People often assume that SEAL training requires vast amounts of physical stamina and mental strength. They would be correct. Members of the most elite special operations forces are developed like professional athletes. From Day One of BUD/S (a Navy SEAL training program), you have to dig deep just to make it to the end of the day. Then you have to wake up early and do it all over again. As the saying goes, "The only easy day was yesterday."

The stress of knowing the pain you will endure can be overwhelming. Whether it's surf torture or running for miles on the beach carrying heavy logs, your mind and body are growing in strength without you even realizing it. But there is a scientific method to the madness, if you will. No battle was ever won by a team whose members ask for a time-out so they can catch their breath.

The same can be said for busy professionals. Beyond the battlefield, being physically fit and prioritizing healthy living can have a direct link to one's ability to perform well in the workplace. NASA conducted a study showing that people who make exercise a habit are consistently more productive after seven hours of work than those that don't. Why? Because you'll have the following:

Better Executive Function.
More Energy.
Psychological Bulletin,
Less Stress.
A Clear Mind.
Confidence.

Nobody has ever regretted making exercise a part of his or her regular routine. You might think you can't afford to take time to exercise, but can you afford not to?

Published on: Apr 23, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.