This is an update of my popular article from Entrepreneur.com
High achievers, especially entrepreneurs, constantly test their endurance on every level — mentally, emotionally and physically. It seems as if there’s never enough time to tackle everything that needs to get done. Too often, the first thing that falls from the to-do list is physical exercise.
Does that happen to you?
I’m an exercise junkie, but when I started my latest business, I struggled to find time for this passion. Walking has always been my favorite exercise in particular. I love to walk in cities, in the mountains, along a footpath and around my neighborhood.
Yet, five days a week, I need to be at the office, cubicle or seated at a desk to get work done. About a year ago, I finally decided to change my routine to add more exercise into my busy schedule.
I invested in a walking / treadmill desk and the benefits continue to add up in delightful and surprising ways — both in my personal and professional life.
Here are a five ways I have been able to turbocharge my career and my life just by using my treadmill desk:
1. Heightened creativity
I do my best thinking when walking. I gain so many new ideas on how to innovate and solve problems when I’m walking than when I’m not. I am not the only one. Steve Jobs was legendary for his creativity and for his walking meetings. Turns out this isn’t a coincidence. A recent Stanford study shows that people are a whopping 60 percent more creative when they’re walking than when they are sedentary. The study showed that it doesn’t matter if you are walking outside or on a treadmill — you get the same benefit from either.
2. Increased productivity
There’s a lot you can do when walking on a treadmill desk. I wrote this article while on it! A walking desk is the ultimate multitasking tool. At a low speed, I can read and edit documents, do email and participate in Hangouts, Skype or have phone meetings with colleagues. I’ve even participated in telephonic board meetings while walking several miles.
The creativity boost that occurs while I’m walking naturally extends into all of the productive tasks I do while at my treadmill desk.
3. Improved health and fitness
I’ve lost 8 pounds this year. I was in good health to begin with but after my last physical, I was healthier across the board.
Walking is the simplest positive change you can make to improve your health. Research shows that the benefits of walking for at least 30 minutes a day can help prevent the most devastating illnesses including heart disease, blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis and even cancer.
As an added bonus, the walking desk is convenient and available regardless of weather conditions. I continued to walk miles daily during snowy winter months and the rainy spring. I had one less obstacle and excuse to avoid exercise. As Tom Rath, bestselling author of Eat, Move, Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes says, half an hour of exercise early in your day “makes for better interactions all day.”
4. Greater sense of achievement
My goal is to walk two to four miles per day on my treadmill desk — and I often walk many more. Ticking that goal off my list every day gives me an additional boost of confidence to tackle projects.
5. Reduced stress
Every entrepreneur has it — that nervous energy that propels you forward. Yet sometimes, it’s a distraction. Walking on your treadmill desk burns off that energy so you can focus.
I continue to walk outside every day and enjoy the fresh air (weather permitting). When I need to be at my desk to work, I use my walking desk. It has opened up new opportunities for creativity, productivity, well being and better overall health.
I’ve found you can literally walk your way to success.