Physical and professional fitness: 3 key tactics for hospital executives

Physical fitness is about more than just health — it can be used as a tool to help further the professional lives of hospital and health system executives, physicians and healthcare workers alike, according to John Godoy.

John Godoy is a trainer, coach, speaker, endurance athlete, martial artist, inventor, writer and entrepreneur.

"After the age of 30, generally speaking, our bodies start to break down faster than it builds up, largely due to the natural aging process," said Mr. Godoy at the Becker's Hospital Review 6th Annual Meeting on May 7 in Chicago. "This tends to happen during a period in our professional lives when we want to place more and more demands on our bodies in order to meet our professional ambitions."

Many people try using short-term solutions to gain energy, including eating sugary foods, drinking caffeinated beverages and going to the gym. According to Mr. Godoy, many of these people end up stressed out, burnt out and even on the verge of depression because the short-term solutions fail to work.

"What we need is a long-term solution, and the long-term solution is to change our perspective about how we see fitness," said Mr. Godoy.

Mr. Godoy urged hospital and health system executives to avoid viewing physician fitness primarily as a chore that will improve health, lead to weight loss, relieve stress or lengthen lifespan, and instead view it primarily as is a tool to develop a competitive advantage in the professional world.

To support this change in perspective, Mr. Godoy offered three main tactics:

  1. "Embrace the mindset that your body is armor." An individual's body and mind is like their armor, helping them withstand the rigors of professional life. According to Mr. Godoy, the stronger an individual's armor, the more resilient they will be to the wear and tear of a demanding working environment and the more likely they will be to succeed.
  2. "Set lofty fitness goals." Fitness goals help people challenge their energies and make day-to-day decisions that embrace physical fitness as a way to build a competitive professional advantage a lot easier. Mr. Godoy suggested writing the goal on a piece of paper and keeping it somewhere that it will be seen everyday as a reminder of what is being worked toward.
  3. "Structure your environment for success and chose your allies wisely." According to Mr. Godoy, everybody looks at the world with a unique set of lenses shaped by their environment and associates, among other factors. Knowing that, individuals should make fitness a part of their environments by getting rid of bad food and having workout or meditation equipment on hand at their office and in their homes. Executives should also surround themselves with like-minded associates who value advancing physically and professionally.

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