Running Away From Stress: How Exercise Can Help Outside Sales Reps Relax

Life as an outside sales representative is nonstop. From scheduling your daily meetings to physically getting yourself to their locations, you need to juggle a slew of responsibilities: who are you visiting today? What are they expecting? How can you deliver a pitch to their specific needs? You know that your job extends beyond traditional nine-to-five bounds and with how much extra energy you have to dedicate to managing your success, you might be struggling to find a healthy balance between work and home life.

You’re not alone: an estimated 80% of working Americans feel stress due to their jobs, with one in four saying they’ve been driven to tears as a result. Though your stress levels may not be that severe, it’s crucial that you find a way to purge the excess tension before it becomes a crushing weight. And what’s the number one solution for stress? Exercise, of course.

Reasons To Feel The Burn

Exercise has been scientifically proven to stimulate your mind and body. In addition to improving your physical condition and bolstering your ability to fight disease, staying physically active is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness, and increasing concentration.

As an outside sales rep, these traits are vital to your professional success: if a client notices a tiredness in your eyes or a lack of passion in your voice, they’ll be less likely to accept your pitch. If you’re unable to remember the specific details of their campaign or personal needs, you’ll be way off base during your meeting and can jeopardize the whole deal.

Exercise can boost your overall cognitive abilities due to:

  • Endorphin Production: When engaging in physical activity, your brain naturally produces ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters called endorphins. The release of these chemicals creates a euphoric feeling in the recipient and manages emotional stress in a healthy way.
  • Meditation in Motion: Meditation involves the blanking of your mind -- you must not allow distracting or intrusive thoughts penetrate your meditative state in order to benefit from it. Exercise, especially through sports or actions that are extremely repetitive in movement, can cause a similar state. Your mind blanks as you focus only on what you’re doing in the moment, whether it’s racing across a tennis court or stretching.
  • Mood Elevator: Both endorphins and repetitive motions create a sense of calm in human beings. While especially beneficial to those in high-stress environments (like outside sales reps), a constant state of calm is appealing to everyone. With enough practice, it can inspire feelings of self-confidence, keep you relaxed in high-pressure environments, and even help you sleep better by reducing anxiety.

When you’re exercising, all the anxieties and worries of the day will fade away. That sale you weren’t able to make, the words of a rude client, and any perceived mistakes will be left behind as you start releasing endorphins. As time progresses, you’ll find that your entire attitude will change for the better.

Jump Up And Get Going

As an outside sales rep, you’re not an inactive person, and that gives you a leg up on getting started. You’re used to a basic amount of physical exercise: even the simple act of getting in and out of your car and walking to and from clients’ houses creates a more active lifestyle than most desk workers experience. The trick is building upon it to craft a workout routine that works for you.

Since your routine is primarily focused on stress relief (with physical fitness being a sweet bonus), make sure you’re doing something that you don’t inherently loathe. If you’re spending your whole workout thinking about how much you hate the workout, you probably won’t be feeling very relaxed by the end of it. These tips will help you sculpt the ideal workout for your needs.

  1. Walk before you run: Developing an exercise regimen can be an exciting prospect, especially if you’re eager for a change in your life. However, if you just barrel into lifting more or running farther than your body can handle, you may end up injuring yourself! This delays the entire self-improvement process, so take your time. Find a program that works for you, but be realistic about your expectations.
  2. Do what you love: Despite what media has touted, exercising can be quite enjoyable. The endorphins released during a good workout creates a natural high, but it’s harder to achieve it if you absolutely hate what you’re doing. You don’t have to run just because running is a good workout; if you’ve been against exercising your whole life, try something that doesn’t quite feel like exercising (like yoga or a dance class) and see if your mind changes over time.
  3. Make time for your peace of mind: A good routine means nothing if you aren’t sticking to it. Make sure to schedule your workouts in manageable chunks, such as 30 minutes every day or an hour every other day, to guarantee that you’ll actually commit to them.

When you’re more relaxed and have been sleeping well for weeks and months on end, you’ll find that you have more time and energy to focus on your clients. Hard sales become easier as you come up with new methods of managing them, old clients continue to be reassured of your dedication, and new clients can sense - without a hint of hesitation, the passion you feel for your career. All of these benefits will translate into a happier, healthier home life, and a more successful, enjoyable professional life. 

For those of you who want to go the extra mile, check out John Rampton’s tips for staying healthy on the road.

Author Bio: Gerad Cassello has a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Fitness / Cardiac Rehabilitation. Gerad is a 20 plus year veteran of fitness equipment consulting and sales. His experience of personal training, cardiac rehabilitation, and fitness equipment knowledge is applied to each individual client’s need. Gerad has a passion for fitness, martial arts, and aging well.

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