Health plays a key role in the success of many business leaders. So it is no surprise that many business leaders routinely put exercise at the top of their list as a career strategy. According to Jeff Popoff, TheLadders guest contributor, consider the following reasons and strategies to leverage a healthy lifestyle to gain an edge in your career.

Leadership Strength
Your personal brand and health go hand-in-hand when it comes to professional image. According to a recent study, workers who exercise regularly earn 9 percent more on average than employees who don’t work out.

Tip: It pays to make fitness a part of your personal brand. Think of working out as giving yourself a raise.

Travel Stamina
Some careers require business travel, which can mean early morning flights and late night client dinners. These can disrupt normal sleeping, eating, and exercise routines leading to an increase in stress.

Tip: Healthy road warriors will tell you they travel with energy bars to replace airport food, and develop easy bodyweight workout routines they can do in their hotel rooms.

Savvy career climbers know a smart way to network is at the gym or sporting activities. Workplace wellness challenges are becoming increasingly popular because they promote networking, camaraderie and fun.

Tip: Consider walking meetings!

Appearance Bias
Although discriminating and unfair, experts have determined that a person’s appearance can affect the outcome of their job search and potential for advancement.

Tip: Many companies offer financial incentives including discounts on health insurance, subsidized weight management programs, and health coaching.

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