3 Ways Leaders Can Maintain an Exercise Routine (And Why They Should)

I have not always exercised as I should. During my doctoral work and writing my first book, I packed on extra pounds as I didn’t exercise and ate a ton of carbs to keep writing late into the night. I felt sluggish, less engaged mentally, and more stressed. The Lord convicted me that I was not stewarding my health well and was harming my longevity and effectiveness as a leader. Though I am not a doctor or nutritionist, the benefits of exercise are well documented and can clearly impact a leader’s life:

The people we serve benefit if we have less stress, more energy, and better thinking. Because of that, a leader is wise to, if at all possible, exercise. For the last six years, I have exercised regularly. Here are three ways to embed exercise into your life.

1. Choose a sport or activity you enjoy.

It is much easier to exercise when you enjoy the sport or activity you’re engaged in. For me, it is basketball. I can wake up at 4:30 am to play hoops when I would likely hit the snooze button if I were planning to run.

2. Involve others.

When you commit to exercise with others, there is built-in accountability. I know if I don’t get my butt out of bed, there will be disappointed guys who will have to play with uneven teams. On non-basketball days, I exercise with Kaye (my wife) who makes it super-easy for me. She literally starts the workout DVD and tells (feels like yells) at me to get out of bed.

3. Schedule it.

If you don’t block off time on your calendar to exercise, it will not happen. Even with exercise scheduled, I sometimes tap out and don’t exercise. The pull to not exercise can be strong, so scheduling helps make it happen.