Don’t use jargon. I know you’ve heard this rule before, but maybe no one has ever told you the real reason for the rule. Your choice of jargon reveals your weakness.

A lot of jargon is specific to an industry and if you use it outside the industry no one will understand you. This jargon will undermine you because you are so likely to alienate someone by using words or phrases they don’t know.

There’s also jargon that goes across most industries. The phrases you hear whether you’re an accountant in consumer products or a programmer in health care. Most people understand this jargon, but using it makes you look bad because most cross-industry jargon is a euphemism for being desperate or incompetent or calling someone else desperate or incompetent. Here are some examples:

Let's think out of the box: Really means, “Can you creatively anemic people please come up with something?” People who really do think out of the box do it whether they are told to or not. That’s how they think. If you feel like you need to tell someone to think out of the box, then it's probably hopeless. The person who says, “Let's think out of the box” is usually desperate for a new idea and surrounded by people who are not known for generating ideas. So the phrase is actually an announcement that says, “I'm in trouble.”

I need someone who can hit the ground running: Really means, “I am screwed.” Because no one can hit the ground running. You need to at least assess what race you’re in and who else is running. Everyone has a race strategy when they are in the blocks. You need a little time to get one. In the case of a new hire this means taking some time to assess company politics. If your employer needs you to hit the ground running then you’ve already missed your window to achieve success.

Do you have the bandwidth? Note that bandwidth is not time. It is something else. If you ask someone “Do you have time?” you mean, “Am I a priority?” If you ask someone “Do you have bandwidth” you mean, “You seem like your brain is fried. Can you pull yourself together to do this for me?”

Let’s hit a home run: “I’m desperate to look good. Even though the odds of a home run are slim, I’m banking on one because it’s the only thing that’ll save me.” Something for all your sports fans to remember: If you have a bunch of solid hitters you don’t need a bunch of home runs.

You and I are not on the same page: “Get on my page. Your page is misguided.” No one ever says, “We’re not on the same page, so let me work really hard to understand your point of view. If you want to understand someone else, you say, “Can you tell me more about how you’re thinking.”

I’m calling to touch base: “I want something from you but I can’t say it up front.” Or “I am worried that you are lost and I’m sniffing around for signs to confirm my hunch.” Or “I’m calling because you micromanage me.”

Let’s run the numbers and see how they look: “I know they look bad on first blush. But the true use of Excel is to keep changing the formulas until you find a format that makes the numbers look good.”

My plate is full: “Help I’m drowning,” or “I would kill myself before I’d work on your project.”

Let’s close the loop: “Let me make sure I’m not going to get into trouble for this one.”

Let’s touch base next week: “I don’t want to talk to you now,” or “You are on a short leash and you need to report back to me.”

Keep this on your radar: “This will come back to bite you or me.”

Why are there no weight loss articles in Fortune magazine? Being in shape is an important aspect of managing your career. It is well documented that if you’re good looking you’ll make more money than an average-looking person doing the same job you are. This is because we are hard-wired to want to help good-looking people, and we’re hard-wired to want to be around them.

Before you start complaining that paying more money to people who go to the gym is totally superficial, consider this: You will perform better at the office on days you workout. Daily exercise improves your interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

“The results are striking,” said Jim McKenna, of Leeds Metropolitan University. “We weren't expecting such a strong improvement on productivity linked to exercising. Even more impressive was that these people already thought they were good at their jobs. Participants tracked mood, and as expected, exercising enhanced their mood. However, boosts in productivity were over-and-above the mood effects; it's the exercise”?or attitude related to exercise”?that affects productivity.”

Most CEOs exercise regularly, so you could say that regular exercise is important to getting that top job. But I have a feeling that most people who exercise do not want to be a CEO. The thing to take away from this research, though, is that the same self-discipline that gets you to regular workouts is the self-discipline that allows you to execute plans for your career and your life.

So go to the gym regularly. Or get some kind of exercise. Book it in your calendar the same way you’d book an office meeting. That time slot is done. Full. Non-negotiable. You are committed.