Starting your own business is crazy enough - how are you supposed to find time to work in health and fitness? We asked some of our favorite business experts for their tips and tricks that they have for other entrepreneurs that might be struggling with this aspect.
“People with entrepreneurial mindsets are some of the most driven people on the planet, but it can be easy for us to get so wrapped up in our work that we forget about ourselves,” says Nathalie Walton, Co-founder and CEO of Expectful. “But, if you learn how to prioritize these goals and set attainable health and fitness standards, you can put that willpower that you already have into your personal life as well.”
If you’re one of the many people who set a New Year's resolution to stay healthy but already feel like you’ve fallen behind, don’t worry! We have the 9 best fitness hacks for busy entrepreneurs listed below to help you reach your goals.
Prioritize Your Mornings
It can be easy to hit that snooze button a few too many times, but setting the alarm early can be one of the best tips to set yourself up for success in your health and fitness goals. We all know how crazy the day can become for an entrepreneur. Even if your planner says you’ll be done by 6 with plenty of time to hit the gym or eat a healthy lunch, sometimes things don’t go according to plan.
“Instead of saving your health and fitness routine elements that take up more time or require the most energy for the end of the day which might be super late or when you’re already exhausted, try doing things in the morning,” says Daniel Tejada, Co- Founder Straight Up Growth. “It takes a while to form habits, so stick with it. Mornings can become a time for fitness, health, and productivity if you plan them out right.”
There’s a reason nearly every fitness book, magazine, and article recommends drinking water. It keeps your body functioning at the highest level while also making you feel better overall.
“A great way to make sure you’re drinking enough is to create points throughout the day that you drink a glass or bottle of water,” says Jack Gindi, CEO of Pori Jewelry. “Drink a glass or two when you wake up, a bottle of water with lunch, a bottle or two throughout the work day, and before you go to bed. This will help the amount of water in your body stay consistent and also not feel as overwhelming or like a chore to drink.”
Don’t Expect To Meet Every Goal On Time
Understanding that your life is a bit unpredictable and stressful can help you set goals. This doesn’t mean that you’re limiting yourself or setting the bar so low that you won’t see results, but you should ultimately be able to customize your goals to fit your life.
“Setting goals is important, but you also have to take everything else into account,” says Reece Kresser , Co-Founder of Zizi. “Give yourself a bit of leeway when it comes to reaching the goals you’ve set. If your overall goal is improved health and fitness, stressing over reaching goals that might not happen because of other uncontrollable events that popped up isn’t going to help you achieve that goal.”
You probably went for an annual exam each year as a kid, but when was the last time you saw your physician to have a general wellness check? Many adults find themselves skipping their annual exams which can be detrimental to your overall health.
“Before you even start setting goals, you should have your physician check your general wellness through an annual exam,” says Juan Pablo Cappello, Co-Founder and CEO of Nue Life. “Having a baseline is also helpful for future goal setting and when your next annual exam rolls around you’ll have something to compare results to if there was an area you needed to work on such as cholesterol, blood pressure, vitamin levels, or iron deficiencies.”
This doesn’t mean you need to be at the gym every day. Find small ways that can keep you moving throughout the day so you’re not stuck at a desk without movement to break up your schedule.
“Take a walk around your workplace at lunch or try parking further away so you have to walk a few more blocks,” says Nick King, CEO of Vint. “Look for opportunities to take the stairs instead of the elevator and work in a light workout routine for your evening at home. This can even be a few sit ups or other strength training exercises that can be done from your living room.”
Make Your Own Food
While many people enjoy the convenience of running out to lunch to grab a bite to eat nearby, it can be much more difficult to track the nutritional information of the meals when you’re not making it yourself. Additionally, by making your own food, you’re able to cater your diet to specific goals that you might have set.
“Making your own food can help you achieve the goals you’ve set,” says Eric Elggren, Co-Founder of Andar. “When you go out to eat, there are so many tempting options on the menu that aren’t necessarily healthy. It’s also harder to know exactly what ingredients the meal has unless you’ve seen the food made in front of you. An added bonus here is that you’ll probably be spending a lot less on food if it’s coming from your own kitchen.”
Avoid Restrictive Or Trendy Diets
If your goal is weight loss, it can be tempting to find a diet that will show quick results. However, a lot of these will result in cravings, lack of energy, and a difficult regime. Instead, look for diets that encourage balance and the inclusion of all food groups to maintain a holistic and balanced menu.
“We’re taught about food groups as kids for a reason,” says Daniel Sathyanesan, CEO and Founder of Winden. “The overall goal of food groups is to make sure you’re getting the appropriate amount of each type of food and nutrient in your diet. Researching balanced diets or even talking to a nutritionist about what you should be including in your diet are great places to start.”
Motivation can be one of the hardest parts for busy people, like entrepreneurs, to maintain during a health or fitness plan. Motivate yourself to remain committed to your goals by creating incentives for different mile markers in your health and fitness journey.
“Allow yourself to enjoy rewards for being consistent or sticking to your goals,” says Stephen Skeel Co-founder and Executive Producer of 7 Wonders Cinema. “This could mean buying that little thing you’ve been wanting for a while, allowing yourself to enjoy a fancy tea or coffee, lunch with a friend, or whatever you find motivates you to stick with a plan.”
This is something entrepreneurs are familiar with. You have to define success in order to be productive throughout the process. Define what achieving these fitness and health goals looks like. What is the end goal? How will you know you’ve reached it? What does success mean to you?
“Success doesn't have to be a number on a scale or being able to do something specific in the gym” says Michael Hennessy, Founder and CEO of Diathrive. “Success could be being able to walk up the stairs to your apartment without being out of breath. It could be eating something green with each meal. It could even be making it through the week without skipping a workout or indulging in dessert at the company dinner. Success can be small, big, or a combination of different goals throughout the journey.”
There are many tips and tricks you can use to work a health and fitness plan into your busy schedule as an entrepreneur. A lot of these tips revolve around understanding what you’re capable of doing at the moment and setting yourself up for success by being aware of what is realistic and attainable. It also doesn’t hurt to keep up with your doctor and maintain your health through annual exams and insight from those appointments.