Yes I’ll put my hand up and admit to being addicted to my Peloton spinning bike! (#CheekyMalarkey – see you on the Leaderboard!)
But did you know that exercise can help you become a better leader?
Oxygenation of the brain occurs through movement and exercise, as well as meditation, and aids in the higher cognitive functions of the brain, such as learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem-solving, decision making and holding attention.
As we age over 25, the brain needs our assistance to stay ‘plastic’, or able to grow and change. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt itself in response to new experiences and situations, enabling the brain to ‘rewire’ itself to remain resilient and adaptive in an ever-changing and ever-demanding world.
Acute exercise (where you really get your sweat on!) leads to immediate cognitive behavioural benefits, as it releases the growth factor Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which aids neuron growth, especially in the pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for your higher cognitive functions.
The trick is…..it’s actually best if you enjoy the exercise! If you’re dragging yourself to the gym because of guilt or a feeling of “should” this can actually reduce the amount of oxygenation to the brain. Conversely, your brain produces even more BDNF when you enjoy what you do.
So find your arsenal of “whys”, and try to make them align with your values. Achievement, vitality, and community are big motivators for me, which is why I take part in Peloton Challenges all the time, why I started the German Power Zone Pack and team “PowerKrauts”, why I’m a big part of the Peloton Facebook Community, and why I pour over my metrics daily.
Find your tribe and you’ll find your vibe!
Another tip is to get rid of friction to make it easier on yourself – make sure your equipment is ready and functioning, your workout location is convenient, and you’ve made time in your day to prioritise yourself, even if it’s 15 minutes. Make it all automatic – limit your ability to make excuses!
Mixing it up can also help you stay interested – yes I ride a lot, but I mix up endurance with HIIT rides, and Tabata rides with Pop rides. I also enjoy throwing in bootcamps and strength classes, and always close out with a 10-15 minute meditation. Going for walks outside is also a great way to get in touch with your body, and just move and breathe! Clear the head, get refocused, and dive back into kicking butt for the rest of your day.
Accountability can be a massive motivator for many, and as a coach I see the importance of all aspects of a person’s life to their success and happiness, not just how they turn up in the office each day. Finding your “why” for movement will lead to a much more significant and enduring “how”, and a coach is certainly the one to help you get there. Book in for a Moxie Discovery Call below and get on yer bike!