Think of the highly successful people you know. They didn't get there by sitting around. Most likely, they possess daily habits which reflect discipline and an awareness if you want to achieve great things, you need to at the top of your game physically and mentally. It's why so many executives get out of bed early, exercise daily and practice meditation. Here's what experts have found regarding the importance of exercise.

1. Not exercising is worse for you than smoking.

That's according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio who studied the mortality rates of 122,007 adults who performed exercise stress tests on a treadmill at their facility between 1991 and 2014. They determined that the people with the highest levels of cardiorespiratory fitness had the lowest risk of dying. Put another way, unfit individuals with the lowest levels of aerobic ability have a mortality risk greater than people who smoke or have coronary artery disease or diabetes.

2. Exercise doesn't need to be formal.

What's more important is finding ways to be active throughout the day. Steven Handel, in his book Small Habits, Big Changes: How the Tiniest Steps Lead to a Happier, Healthier You, calls it an "everything counts mindset." It's an attitude wherein you understand that doing even a little bit of exercise is better than none at all. Don't have time for a half-hour walk or jog? Can you spare five minutes instead? Handel suggests finding activities you actually enjoy but get you moving, such as going to a batting cage, throwing a ball around or doing a set of pushups or situps between activities or whenever you walk into your bedroom.

3. Strength training is important, too.

According to research conducted at the University of Michigan, people with low muscle strength are 50 percent more likely to die prematurely, compared with individuals who are strong. The good news is that you don't need to go to a gym to get stronger. Bodyweight exercises such as pushups, situps or squats can be done nearly anywhere and necessitate zero equipment. According to Harvard Medical School it only takes 20 minutes of training a day and you should start seeing noticeable results in as little as four weeks.