts, yoga, gymnastics, or rock climbing. He does not emphasize exercising early in the morning. For me, this made all the difference. I started scheduling fitness breaks into my daytime hours, which always leaves me mentally supercharged. As someone who suffered from depression for many years, I have seen the remarkable brain-positive, mood-regulating effects of regular exercise. The fitter I am, the stronger my mental acuity and outlook. There is no doubt that activity is incredibly powerful for both the mind and body.
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Benefits of Exercise
There are countless benefits to exercising. Once you get into the habit of being more active, exercising both your body and mind, you’ll find that obtaining your goals is easier. You’ll be more prepared for life’s challenges, to focus your mind on finding creative solutions, and you’ll have the energy and determination to withstand life’s trials when they arise along your journey toward success. This will help you envision your goals with more clarity and be able to see yourself succeeding, wrapped in all the positive feelings you get from being successful. You’ll be able to physically work harder and longer to achieve goals because you’ve built up stamina from exercising, and, on a biological level, you’re releasing many feel-good hormones to propel you further.
No matter what kind of exercise or physical activity you decide to start, my best advice is never to give up. Life will always be busy. There is never a perfect time to start something new. It all comes down to just doing it, to make it a priority in your life, and keep the habit of practicing self-love. Put yourself first, if only to make sure you stay healthy and happy. Life will continue to change around you but never cut exercise from your life to save a little bit of time in your day. Remember, you don’t have to go to the gym every day. A simple walk home will be enough to keep you on the right path of improving yourself and succeeding in life.
About Andres Pira – philanthropist, real estate tycoon, author, speaker, and global citizen. Andres Pira enjoys living in Thailand, where his journey began from ไม่มีที่อยู่อาศัยให้กับมหาเศรษฐี.
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