If you’ve been following along with our series “JohnHart’s 12 Skills for Exponential Growth in Real Estate”, you know we’re somewhat unconventional. But you have to admit, there’s always a method to the madness. Still, you might be wondering how skill #5, “physical activity”, fits into real estate greatness. Putting up “For Sale” signs? Adding lock boxes? Walking up the stairs of luxury homes? Okay, so the career of a real estate agent isn’t the most physically demanding. But physical activity is just as important for the mind as it is the body.
Have You Done Your 150 Minutes of Aerobic Activity?
Regardless of your career path, evidence supports that the average American should devote a minimum of 150 minutes a week to medium intensity aerobic activity. Unfamiliar with aerobic activity? It basically constitutes any physical activity that stimulates your heartbeat.
No, we don’t mean the moment you hand over the keys to your client’s dream home. We’re strictly talking about stimulation of a physical nature. It’s also recommended that you focus on building or strengthening muscle at least two days every week. So why is exercise so important?
The Looming Threat of Mental Illness in America
Normally, we’d tell you to sit down for the sobering statistic we’re about to share. But in the spirit of physical activity, stand up for this one. Over 50% of U.S. citizens will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. That figure’s obviously not factoring in undiagnosed cases. So, it’s safe to say the U.S. has a problem with mental illness.
The most common of these illnesses is anxiety and its myriad related disorders. Sound familiar? With all of the pressures and challenges of a real estate career, it can easily feel like anxiety is just a few steps away.
But this isn’t the only common form of mental illness that can keep a great agent down. Depression is right behind it. In fact, depression regularly ranks as a leading cause of disability for middle-aged Americans.
Fortunately, we know an easy way of treating both or, better yet, keeping them completely at bay. You guessed it: regular physical activity. Research has indicated that even brief interruptions of physical activity can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Of course, regular physical activity is even better.
Physical Activity Can Improve the Mind and Body
With action doing so much to treat mental illness, it makes sense that exercise can also help improve cognitive ability. If you’re grinding away on a challenging transaction and feel stuck, try taking an activity break. You’ll likely find that a bit of movement gets the ideas flowing again. Studies show that regular physical activity promotes clearer thinking, easier learning, and more creative problem-solving. It can even reduce your risk of cognitive decline and improve sleep!
Then, there are the myriad benefits of activity on physical health and the body. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce high blood pressure and obesity, stave off diabetes, and reduce a slew of common health risks. So, when it comes to exercise: believe the hype.
When Routines Go Off the Rails
Unfortunately, when you fall out of practice with physical activity, it can spiral into a cycle that’s challenging to break. The less you exercise and stay active, the greater the chance of illnesses like anxiety and depression taking root. And once they get a grip on you, it becomes more difficult to push yourself into activity.
Physical activity doesn’t take the place of therapy or necessary medication in treating mental illness. But its help in treating or staving off these ailments is compelling.
Punctuate a Sedentary Lifestyle with Physical Activity
As real estate agents, you’re bound to spend long hours in front of a laptop. But a sedentary lifestyle is rife with consequences. Lengthy periods of inactivity can negatively impact your cardiovascular, metabolic, and mental health. Memory falters. Attention to detail slips. Multiple executive skills such as meeting deadlines and following complex directions suffer. With research pointing to higher mortality rates for those who spend excessive time sitting, physical action becomes about more than a career. It’s literally a matter of life and death.
How We Promote Physical Activity at JohnHart
At JohnHart, we don’t just encourage our agents and staff to engage in regular physical activity. We incentivize them. Our proprietary SwarmCRM features FitBit integration. This means that JohnHart agents can sync their FitBits to our company’s CRM to automatically track their steps and compensate them with our company’s “Coin” system. JohnHart’s Coins can be used by agents to purchase a slew of goodies including but not limited to:
- Laptop computers
- Personal lifestyle photo shoots
- Closing gifts
- Drone property walkthroughs
- Advertising placement
Ultimately, we believe physical activity brings its own greatest rewards. While the link between staying active and success in realty may not be obvious, it’s nonetheless strong. Because it’s not just about keeping your mind sharp for that artful negotiation. It’s about staying alive!