Your energy level is part of your personal brand, along with your appearance and confidence. If you could find a fix that improved your posture, amped up your energy level, made your confidence skyrocket and took years off your appearance, would you buy it? Maybe? What if it were free? Heck yes – sign me up. The good news: there is a solution to your energy and physical confidence. The bad news: It’s not a quick fix or a product in a box. It’s regular exercise, and Artie Lynnworth is living proof. Lynnworth is a motivational speaker and author of several books. His latest is Get Fit and Stay Fit for Life: A no-nonsense, no cost, no equipment, no excuses fitness plan that works for any age and any starting condition. Lynnworth had a successful career as an electrical engineer, holding management positions from plant manager to senior vice president with businesses spanning the globe. He’s retired now and lives in Fernandina here on the First Coast. He’s the speaker at the April 21 meeting of the CareerSource Northeast Florida Professional Network, where he’ll be helping attendees get fit for success. Lynnworth, a collegiate gymnast, has built fitness into his daily routine for over 50 years. Today, at nearly 68 years old, he embodies the fit and strong image he says every baby boomer can achieve in just minutes a day. His personal routine involves about 90 minutes a day of exercise and activity, including walks with his wife, gentle stretches and balancing activities, martial arts and strength conditioning. That may sound daunting, but he’s insistent that anyone can become stronger and more flexible by investing just a few minutes a day. “No excuses – you can make a huge difference with a mat or beach towel on the floor and five minutes of activity in your own home,” he says. “Ten repetitions of one exercise a day will add up to over 3,500 reps a year.” Lynnworth’s book contains over 1,000 photos that demonstrate stretches, activities and routines with modifications to accommodate varying fitness and strength levels. The book is designed to start with the very basics – you can perform some of the beginning strength moves in a chair. Eventually, following his plan, you will build up to 30 minutes of targeted activities that will increase strength, balance and stamina. Lynnworth says, “Fitness matters for anyone at any age. The problem is that as we get older and more sedentary, injuries happen more easily and take longer to heal. Movement is more restricted and sometimes painful. Any of these obstacles to good health detracts from our workplace productivity, image and performance. It’s important that we maintain our bodies and spirit as best we can, and it’s easy when done a little each day.” I’ve written before about how fitness and appearance can make a difference in your career path and the size of your initial salary offer. In a survey conducted by executive job site The Ladders.com, 75% of executives said that being overweight is a “serious career impediment.” The same percentage said that good physical fitness is “critical for career success at the executive level.” The baby boom generation will live and work longer than any previous generation, and we’re beginning to realize how important it is to feel and look good decades past the point when our parents might have ceased to care. Here are Artie Lynnworth’s tips for getting started at any age and any level of fitness:
- Begin with a soft start, with just a few minutes per day (5 minutes is his suggestion.) Don’t try to prove anything right away; you might risk injury, which will set you back before you get started.
- Distribute activities throughout the day. Breaking up your fitness into small and manageable chunks and being active when you have the energy will make the routine more palatable – it may even make it fun.
- When you’re ready, engage friends and family. Walk with your spouse or join a Tai Chi group at a local park. Having partners makes the activities more fun and creates accountability. You may skip your walk on your own, but you’re much less likely to let down a friend who is up and waiting for you.
In a relatively short time, Lynnworth says you’ll start to feel measurably better and more confident. You’ll also recover faster when injuries happen. He’s avoided back surgery twice by following the guidance of his physical therapist and committing to strength conditioning and exercise on his own. That alone is worth the investment of a few minutes a day. Register to attend the CareerSource Professional Network here. Learn how to battle burnout, lose weight and gain confidence before your next interview.