Every one has an excuse for not keeping fit! I liked “10 Reasons Why You Are A Couch Potato”, by Allison Van Dusen in Forbes. She writes “Regular physical activity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can lower people’s risk of a heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as help with weight control, relieve arthritis pain and even reduce symptoms of depression. It can also cut down on visits to the hospital and doctor’s office, as well as the need for medications.”

This led me to think about how busy executives can improve their fitness. Based largely on common sense and my own experience, here are my 7 Steps to Executive


  1. Know What’s Happening Inside: Have a comprehensive check up at least once a year. It’s worth the time and effort. Externally everything may seem to be fine, but you can’t see inside your body, can you? Many have been shocked at the advancement of illness seemingly without obvious major external clues.
  2. Get Up and Stretch: Exercise in which ever way suits you. A game of squash if you are that energetic, a walk in the park ( if you are my age) or just stretching and touching your toes ( I bet you can’t do that too easily!). Take your pick but have some physical activity every day as many of us are consigned to a sedentary existence.
  3. Eat Well: Watching your weight doesn’t mean you have to starve. What matters is not how much you eat but what you eat. Saying you are staying off heavy meals while you have oil filled snacks all through the day is counter productive. You can afford to skip lunch once in a while but don’t skip breakfast. That’s what gives you the start for an action packed day. Like eating, moderation is the key for drinking as well!
  4. Relax!: Yoga, writing, surfing the net, listening to music, watching a movie, spending time with your family……take your pick but r-e-l-a-x. You need to unwind after the stress and strain of an active life. Choose some form of relaxation which you can do wherever you are. Train yourself to dedicate some time to be at ease and comfortable with yourself and your environment.
  5. Identify Stressors: One man’s food is another man’s poison. What some one may find exciting may seem recklessly dangerous to you. What causes you most stress? At work? At home? Identifying stressors is the first important step in managing stress. Know the circumstances which make you angry, frustrated and down. What can you do to avoid them or at least minimize their effect?
  6. Quit Smoking: This is a tough one for smokers but can be done. Smoking leads to many ill effects and besides is frowned upon in today’s health conscious society. From my own experience, “cutting down” doesn’t help. Take the plunge and cry halt! You have enjoyed it for some years. Now, close that chapter before it closes you.
  7. Use Time Well: As is said, you can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself. Time goes on, regardless. Learn to make the best use of time. The key to living well is to make intelligent choices and prioritize effectively. Aren’t you amazed when you see some people have a full life and enjoy succeses at wotk and at home? One of the bedrocks of their success is their ability to use time to their advantage.

These have worked well for me. What do you do to stay fit?



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This is the 89 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success.