Many of history’s most profound and prolific brainiacs, creative prodigies and business moguls have prioritized physical fitness, incorporating it into their daily routines. In fact, countless steps, swims, rides, reps and stretches have resulted in some of the world’s most influential discoveries, inventions, creations, and compositions – not to mention millions of energized hours of productivity, focus and plain old hard work.
All of these people have had two things in common: regular physical activity and the claim that such physical activity has directly impacted their career success. All of these people understood the power of movement and sweat. Below is just a brief list of fitness’ geniuses:
- Charles Dickens was addicted to a daily three-hour walk around London.
- Tchaikovsky and Beethoven were unwavering walkers, too – as was Freud – who could be considered an original power-walker.
- Alan Turing rowed and ran marathons. He also regularly jogged the 10-mile commute back and forth to his laboratory.
- All-around genius Hypatia was also an all-around athlete. She was a polymath and a three-sport athlete (horseback riding, swimming, and rowing). In Hypatia’s case, her sports program was purposefully designed to keep her mind sharp.
- Einstein was an avid cycler. Ideas often occurred to him while he rode his bike, including the theory of relativity.
- Nikola Tesla – walker and toe-xerciser. What is a toe-xerciser? It’s a person who exercises their toes by curling and uncurling them. Tesla claimed that this helped stimulate his brain, but we think it was more likely his daily 10 mile constitutionals.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson wrestled in high school and college. Apparently, he hasn’t lost his touch. He chalks his wrestling and lifting accomplishments up to physics. Give a little, take a little.
- Mark Cuban takes kickboxing and aerobics classes. He’s a six-day-a-week worker-outer.
- Warren Buffet keeps active to burn calories, offsetting some admittedly not-so-healthy eating habits.
- Oprah Winfrey is a cardio and crunch fanatic.
- Charles Darwin took three 45 minute walks each day to keep his brain strong.
- The Dalai Lama has been known to meditate while taking morning walks. In inclement weather, he’s done both on a treadmill.
- Barack Obama works out almost daily, for almost an hour a day. He claims that as a youth, starting a regular workout routine helped him become focused and disciplined. It also made him a better student.
The list goes on and on (and on). From musicians to mathematicians to masters of design, movement is key. There are real, tangible reasons behind all of this. Some may not be surprising at all. Others will be eye-opening. All are based on body science. Our next email will delve into this. In the meantime, keep building bodies and brains. And keep doing all the other great stuff you do.