Healthy workers are more productive. Improving your health has a clear financial benefit.

Yet, not every executive is willing to buy-in. The executive who is too busy to exercise has made the decision that an hour spent at the office is more valuable than an hour spent at the gym.

They don’t realize the return on the investment of an hour of exercise can’t be calculated in time. The value of transforming your health is calculated in moments not minutes.

This is part of my life ambition to quantify the ROI of exercise.

Part of the I, the investment in exercise is of course time. This limitation is real but often amplified to hide the real barrier. Often the real reason the executive is unwilling to buy-in is that they are afraid.

They are afraid they can’t do it. That it will expose how far out of their depth they really are. When the executive is afraid of being exposed they dive into the one thing they know more work.

They believe in a simple equation more time at work equals more results.

But the executive should not be looking for more results; they are required to create the right result. In their role doing more of the same can lead to business failure. To achieve high levels of success, executives often must try something new.

This is where the R, the return from exercise begins.

In what another element of your life beyond exercise do you get to try something new?

Where do you practice to ignore self-doubt and just go for it?

Can you think of a task where you display unwavering commitment for something you have never done before?

Trying something new, letting go of self-doubt and displaying unwavering commitment are all skills of an executive. They all happen in a moment. They can’t be learned by hours upon hours of sitting behind a desk.

They are skills that you can learn in exercise. Like any skill, they are improved with practice and repetition. The more you practice them in your training the easier it is to replicate at work.

So when calculating the ROI of exercise, does the executive who spends an hour at the gym benefit from increased productivity throughout the day that covers the hour away from the desk?

Maybe not. But at the same time, the executive can’t afford to.

Like any investment, it needs to be considered over the long term. The healthy executive is playing a bigger game. They are not looking at the productivity over an hour. They are looking to win the key moments with a team member, the direction of a project or in their own career that doesn’t just produce more results, it creates the right result.