Strong body, good business

Learn how taking care of your physical self will transform your work experience and results "I've been focused on improving my memory and strengthening my mental acuity. What are some other ways I can increase my productivity on the job?" - Matthew Hanson, Seattle, Washington

Your physical self is the starting point for all aspects of business—after all, the body is much more than carrying case for your mind. Mind and body are fully integrated, which means that your fitness level and nutrition profoundly impact your energy and focus.

Through their books, blogs and seminars, thought leaders in the business world deliver valid messages about the key components for success: goals, clear growth strategies, advanced technology, talented people and the like. Strangely missing from the mix is the significance of your body.

But now, leaders are beginning to recognize that taking care of the body is taking care of business because they are seeing real results.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

For the Executive Team at Harbor Beach Marriott, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, emphasizing wellness has led to tangible results. Since attending the Human Performance Institute, they've seen an increase in their customer rating from 77 to 86.5. Area general manager Jim Mauer says, "This training opened our eyes to the importance of taking care of ourselves and our employees."

While the team used to feel guilty about taking time-off to exercise, going on vacation, or taking a break, they have since changed their point-of-view, and their habits. This proves important in the hospitality business, where 24/7 availability is essential.

"We've noticed a change in our attitudes, commitment, and engagement levels," says Mauer.

Energy Management for Employees

Annette Byrd, Healthy Work Environment Manager at GlaxoSmithKline, a global pharmaceutical healthcare company, says that one of the most important messages being delivered by HPI's workshops is for managers. "If a manager stays at her desk over lunch, unless the employees are given the ‘power of permission,' they may be reluctant to take a walk or otherwise positively manage their own personal energy."

The goal is to empower employees to manage their own energy, so the company has opened the door for 22,000 employees to date to participate in HPI workshops. The resulting data is impressive. Out of 277 respondents surveyed over 2 1/2 years, 31% reported "very significant sustained improvements" 12 months after attending the Energy for Performance workshop.

The survey culled this specific information from employees, showing the overall improvement in each energy dimension:

Physical Capacity (amount of energy) - 34%
Emotional Capacity (quality of energy) - 34%
Mental Capacity (focus of energy) - 33%
Spiritual Capacity (force of energy) - 28%

Faster Recovery from Work Marathons

Paul Keegan, a contributing writer for Fortune magazine, experienced HPI's 2 ½ day program first-hand to report on it for the magazine. Keegan committed to the physical rituals recommended by the program: three cardio and two resistance-training workouts per week; eating three light meals and two snacks per day; and taking a break for work every two hours to move around.

Keegan followed through on his new disciplines and attested to their transformative impact. "...Work marathons that used to leave me feeling exhausted—redeye cross-country flights or pulling all-nighters to finish a story—now barely faze me," he says. "After a few normal nights of sleep, I'm good as new." He also noticed that the dietary changes helped him: "The nutrition guidelines are not easy…but snacking between meals keeps my energy up. There are no more late-afternoon slumps."

Because your physical health shapes the way you act in the business world, your body is an ingredient for success.