An average day for an entrepreneur is a day spent managing to-do lists, dealing with awkward clients and customers, trying to reach deadlines, and of course replying to hundreds of emails.
It can sometimes feel like there’s no time to have an outside-of-work life, let alone an exercise routine. However, exercise doesn’t have to be a 30-minute intense session at the gym to make a difference to your health. Here are some brilliant ways to include exercise in your busy day without kidnapping you from your other responsibilities (at work, home, or otherwise).
1. Question How You Actually Use Your Spare Time
Did you know the most common excuse for not exercising is “I don’t have the time”? You only need to exercise for roughly 30 minutes a day — that’s close to 2% of your day. Instead of watching Parks and Rec when you come home from work or hitting the snooze button every morning, spend 30 minutes doing a few push-ups or a few crunches. A half-hour of exercise will make you feel more awake than an extra half-hour of sleep or binge watching.
2. Do Morning Exercises for a More Productive Day
Preparing your body and mind in the morning is an insanely easy way of creating more free time. Physical exercises (or even brain exercises as a secondary option) will ensure that your brain works efficiently throughout the day, turning out better results in shorter spaces of time, and thus creating more free time to exercise.
Do you ever have those sluggish 10-hour workdays where your brain feels foggy and you’ve achieved virtually nothing? Exercising in the morning will improve your mental clarity and ensure that you’re utilizing your work hours to the max.
3. Go for a Lunchtime Walk Without Any Devices
Most entrepreneurs spend way too much time at their desks. Even break times are usually spent in front of a computer. Take a break from checking emails! Go for a walk during lunch time; it may not feel like a sweaty workout but a lunch time stroll is much better for your health and fitness than sitting on a chair, gradually building up attention fatigue. Leave devices at the office and give your body and mind a chance to heal itself.
4. Walk Or Run Part of Your Journey Home
One of the most stressful chapters in an entrepreneurs’ day is traveling to and from the office (enough to induce stress before you’ve even started work!). Packed trains and buses during rush hour are killer; instead try walking, jogging, running or even cycling to and from work. Sometimes the rush-hour traffic can make your journey much longer than a walk!
Alternatively, you could combine an active evening routine with family time (again, such as going for a walk).
5. Organize Physical Activities at Work
Exercise can feel like a bit of a chore sometimes, especially when you’ve had a supremely awful day, but exercise doesn’t have to be boring. You can make it more fun by organizing work events with your colleagues. Perhaps trial-run a “Half-Day Friday” event where the office plays a friendly match of football/soccer, or see how the team feels about doing charity runs.
6. If You’re Physically Bound, Exercise Mentally
Exercising your mind (with meditation, brain games or even a simple 5-minute time-out) doesn’t only reset your mental wellbeing, it can also make hormonal and muscular improvements to your physical body. Stress weakens your immune system and undoes the benefits acquired from any previous exercises, such as a healthy heart.
7. Create a Culture of Fitness At Work and At Home
If you can’t organize activity-based events at work or at home, don’t be discouraged. People have commitments of their own — your schedule won’t always align with theirs. Instead, make your own workout a topic of conversation and ask others about theirs.
Getting excited about exercise and talking about the benefits with others will keep you (and them) motivated to carry on, even encourage you to one-up your work colleagues. Ask them how much they’re benching or how many miles they ran last night and try to beat it. Creating a culture of fitness like this tends to work very well in both teams and families.
It’s so easy to come up with excuses not to exercise when you’re a busy entrepreneur — “I don’t have time”, “I’m too stressed and tired”, “my job requires me to sit down.” You may even truly believe them, but in actuality there are opportunities for exercise everywhere you go. Even if it means taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or alighting from the bus one stop earlier and walking for the rest of your journey.
Remember, you only need to free 2% of your day, the same amount of time spent checking your emails in bed!