I get asked this question quite often, and I have given a lot of thought to the answer because I believe that a robust and thoughtful response to this question could inspire someone to prioritise and improve their fitness and opens their world.

Firstly, a definition of fitness in this context: I’m referring to fitness in a physical sense, so literally your strength and cardiovascular performance. However, to achieve a good level of physical fitness, you must also pay attention to your sleep, mental health, energy, body composition and digestion – what we call the Six Signals®. Health is a long game, and should be viewed holistically for true and lasting fitness in all regards. It takes time to make lifestyle changes, even small ones, but if you’re patient, amazing things can happen.

So, what does it feel like to be fit? This is a powerful question, but the answer even more so. Nothing is more empowering, emboldening and permissive than developing good physical fitness. I’ll explain why.

Have more energy

Being physically fit provides you with more energy to get things done, whether that’s in your personal or professional life. Rather than drain your energy, a workout at the start of the day can set you up for a more energetic and productive day, as well as giving you all the benefits of increased blood flow, potential EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption – i.e. increased calorie burn post-workout), increased heart rate and the flow of ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.

Have more resilience

Our lifestyles demand that we are physically fit for the rigours of modern life. The demands made on us in terms of our availability, combined with the pressures to be ‘always on’ mean that it can be easy to become stressed and burned out. Whilst being fit doesn’t mean this won’t happen (or that the demands on your lifestyle should be met), it does mean that you are much better equipped for the tough times and have the resilience to ride the storms.

Have more stamina

Being fit provides you with the stamina needed for much of life, whether that’s a long day at work, travelling or a day out with friends or family. Being fit means you don’t need to worry about the physical demands of an exercise or activity because you can be confident you have the fitness to endure it. This is a big one – knowing that I can go into almost any situation knowing that I have the physical stamina to withstand it is very empowering. This creeps into mental stamina too.

Your world opens

You can say yes to things rather than defaulting to no because you don’t think you’d be fit enough. This might range from an invitation to run Parkrun on a Saturday morning to a day out at Go Ape with the kids or a game of rounders on the beach. You don’t want to be the one who sits it out because of a perceived or real lack of fitness. Once you become fit, your world opens up and you are more willing to try new things. It’s an incredible feeling!

Operate in your discomfort zone

This is linked with resilience, but a very important point. The ability to become comfortable or have the tools to operate in your discomfort zone is huge. We believe it’s important to regularly challenge yourself in some way to get comfortable with this. Sport and exercise is a great way to do this, hence we regularly take part in challenging endurance events to keep ourselves sharp. For you this might also be trying a new hobby, joining Toastmasters for public speaking or overcoming a fear such as heights or enclosed spaces.

Enjoy a longer healthspan

Being fit means you are giving yourself a good chance of having a long healthspan. We talk about healthspan not lifespan because health is what really matters, not the total number of years you’ve lived. Maintaining your fitness will promote a healthy cardiovascular system; strong bones, tendons and ligaments; a healthy brain with lots of blood flow; balanced blood sugars and hormonal profile; a healthy digestive system and good mental health.

Suck the marrow out of life

This is one of my personal values; it’s a quote from Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Walden’. Being fit means you have the energy, the confidence and the strength to let life take you where it will and get as much enjoyment from it as you can. You have options. Your perceptions of what you can and can’t do won’t stop you from living life to the full. The process of taking control of your life and reclaiming your fitness is so empowering that mentally you’ll be much stronger and you’ll have the body to match your aspirations.

What’s your Health IQ?

If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. 

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Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email [email protected] to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  • Leanne is an award-winning entrepreneur and the founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. She delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight', is the author of bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine', and hosts a podcast called ’Remove the Guesswork‘. Leanne is the founder of Bodyshot Performance, an award-winning health and wellbeing company. Bodyshot Performance work with businesses of up to 500 people who want to create a culture of energy, vitality and performance through the business and position wellbeing as a competitive advantage. Bodyshot intersect the latest science and technology to provide unique solutions to the challenge of wellbeing in the workplace that have a direct impact on the bottom line. Our clients have won awards for wellbeing and recognise it directly improves employee engagement and retention and attracts talent into the business.  We also work with chronically stressed or burned out professionals to get you back in control of your health and able to do the things you want to do in life. My expertise is around health, fitness and wellbeing, specifically focusing on sleep, mental health, energy, body composition, digestion and fitness. I host a popular podcast on iTunes called ’Remove the Guesswork ‘, and in November 2016 I delivered a TEDx talk on 'Why fitness is more important than weight'. I’m the author of the bestselling books 'Remove the Guesswork' and 'Rise and Shine' and I regularly speak to corporates on health and wellbeing. My personal values are to live truthfully, considerately and to "suck all the marrow out of life" as Thoreau said. I support the charity Diversity Role Models which works to combat homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. I recently completed the world’s toughest ski race to raise £10,125 for Alzheimer's Research as my father-in-law was profoundly ill with Alzheimers, and I am on a constant mission to find ways to live in a way that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. I love sport, fitness, reading, gardening, business, podcasting, and being with my cat and our scampish little rescue dog, Kami from Romania.