The Most Obvious Cognitive Booster for Knowledge Workers

If you are a knowledge worker, you probably need to learn things and solve problems. If you want to learn things and solve problems, you need to be able to focus. If your body is in pain or degrading from underuse, you will be distracted from your work. If your body is exercised through prehab, rehab, or fitness training, you will have fewer distractions, fewer sick days, more focus, more mastery of your craft. The effects of exercise on attention are one of the most studied and easily exploited advantages available to you.

I mean, my God, look at this! Why aren’t you exercising to help you with your work?

If you are a workaholic, your day only needs to have two phases:

  1. exercise so that you can have a good work day
  2. have a good work day

If you are not a workaholic, add another phase. But, keep these two.

How should you get started, assuming that you don’t have much experience with this sort of thing? Find a fitness expert who has lots of certifications, has written books and articles and/or trains athletes. Take group classes from them or schedule private training, if you can afford it. Approach your training with a student’s mindset. Your goal is to learn, so find trainers who have knowledge.

Good trainers:

  1. Often have certifications in StrongFirst, MovMat, GymnasticBodies, or FMS
  2. Like to talk about muscles you’ve never heard of
  3. Talk a lot about mobility and stability
  4. Walk you through warm up protocols
  5. Understand the roles body temperature and nutrition play in recovery
  6. Walk you through flexibility and cool down protocols
  7. Talk a lot about form and correct your form

Bad trainers:

  1. Have you doing anything without assessing your form as you do it
  2. Push you so hard you feel like you’re going to get injured (or just die)
  3. Are inarticulate in communicating fitness knowledge
  4. Are not fit themselves
  5. Fail to challenge you

Facilities with interesting equipment are nice. But good trainers are the bottom line. Here’s the gym I’m going to right now, if you’d like a model of what a good facility with good trainers looks like.