It’s the new year! Your survived the holidays, and if you are like most people, you’ve made a few resolutions around getting fit and healthy. I certainly hope you are one of the few people who make these resolutions stick. So many of us abandon our fitness goals after just a few short weeks, and it is particularly hard for us busy business owners. In fact, I hear from entrepreneurs all the time how they’re too busy to prioritize their own physical health.
I call bullshit!
I have two small children, I’m an entrepreneur and run two businesses, and I have an active social life, yet I still manage to be an avid runner, swimmer, and yogi. My theory? If I can find the time- a person who on paper looks like she wouldn’t have a second to spare- so can you.
You know my motto: Done Is Better Than Perfect!
If you find that you aren’t carving out time for physical exercise because you only have small erratic windows of time, that’s no excuse. Studies have shown that you can reap great benefit from a short workout just as much as you can from a longer, more intense one. The key is consistency.
I am not a personal trainer, but I do believe (and you may have heard me say this before) is that your success relies on your physical game as much as it does your mental game. If you don’t feel your best, you simply cannot perform at your best.
As entrepreneurs, we put our brains and our bodies through a lot of physical strain and stress. If we want to continue to perform at our peak in business, it’s vital that we make the time to take care of our physical health.
Yes, yes, I know you know all of that, but sometimes we just need someone to map out the logistics for us. It’s ok. I know you’re busy. Here are my quick tips for how to fit exercise into your busy schedule:
Start each day with a walk
That 20-minute walk every morning is sacred to me. Even on my busiest days, if I have to wake up early or skip the family breakfast in order to work it in, then I do. That 20 minutes is the absolute best way for me to begin each day, and it ensures I will be happier and more productive for the rest of my day.
Instead of sitting in a coffee shop for meetings, I’ve started suggesting that my client and I go for a walk, a suggestion that is invariably met with enthusiasm. After all, we can all walk and talk at the same time, and with some fresh air and Vitamin D, everyone feels uplifted.
Lunch hour workouts
If you’re not taking a break some time around midday, you should be. Studies have shown that people who take frequent breaks are more productive. If you’re strapped for time, you can eat at your desk and go for a quick 20-minute run or do an in-home work out (See next tip!)
Don’t have time to go to the gym? With a set of dumbbells and a few kettle bells, you can get quite a workout in your own home. The Internet is full of online videos and apps that will give you ideas or guide you through short intense workouts that you can do right in the comfort of your living room.
I say it all the time, but once more for the back row: when you invest in a professional’s help, you are ensuring you get results. In the case of your fitness, if you have trouble keeping motivated or sticking to a schedule, hiring a personal trainer to come to your home is a great solution. In Toronto, I highly recommend my dear friend Andi Clarke’s business HomeFit, and for all other cities, a quick search online should yield a list of qualified professionals whose job it is to whip you into shape when it’s convenient for you.
One of my core mottos is, “Work hard, play hard.”
Unfortunately when we’re swamped, it’s easy to focus so much on the work we forget to play. I’m lucky that I have a built-in play support system: at three and five years old, my kids are like mini personal play trainers. After school and on the weekends we spend time in nature, biking, climbing, and playing. But even when we’re not together, while I make sure to do things I enjoy, I look specifically for those things that have physical activity built in.
Cycle around town
If you work from a cool co-working space or frequently schedule meetings outside of your home, then you might want to skip the bus or car and invest in a good bike. Bikes are great multi-taskers: you can get where you’re going and have a workout at the same time. Biking also saves on gas and parking (and parking tickets!), and of course, it’s good for the environment.
All it takes is a few small shifts and you can create healthy habits that will last through this year and beyond!