If you're an entrepreneur and you're seeking to sharpen your business, then you're probably used to working late, making phone calls and answering emails around the clock to stay on top of everything. You read constantly to make sure you know everything possible about your industry. You chug caffeine to stay alert.
But time-strapped entrepreneurs often sacrifice their own physical fitness—and full potential. When you're in good shape, your mind is clearer, your mood is better, your energy is higher, and you process information faster. Your ability to focus on projects and reach decisions improves.
The bottom line: Being physically healthy is key to a person’s success.
Nobody knows this better than Guy Coffey, owner of two Anytime Fitness gyms in Colorado. Here are Coffey’s seven best tips for how entrepreneurs can keep their bodies in tip-top shape and set themselves up for greater success.
1. Exercise in the morning.
Not everyone is a morning person. But waking up and working out right away can steer your day in the right direction. Exercising in the morning helps your body burn more calories throughout the rest of the day.
The discipline required to wake up in the morning and commit to exercise has a deep impact on your productivity all day long as well. You cultivate consistency in your routine and develop strong habits.
Coffey acknowledges it's not easy. “I don't do it every day, but if I get three or four workouts in the morning in a week, I know I've got my bases covered.”
Establishing a few routines can make the adjustment to early morning workouts easier:
- Move your alarm away from your bed so you're forced to get up.
- Experiment until you find a workout routine that you actually look forward to. Treadmills aren’t the only option, and believe it or not, learning new exercises can be fun and empowering.
- Don't skip the stretching, and most importantly, keep your workout swift and short.
2. Surround yourself with people who inspire you.
Associating with other people who are working on their health helps motivate us to do the same.
“I get alerts that my friend Tony has biked 17 miles before I woke up on a Saturday morning," Coffey says, which motivates him to compete. “People like that influence how you are and what you do.”
Snapping out of a rut takes a few steps:
- Be curious about what other people are doing to stay fit.
- Find people whose schedules and activities match your own. You can find other athletes around your fitness level in your area with apps such as Strava.
- Start a long-term plan with someone so you can share goals and encourage each other when setbacks occur.
Coffey also suggests having an “accountability partner.” This is someone who should help keep you on track and serve as your biggest cheerleader. "Make a pact with your spouse or your friend,” he says. “They can challenge you to achieve what you think is impossible.”
3. Make do with what you have.
Sometimes circumstance simply won't allow you to go to the gym. Perhaps a meeting runs or you’re on an important deadline and can’t get away. The good news is that you don't need a full set of gym equipment to crank out a solid workout. You don't even need to leave your house.
Coffey created an at-home workout routine by talking to his personal trainer. “The difference between zero minutes of working out and 20 minutes a couple of times a week is gigantic,” he says.
Simply purchase a pair of dumbbells for your home or integrate exercise into your daily commute. Once you get started, set up a schedule and keep yourself accountable.
4. Don't overdo it.
It's easy to dive into a fitness plan with a ton of enthusiasm that quickly burns you out. There’s one fundamental downside to unchecked, unbridled enthusiasm: Too much of it can lead to a lack of practicality.
Are you ready to hit the gym five or six times a week? Take it slow, Coffey says. “We recommend two to three times a week so that you know how to manage time for that.” Experiment with a variety of exercises to find what you like, then create a practical routine you can stick to.
Coffey suggests focusing on being consistent instead of trying to do too much, too soon. After all, there are no shortcuts to improving your health. The key is recognizing “little victories” and building upon them.
Also, consider checking in with a personal trainer or a doctor before starting a new routine. You don’t want to get sidelined by an injury because you were over-enthusiastic at the start.
5. Use technology to your advantage.
If you integrate technology into your exercise routine, you have at least a dozen new ways to get healthier, faster.
Websites such as the Anytime Fitness blog offer articles and videos on a variety of workout routines and exercises. Wellness trackers are another great way to stay tuned into your activity, calories, and community.
“The era of people having excuses not to exercise is over," Coffey says.
Some helpful things you can do:
- Whether via an app, a database or elsewhere, record progress toward your goals.
- Keep a log of your efforts to determine areas that need improvement.
- Don't treat your apps like they're the sole source of truth about your health. Accept them as input, but remember that you're the sole proprietor of your body.
If you think that achieving and maintaining physical fitness as a business owner is impossible, think again. A little motivation, practical goal-setting and honest commitment to being a better and healthier version of yourself will help you become a sharper, fitter entrepreneur.
For information about Anytime Fitness franchise opportunities, visit AnytimeFitnessFranchise.com.