Editor’s Note: Our Chairman and CEO, Alex Gorsky, recently shared some thoughts with our employees about why exercise is important to him and what gets him out of bed for a workout every day. Below is his message.
In a recent New York Times Well blog post, health columnist Jane Brody talks about her personal motivation for getting in daily workouts. You might be surprised to hear she isn’t driven by weight loss or even overall health goals. Jane focuses on the immediate benefits of exercise – like greater energy, a clear head and an overall preparedness for the day’s tasks.
According to the article, people who focus on the long-term, ironically, spend the least amount of time exercising. Studies show that the instant effects of exercise, such as increased energy, are better motivators than long-term goals like physical fitness, health and weight loss.
I couldn’t agree more with Jane’s approach and this philosophy. I start each morning at 5:00 A.M. with an hour workout of both cardio and weight training. Even on my busiest days I never skip a workout because it makes me feel energized and ready for the day ahead. It is my time. My health is certainly a priority, but what gets me out of bed each morning is that post-workout feeling that anything is possible.
The Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute also recognizes the power of energy management. Their science based principles demonstrate that performance, happiness and health all improve when you learn to better focus and sustain your energy. And exercise is one of the best ways to harness that energy.
“The more energy you give to caring for yourself, the more energy you have for everything else,” says psychologist Dr. Segar. “What sustains us, we sustain.”
As we work towards becoming the healthiest workforce, I encourage all of you to make yourself a priority and focus on enhancing your daily wellbeing through physical activity. Try not to get caught up in weight loss or long-term goals. Pay attention to how exercise makes you feel and the results will follow.
This summer is the perfect opportunity for you to get outside and be more active with those you care about. Dr. Segar says, “everything counts” when it comes to exercise – so take an evening walk with your dog, play outside with your family and take the stairs whenever possible.
And as you start to incorporate more movement into your daily routine, take note of the effect it has on you physically and mentally. Soon you’ll be realizing the benefits of energy management – from stress reduction to improved productivity and mood. But most importantly, you’ll have more time to enjoy life and thrive at work, home and everywhere in-between.