Exercise isn’t reserved for gym rats and fitness junkies. In fact, exercise can benefit anyone’s life. This is especially true for entrepreneurs. It’s hard to take care of your clients, customers, and employees when your own needs aren’t met. Prioritizing your own self-care will maximize your energy and ability to care for others. Here are three major reasons why entrepreneurs need to exercise. I’ll also reveal three ways to squeeze fitness into your week, no matter how busy you are.
1. Exercise boosts your productive power.
Let’s consider some of the essential qualities of successful entrepreneurs. They must be able to focus on a specific task for a substantial period of time. Their ability to learn from the past and adapt to the future should be on point. They need to be creative and strong at communication.
A common excuse is, “But I’m too tired for exercise!” This is a misconception. As long as you don’t tackle a training regimen that’s beyond your experience level, exercise will energize you. In other words, working out regularly should make you feel less (not more) fatigued.
Exercise doesn’t only increase your physical energy. It also strengthens the most important muscle in your body: the brain. According to a study by the University of British Columbia, working up a sweat consistently can improve your memory and thinking skills.
Have you ever got upset and reacted in a way that you came to regret? That’s easy to do when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. If that sounds familiar, you’ll be glad to know exercise is just as effective as antidepressants when it comes to stress management.
2. Exercise improves health and longevity.
If you’re a dedicated entrepreneur, your business might be the most important thing in your life. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all find purpose or meaning in different ways.
That said, you can’t run a business when you’re dead. Heart disease and cancer kill a combined 1,000,000+ people every year. If you want to leave a legacy, you’ll need plenty of time to do so.
Prioritizing exercise will buy time so you can make a larger impact. According to the American Cancer Society, exercise can decrease the risk of 13 different types of cancer by up to 20%. Exercise also reduces the likelihood of risk factors that could lead to heart disease.
3. Exercise provides opportunities to network.
If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, you know it’s highly important to have a solid network. Business is a lot easier when you can call in favors from trusted colleagues.
Exercise is a healthy way to connect with people who might bring value to your existing network. You never know who you might meet in a running club, sports league, or group fitness class.
You might cross paths with a web designer or online marketer who could offer insights that will improve your online presence. Or maybe you’ll meet a professional who works in your industry.
You could pick each other’s brains about what works best for your business. You’ll shorten the learning curve and save each other some time and trouble in the future. Talk about a win/win!
So far, we’ve established exercise is worthy of any entrepreneur’s schedule, no matter how packed it might be. Now let’s consider how to implement this philosophy in your life. Here are three simple tips to get you started.
1. Sprinkle short bursts of activity into your day.
There’s not a “rule” that says you must do all of your daily exercise at the same time. In reality, it’s often easier to break that activity down into bite-sized chunks.
For example, you could learn some basic stretches and yoga poses to do at your office desk. If you feel tense or stressed, do one of those movements to access the calm part of your mind.
Have a short commute? You could walk or ride a bike to work. Even if it only takes 15 minutes in each direction, that adds up to a half hour of activity per day (or 2.5 hours in a 5-day workweek).
2. Sign up for a group fitness activity of some sort.
It doesn’t matter where you live. There is probably a wide variety of group fitness activities available in your hometown.
That could be a group fitness class at your gym. Typical class offerings include yoga, pilates, Zumba, boot camp, body pump, kickboxing, and water aerobics.
If you don’t want to join a gym, that’s okay. Find a dance, self-defense, or martial arts class. Sign up for a hiking or running club. There are so many options! You’ll surely enjoy one of them.
3. Suggest taking your mandatory meetings outside.
Who says all-staff meetings have to occur at a desk? Besides, that conference room is starting to feel stale. People might have more original ideas when you put them in another environment.
Take your next meeting outside. If there’s a park or walking trail nearby, why not carpool there? Or if that’s too much of a hassle, simply take a walk up and down the block. Record the meeting and send a summary to your employees to make sure essential details don’t get missed.
You might not work with your staff in-person. Or maybe you have recurring consultations with clients or business partners who live somewhere else. In that case, this strategy is even easier. Plan to take a walk during those calls. Use software such as UberConference to record the call just in case you need to refresh your memory later.
Exercise is clearly in your best interest. Please make time for it!
Exercise isn’t just about getting “fit” or developing a “six-pack.” Those are nice side-effects, but exercise isn’t all about vanity. Entrepreneurs can utilize exercise for the benefit of their business. All I ask is that you give exercise an honest chance. If you do, I promise you won’t regret it.
Share this article with your entrepreneur friends. You might inspire them to begin an exercise routine that benefits their business, too.
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