As an entrepreneur, you will certainly have your fair share of stress. Deadlines, payroll, picky clients, cash flow, and many other factors will contribute to a few grey hairs from time to time. A certain amount of stress is good for you and your business because it can help motivate and increase productivity. However, too much stress can be a bad thing that will affect your health and business success. I’ve found that one of the best ways to reduce entrepreneurial stress is to lace up the ol’ running shoes and hit the trails.

Running and exercise will help reduce entrepreneurial stress by providing a number of benefits both physically and mentally. It will refresh your body, give you more energy, and allows you to take in the beauty around you.

7 Benefits of Running

1. Clear Your Mind – Taking a break to run and get some exercise will help clear your mind of stressful work related issues. You’ll have a chance to breath fresh air, get away from the phone, and think without interruptions.

2.  Energy ­­– Running will increase your energy levels. Often times when I am feeling a little lazy or tired, I’ll go for a run and will actually have more energy when done. Exercise will re-charge your body and make you feel ready to take on the next challenge. I’ve found that working out helps make it easier to get up early in the morning as well.

3.  Physical – You’ll find that running will tone up your body, increase bone density, and make you feel better. Studies have proven that exercise helps in reducing blood pressure, keeping cholesterol in check, and lowering the risk of other health problems. Working out will help detoxify your body of stress related compounds which will physically make you feel healthier. The physical benefits of looking more toned and healthy will ultimately lead to mental benefits by increasing self-esteem.

4. Time to Think – Some of my most productive thinking is done while out on the trails. I come up with marketing and business ideas and feel like I’m missing out on abrainstorming session if I don’t get out for a run. While running you will have the ability and time ponder how to grow your business, solve problems, and accomplish your goals. Running keeps you relaxed and in a great state of mind to find solutions and ideas for current problems and issues.

5.  Positive Mental State – Exercise releases endorphins (brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters), which trigger a euphoric state. These “feel good” endorphinsboost your awareness, confidence, and self esteem. Extended periods of running can actually lead to a “Runner’s High” which is accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life and a boost in self-esteem.

6.  Socialization – Another reason I enjoy running is for the socialization. I am not a fan of running together with friends, but I do enjoy seeing people out on the trails. Seeing others out exercising keeps me motivated and I enjoy getting to see friends and other people in the community.

7.  Learn – Use your time while exercising to learn and grow personally. Download a few podcasts about entrepreneurship, marketing, or industry news and listen to them on your iPod or MP3 player. It’s also a great time to listen to business related or personal development audio books.

How to Make Running Easier

Tell your Friends – If you let your friends know you are running they will encourage you. Because you’ve told them, they may offer to join or share some of their favorite routes.

Sign up for a Running Club – Running clubs are an excellent way to meet new people, to network, and to make running a routine. Encouragement from the groupand commitment to the club will help increase your running consistency.

Train for a Run (5k, 10k, Half or Full Marathon) – Training for a run will motivate you to get off your butt and on the trails often. You won’t want to miss a day of training if plan on doing well and finishing your first big half or full marathon!

Listen to Audio Books, Podcasts, or Music – This will help keep your mind off the “running part of things” and interested in what you are learning. Audio books, podcasts, and music can also keep you motivated and in your groove!

Best of luck with your business and I hope these tips will help reduce stress, make you feel better, and motivate you to get out on the trails.

Pete Sveen  – Founder of Think Entrepreneurship and