As entrepreneurs and business owners, we all know how important it is to prioritize our lives. There are only so many hours in the day to work with, and while we really try to make sure everything on the to-do list gets done, some things wind up on the chopping block. For many entrepreneurs, that “something” is often exercise. Exercise, after all, isn’t vital for running a business – more often than not, it’s a distraction, though one that can keep you quite fit and healthy. If you fall out of an exercise routine, it can also be very hard to get back into one, especially if the hour or so you originally allotted to exercise during is now filled with meetings, phone calls, and e-mails. While I realize all of this, I also know just how important exercise is for my physical and mental health and recently became addicted to a great way for fitness-minded entrepreneurs to stay in shape without sacrificing hours at the gym – Pilates.
Pilates don’t take up much time.
Before I started doing Pilates, going to the gym meant losing at least an hour and a half of my day. I would try to get in thirty minutes of cardio and twenty minutes on the machines, but between that, driving, and getting ready to go back to work after sweating for fifty minutes, I lost a lot of time. And, when you feel like something costs too much, it is easy to rationalize it out of your life. Pilates, on the other hand, is a completely different sort of exercise – while a long session can run fifty minutes to an hour, most sessions will only take twenty minutes, and after those twenty minutes are up you feel absolutely amazing. Best of all, the shorter time commitment means you will have a much easier time fitting Pilates into your schedule; your lunch hour can actually be spent eating lunch, instead of pushing yourself to the brink at the gym!
It doesn’t leave you sweaty and flushed.
There is nothing worse than having to rush back to the office for a meeting or conference call right after an intense workout session. You feel sweaty and gross, and if your schedule is packed you won’t have a chance to do anything but throw your work clothes back on and plow through the rest of your day. If going to the gym starts to turn into this tiring, unpleasant experience, you will never want to go. Pilates, on the other hand, is a very unique type of exercise – it’s a non-impact, entire body experience. If done correctly, the strain is very evenly divided between both sides of your body. And, while you can certainly incorporate heavy cardio into a Pilates routine, you don’t have to. Since you aren’t straining yourself during the exercise, you leave the gym feeling refreshed, rather than flushed, and can head straight into work without pining for (and probably desperately needing) a shower.
Pilates can help your physical and mental states.
While Pilates does help you to stay fit and exercises your entire body, there is a metaphysical aspect to it that is hard to explain. Most exercise has a meditative effect on people, but the heavy emphasis Pilates places on breathing, concentration, control, and precision really focuses your mind. Even if I spent my entire morning worrying about thirty different things, which happens more often than I’d like to admit, a quick Pilates session can clear my mind completely. And, afterwards, I can approach each problem with a clear head. Entrepreneurs quickly learn how to cope with stress and mounting piles of work, but internalizing all of your worries and concerns can slowly eat away at your sense of well-being. Pilates helps alleviate and remove that stress, making it easier for you to tackle the everyday problems that every business deals with.
Pilates is, if nothing else, efficient. The sessions are quick, exercise your entire body, and don’t leave you feeling horrible and sweaty for the rest of the day. Combine all of that with the meditative techniques built into the Pilates system, and you have the perfect set of exercises wrapped up in a neat little package. If you’ve never done Pilates, I urge you to check and see if your gym offers classes and bring a coworker along to join you. Starting a Pilates regime will be one of the best things you do for your health, and it will leave you with plenty of time to get your day’s work done.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.
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