Fitness, Nutrition, Leadership, Books

Fitness, Nutrition

Tim McGraw: Five Reasons Business Professionals Should Make Exercise A Daily Habit

Tim McGraw’s new book contains valuable insights for today’s over-worked and over-stressed business professionals.

12/1/2019 7:41:00 AM

In Tim McGraw's new fitness and nutrition book, 'Grit & Grace,' he explains 5 reasons why it’s important to exercise every day

Tim McGraw’s new book contains valuable insights for today’s over-worked and over-stressed business professionals.

Harper Wave/Thien PhanAt the age of 52, country music superstar Tim McGraw feels more energized than he did ten years ago. He feels mentally and physically stronger, too. He’s more creative, has less anxiety, sings better, and is a better performer. McGraw credits these changes to a seemingly small decision he made a decade ago—to move his body every day. 

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McGraw’s new fitness and nutrition book, Grit & Grace, contains valuable insights for today’s over-worked and over-stressed business professional, especially those who lead others. Ten years ago McGraw was sitting in a movie theater with one of his daughters when a trailer came on for a holiday movie he was in. He didn’t like what he saw on the 30-foot screen. It magnified the damage he had been doing to his body. He was forty-pounds heavier than is today, the result of excessive partying on the road—drinking his carbs in the form of beer, eating too much fast food and not getting enough sleep or exercise. 

McGraw didn’t like what he saw and how he felt. His energy was low. He felt sluggish, he was getting sick too often, his mind was ‘muddled’ and he felt anxious. These are not the qualities of peak performance in any field—on a music stage or in the business world. 

McGraw set a goal for himself. He would do something physical every morning for six solid weeks. He had read that it takes about 42 days for new behaviors to feel normal. So for the next six weeks, daily drinking was out and daily exercise was in. 

In one chapter of the book, McGraw explains five reasons why it’s important to move or exercise every day.Grit & Grace by Tim McGrawHarper Wave/Danny Clinch1. Start an upward spiralOnce you start moving (walking briskly, running, cardio and strength conditioning), your cravings for unhealthy food will diminish and your craving for healty alternatives will rise. You’ll drink more water which, in turn, boosts energy and brainpower. Movement “pumps more oxygen into your tissues and wakes up the sluggish brain,” writes McGraw with the help of his co-writer, health expert Amely Greeven.

When people ask McGraw how he manages to have energy for his show after intense workouts earlier in the day, he answers: “It’s becauseof the workouts that I feel so exuberant...Movement of any kind, even low-impact stuff stuff like walking, will boost serotonin and endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that improve your mood.

2. Purge stress and combat anxietyExercise flushes out mental and emotional toxins, just as much as physical ones.Stress is a deeply physical phenomenon,” says McGraw. “When the brain perceives a situation as threatening or too hard to handle, it sets off the release of a series of hormones that prompt the secretion of adrenaline and cortisol, our primary stress hormones. Though adrenaline disperses rapidly, cortisol likes to hang around in the bloodstream for longer, especially if you sit all day.”

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Daily exercise has been shown to create a ‘cocktail of positive chemisty,’ lifting your mood, suppressing pain and alleviating anxiety. 3. Develop grit and forge focusGrit is a combination of focus and perseverance. McGraw says when your ego is telling you to give up or downgrade your ambition, you can call on grit to provide the energy you need to stay focused on your goal and to step up your commitment. Sticking to a daily routine helps McGraw develop the grit he needs to keep his career going at a high level.

4. Create confidence through actionExercise gave McGraw a renewed self-assurance on stage, a quality that will serve any business professional who has to present in front of audiences. Building strength and endurance will change the way you see yourself, the way you feel about yourself and, as a result, the person your audience sees. “As a performer, confidence makes or breaks you,” writes McGraw.

5. Feel freedom, connection, and joyDaily exercise helps you worry less and experience fewer negative thoughts. The result is that you are fully present to others. According to McGraw, your mind is sharper, clearer and more creative, too.“When your body hits a rhythm by moving repetitively on a walk, run, or swim, the mind can fall into order and coherence. Instead of bombarding you with chatter, something else can enter, like flashes of insight or reflections about your life.” 

As a keynote speaker who needs to maintain his energy and creativity, I’ve always understood the need to stay fit. But McGraw’s book inspired me to elevate my commitment to a healthy lifestyle. It’ll encourage you, too, to make nutrition and fitness a priority in your life. You might be surprised at what it does for your career.

Read more: Forbes »

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