035 Gaining an Edge – Physical Fitness for Leaders with Carolynne Simons


Progress, not perfection.

Welcome back, everybody! I hope you’re having a fantastic day, wherever you are right now. Today’s episode is all about you and your health – Gaining an Edge: Physical Fitness for Leaders. Anybody who’s been in a leadership role will know it’s a critical element to your success. You’re navigating a lot of uncertainty, a lot of the stresses that come with that – the overwhelm, the people, etc.

Carolynne Simons is the Director at Stay Fit Plans, Inc., a triathlete, and an ambassador for Multisport Canada. She is extremely passionate about health and performance – she lives and breathes it, which is why she’s sharing her expertise with us today.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • The physical and mental aspects of health,
  • Strategies on how to find what works for you and your schedule,
  • The benefits of using tools, devices and/or software
  • Where and how to start, and a lot more.

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The Benefits of Physical Fitness for Leaders

At Novo Nordisk, we’re seeing physical education becoming a part of the culture. I get to be part of facilitating the journey of personal development.

Where we can see some success there is when leaders finish up a workout, they just start nailing problem-solving, personal conflicts, strategy meetings, go better, generating ideas, and being flexible on outcomes

Find what works for you

Because the industry is really shifting the way we exercise, using something to help you automate behavior is really great. Exercise is a 365-day thing – it’s hard work, it’s persistence, it’s pain, failure, rejection, late nights. It’s everything, depending on the level you take it to.

“I need to be habit-forming now and get in my exercise for 20-30 mins, 3x/week, I’m going to start using something that’s going to be able to give me that cue.” I find that really important. It has to be something that you like, and you also have to decide if you want this broadcasted or not.

Getting it in during the workday is really important, I believe, if you have the flexibility to do that. But again, exercise, when it comes to the execution, is also knowing how to pull on your systems.

Whether you know how to weight-train, go for a run, go to the gym and jump in the pool, I’m really and firmly rooted in being able to teach a variety of things so that person can pull on that system to make it work for their lifestyle. If you have that variety in your systems, and you know you’re heading into an 8 o’clock work meeting, it’s going to be a busy day – pull that 20-minute yoga practice right in there and get that to be the kickstart of your day.

The importance of tools

Looking at the metrics, I find showing it over time is critical, but I really am keen and enthusiastic when we actually show where the individual client’s stress in the workout is comparably different when they started, especially if they’re having difficulty understanding if they’re making any progress.

The software also sparks a little bit of intellect in the client, and it allows them to understand, “Wow, I’m taking this away from all my training? And now, I actually know exactly why my workout is paced like this in two days, why she’s got me recovering in a day or two, and where we need to be hitting more breakthrough workouts.”

The tools that we use are very much a collaborative approach, but I’m extremely keen on making sure that the client knows exactly where we’re going.



Links and Resources

Connect with Carolynne: LinkedIn


The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

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