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Staying Fit and Healthy as an Entrepreneur

| January 7, 2010 | 28 Comments

fit and healthy as an entrepreneurWe all know that a healthy lifestyle breeds better days, better self-esteem and a better sex life. What we take for granted is the way staying fit and healthy can help our productivity and work levels stay at an all-time high while out working, at school, or interacting with peers.

Being an entrepreneur is tough as it is – busy days filled with cell phone calls, appointments, and all the busy work.  It is a haven for unhealthiness and the eight hour work day is detrimental to us hitting the gym consistently. Here are a few things you can do during your work day to maintain your health and fitness.

1. Use your lunch for a daily run or trip to the gym.

This is often a time where most of our unhealthy habits take place during the day. With a busy day of making deals, collaborating new ideas, and meetings with your network, lunchtime usually gets rushed through and our eating habits reflect that – fast food and unhealthy food choices become the most feasible option. Instead of using your lunch break to gorge on food, go take a thirty minute jog or run, or make a trip to your gym.

Afternoon workouts fuel energetic and productive afternoons by allowing your body to get over the hump of the morning hours, and the probable crash from your early coffee.

2. If no lunch breaks, then what/when do I eat?

Of course we all have to eat at some point during the day. Since we are skipping out on our lunch break to get some physical activity in, your stomach probably hates you. Keeping some healthy snacks at your desk or with you on-the-go can help curve your hunger.

Some good examples of snacks to keep around are almonds, grapes, trail-mix, carrots, celery, low-fat yogurts, and granola. There are obviously many more ‘healthy choices’ out there for quick snacking, but this is a well-rounded list of those with the most beneficial effects.

A great book that I used for a year to help regulate my diet and began focusing on healthier food choices is the Abs Diet by David Zinchenko. This book isn’t a gimmick as it site makes it seem. It was a great informational read and the recipes for the smoothies in it are phenomenal.

3. Ditch the office chair – grab an abdominal ball.

I feel like with that heading I am about to make you very skeptical. However, when in the office, ditch your chair. Hear me out – a study showed:

    • “Sitting on an exercise ball, your body is constantly making small adjustments with the postural muscles, abdominals, gluteals and leg muscles. It is “active sitting” rather than the slumping and poor posture we develop even in ergonomic desk chairs” – About.com

With this ‘active sitting’  you are constantly burning calories during the day that otherwise you would not. The article goes on to say not to ditch your office chair immediately and jump on abdominal ball for a full day. Slowly incorporate it into your daily routine at the desk until you get comfortable enough with it for a full-time period.

These are just a few things to do to keep you the entrepreneur feeling sharp, looking good, and esteem/confidence high. Considering these are the most important aspects in maintaining an image to an investor, future partner, or advisor – these steps should be an easy and accepted alternative to your lifestyle now.

Shape up and work healthier. Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about creating the next big idea; it’s about branding and making yourself marketable – how do you want to look when that happens?

Wade Hammes is Management major at Virginia Tech with a focus in Innovation and Technology. He is the co-creator of FITnoke.com, an online network for fitness-minded individuals. Follow him on twitter – www.twitter.com/whammes

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  • rubymediagroup

    Great post! I especially like the heading “If no lunch breaks, then when do I eat?” as I never have time to eat lunch anymore either! I have found it is really important to keep power bars with me at all times when I am on the go. I like the new “Be Kind” bars they sell at Starbucks as well. And of course there is nothing like having a great workout after a long day at the office- as long as I leave my cell n the car and do not check it while I am on the elliptical or that defeats the purpose of the workout.

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  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    Over the past year I was so focused on growing my business that I let my gym membership laspe. Terrible decision… There really is something to feeling good about your physical shape when it comes to succeeding at business…

    Good post and timely considering we're just coming out of the Holidays…

    Ryan H.

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  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    Awesome ideas. I've been fortunate in that during the time I've been building my blog and searching for my full time job (I'm now employed), I've had a ton of time to develop a very balanced routine. I go surfing almost every day now, and it makes me a better business person, better writer, better blogger, and better person overall. Add a healthy diet to the mix and you're so high on life that nothing can slow you down.

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com/ Srinivas Rao

    Hey Ryan,

    The holidays are a notorious time for lack of exercise and unhealthy habits. I felt like all I did was eat, but from my comments below you'll see that I try to lead an active lifestyle. I personally hate going to the gym and fortunately I live in California where it's 80 degrees in January :) . If you like this I wrote a guide on dumping holiday weight over at Lifescapeartists.com. Feel free to check it out.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    80 degrees is a Joke! In Albany it hasn't gotten over 25 degrees in weeks and with the windchill its like 2… This leads to lots of Couch time… Not good… I will take a look at your stuff. Thanks!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Just like your business, your fitness needs a plan. You need to schedule the time on your calendar to workout, or remember to bring your workout clothes for your lunch break, or pack a thing of protein bars for when you get busy. It doesn't matter how busy you are you can still stay fit if you plan ahead.

  • http://twitter.com/ARinehartDC Alex Rinehart, MSACN

    As a nutritionist and young entrepreneur, I find as with anything it comes back to planning. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you don't lay out clothes to go to the gym or bring them to work with you, you're not going to feel like going. If you don't cut up your fruits and vegetables early in the week, you're going to feel like picking up pizza instead on your way home. As entrepreneurs you should know the power of leverage, health is the number 1 thing you can leverage. I'd rather take care of my health than chance missing multiple days of work, I also value the increased productivity, energy, mental clarity and improved work quality that health gives you.

    I've noticed the effects firsthand, I have multiple projects occurring at the same time in addition to my responsibilities as a student. I noticed recently I've been lagging, my productivity is down, my mood and energy just feel drained. The only difference…I haven't been exercising. So today I laid out workout clothes shoes and socks, workout towel etc so I have no excuse….in actuality I should have put them in my car.

    Thanks Wade for the article, as a nutritionist I would advise being careful with yogurt and granola as they are often chock full of sugar and other additives, but there are some good bars out there just watch for the artificial sugars. As with anything you typically get what you pay for…

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or want to brainstorm more ideas, I'd love to work with busy entrepeneurs in the future. There's a huge need and the demand is increasing everyday as more and more people move to starting their own small businesses.

    Be well!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Another great thing about the gym is the ability to achieve goals on a regular basis. Sometimes in business things get delayed or the future can be very unclear even if you have goals. But in the gym its much easier to set quick goals like getting that 1 extra rep or running something just a couple seconds faster. This can leave you feeling accomplished at the end of the day even if your business is taking longer then expected to achieve things.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/about Ryan Hanley

    Jared,

    Completely agree, no matter how confident you are in your business that littel bit of success feels good. I definitely agree with you!

  • TaraDiversi

    Hey Matt, I like your blog. I was interviewed about a similar topic last year in Australia. The link needs to be scrolled down a little bit “Eating Healthier at work – how hard is it for you”. May help some of your readers. I know as a busy business owner sometimes you can't be perfect and eating lunch is NOT a priority – no matter how many health professionals scream at you to tell you it is more important then the report you need to get out.

    http://blogs.smh.com.au/lifestyle/chewonthis/ar

  • http://clintonskakun.com/ Clinton Skakun

    Sticking to a daily exercise routine is important if you spend a lot of time behind a computer.

  • http://twitter.com/wHammes Wade Hammes

    Alex, that sounds great. Glad you enjoyed the article, and yes let's talk in the future! Add me on LinkedIN – http://www.linkedin.com/in/wadehammes

  • http://twitter.com/wHammes Wade Hammes

    Very true. This summer it hit me hard when I got my first graphic design job with a web start-up. The long days working (up to 13 hours some days) really was taking a toll, so I just started running. About 40 min. a day, and snacking healthy!

  • http://clintonskakun.com/ Clinton Skakun

    Yeah, I'm working out more as well. Not so much “working out” as in going to the gym. But going out for a walk, simple exercises etc.

    That blood has to move one way or another.:)

  • http://daretoexpress.com Brett

    Wow Alex, that's excellent. The past few days I've been suffering a bit from not getting enough sleep, and my health has taken a dive as a result. It's good to know that you can balance the serious workload many jobs demand while also taking care of your health.

  • http://urbansplasher.blogspot.com/ Milan

    I like that “Just like your business” ( http://urbansplasher.blogspot.com/ )

  • http://twitter.com/ARinehartDC Alex Rinehart, MSACN

    As in most areas of your life Brett, you can create what you desire, it's only limited by the breadth of your dreaming and the action plans to support those dreams. At 16, looks like you're off to the right track~!

  • http://twitter.com/ARinehartDC Alex Rinehart, MSACN

    Physically we need to change positions every 20 minutes or so otherwise our body adapts and becomes stiff…..we then try to perform everyday activities and its tiring and leaves us vulnerable to injury. If you don't take care of your health, the missed workdays, lost productivity, decreased work quality will catch up with you sooner than later.

  • http://twitter.com/ARinehartDC Alex Rinehart, MSACN

    Loved the “Proactive” over “reactive” comment on the article you linked Tara. Of course if I had it my way it'd be “CoActive” ;)

  • liveaudaciously

    I'm liking the fitness ball idea as a desk chair…might just try that out.

  • http://selfemployedmavens.blogspot.com/ Young, Fabulous, Self-Employed

    I drink my meals – literally. I have a fridge stocked full of Odwalla & Naked products. Great post.

  • http://twitter.com/mike_key Michael Key

    This is just a reminder that I need to get back into shape. Urgh. Since I got married in Aug I've packed on 15 lbs. Ekk. And to think I was mountain climbing this summer. The bad thing about starting a new business is when you're working so hard and pushing those deadlines and staying up late, you can easily start consuming the junk and forget your own health. I've been killing soda's and going to social meetups and drinking one to many beers.

    I'd better get on the treadmill or Mt Rainer this year is literally going to kill me.

  • jacquelineteo

    i totally agree with this. starting this year, i've been going to gym as much as I can during lunch breaks. after some workouts and a hot shower, i feel more refreshed and productive in the afternoon.

  • http://www.mypassiveresources.com/ Jacqueline Teo

    i totally agree with this. starting this year, i've been going to gym as much as I can during lunch breaks. after some workouts and a hot shower, i feel more refreshed and productive in the afternoon.

  • http://www.losingstomachfat.com Losing Stomach Fat

    3 Great tips, I am actually sitting on a fitness ball as well, I suffered with sciatica problems and have found it much better for my posture.

  • http://twitter.com/BenArellano Trinity Web Creation

    Can a Ball Chair give you energy? http://t.co/9U1AJFH