Here is the next in my series on salesperson fitness.
Of the three different types of fitness we’re addressing in this series (body, mind, spirit or soul), fitness of the body is the most visible. It’s what everyone immediately sees. In that a salesperson is presenting themselves and their products or services directly to someone else, this is obviously a vitally important topic for sales. Just in walking up to someone–or even being on camera as on Skype or in a Webinar–fitness can be observed just in the way a person bears himself or herself.
Body fitness doesn’t necessarily mean (as it sometimes seems to in my city, Los Angeles) racing off to the fitness center three or four times a week and working out to the max. It simply means keeping your body fit, in decent shape. Exercise is certainly part of that, but it can be a personal part; each person will usually find a method of exercise that they really like. Not everyone likes to lift weights, for example. I don’t particularly like it. There are other forms of exercise I much prefer, such as swimming, running or skiing.
The opposite of working out to the max is being a couch potato, which isn’t something you want, either. Sitting for 10 hours in front of the TV downing potato chips and cola isn’t good for a person’s body–or mind, or soul. Not that I think watching TV is wrong–I do it, too. But just like anything else, nothing is good for a person when taken it to extremes.
In a way similar to an automobile, a body runs on fuel. You must put the right fuel into it for it to operate well. You wouldn’t put water into your car instead of gasoline–and so you want to put the right food and liquids into your body.
There is a whole range of quality in food. In the U.S., meat is an example; cheap run-of-the-mill supermarket meat is full of antibiotics, chemicals and hormones. The same is true of dairy products. Produce can carry pesticides, and be genetically modified. In many ways, especially in the long run, such food does a body more harm than good. Fortunately the trend in quality food has reversed, as we can see with Whole Foods Markets and other organic and natural chains and brands that have become prominent.
Choice of Foods
What a person puts into the body affects how that “engine” runs. There are numerous approaches to choosing the right food for your particular body. One that I particularly like is called Ayurveda, which has its roots in India and goes back thousands of years. According to Ayurveda, there are three primary body types: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each person’s body falls under one of these.
Vata reflects the elements of space and air. The physical body is long and lean. They don’t have a lot of muscle tone. They have prominent bones and dry skin. They have a hard time gaining weight. Emotionally they can be inspirational. They should eat foods such as raw vegetables and dry food.
Pitta reflects the elements of fire and water. Foods such as hot pepper and pickled food can cause a bitter imbalance. Choosing foods that are cooling like cucumber and watermelon help reduce Pitta.
Kapha reflects the elements of water and earth, and this is reflected the Kapha diet.
Ayurveda is fascinating. You can learn more about it here.
The whole point of Ayurveda is to bring the body into balance, and whether you believe in it or not, it does make a point that is agreed with throughout medicine and nutrition: what you eat affects your whole body. It’s also true that your diet affects the mind and spirit–if you feel terrible because you eat awful foods, trust me, you’ll feel the effects mentally and spiritually, too.
Listen to Your Body
If you pay careful attention to your body and “listen” to it, you’ll know what’s good for it and what isn’t. This goes for food and it goes for any other care you take of the body, too–such as sleeping, relaxing and exercising.
This is obvious when it comes to what you eat–for example with the serious reactions from allergies. Less obviously there might be food that just doesn’t make you feel good, which probably means you should avoid it.
Giving your body what it likes isn’t the same as ingesting something you might like, such as drinking to excess. If you “listen” to your body, the next morning it’s telling you quite plainly that it doesn’t like what you did to it.
This could extend out to activities, too, such as sports. Maybe you love to run, but it hurts your knees so you shouldn’t–you should do something else.
Your body will tell you what it likes. Listen to it!
It’s What You’re Wearing, Too
Being fit extends out to how you groom yourself, and how you dress. This helps make that overall immediate impression.
The way you dress also affects the way you feel. If you can recall the last time you “dressed to the nines” in a tuxedo (if you’re male) or a gown (if you’re female), you can recall how elegant it made you feel. On the other hand, if you dress totally casual, you feel relaxed.
If you’re a salesperson and you’re constantly sloppy and going that way to business meetings, it won’t go well for you. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a tuxedo, but fitness includes presenting yourself well in attire.
I have figured out in nearly 60 years of living that fitness of your body–including all the factors we’ve discussed here–has a direct impact on your mind and spirit.
How we eat, how we appear, how we treat the body, what we wear, all of that has an effect. Deep down, every person knows exactly for themselves what is good for them. Many of us have stopped listening to our bodies, to the signals that the body is sending–but they’re there, and they can be sensed.
The bottom line is, when your body is fit and feels good, it shows. People see it.
As salespeople it’s vital we are in good shape. Why? Because sales is a tough job! If you don’t feel good in your body, you won’t feel so great mentally or spiritually, either. If you’re going to provide advice or sell something, you need to be at the top.
Which means…you’ve got to be fit!
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