The Top 5 Questions Entrepreneurs Ask About Fitness How do you squeeze high-intensity exercise into your busy day? Ever hear of HIIT?

By Dan Marzullo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


For many entrepreneurs, maintaining health and reaching fitness goals can be a struggle. The demands of running a business require the sacrifice of hobbies, family time, social life and everything else that doesn't improve the business's bottom line.

Related: Why Exercising Is a Higher Priority Than My Business

Your health, however, must be a priority not only for yourself, but also the future of your business.

As a fitness coach, I help entrepreneurs overcome the challenges of a busy work life to get healthy. Based on the unique set of challenges these leaders face, I've provided answers to the top five questions entrepreneurs ask regarding the obstacles they encounter in maintaining their health.

1. How will maintaining a consistent exercise routine improve my performance as an entrepreneur?

Failing to make time for exercise not only threatens your physical and mental health, but can also have negative effects on your work performance. In addition to fostering higher energy levels throughout the day, exercise actually boosts your brainpower.

Regular cardiovascular activity improves memory, problem-solving capability, learning ability, reaction time and mental-processing speed and focus, all of which which translate into more success at work.

2. How can I get the highest ROI from exercise in the least amount of time?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can save the day on a tight schedule. HIIT is a conditioning approach in which you alternate periods of fast, intense bursts of exercise with short rest intervals. This type of exercise spikes your heart rate and burns more calories in less time.

HIIT combines cardio intervals, plyometric movements and resistance exercises, enabling you to knock out all of your training at once, rather than splitting up cardio and strength sessions, which consumes valuable time. HIIT allows you to complete an effective workout in as little as 30 minutes.

Related: Why Food, Sleep and Exercise Are Critical to Success

3. How can I eat healthy restaurant meals during business meetings?

Most restaurants provide healthier options, though you may have to search the menus to find them. For entrees, order lean meats and fish, such as chicken breast, turkey, salmon and tilapia. Choose whole grain rice and vegetables as side dishes.

Ask your server to place all sauces and toppings on the side. When ordering drinks, choose water or unsweetened teas. At a steakhouse, for example, create a perfectly balanced meal by ordering a sirloin steak, baked sweet potato and grilled green beans.

By requesting that the butter, brown sugar and steak sauce be put on the side, you will have more control over the nutritional value of your meal.

4. How do I minimize healthy meal prep time to maximize work time?

Eating a healthy diet doesn't have to mean spending all day in the kitchen to prepare every meal. Avoid interrupting your workflow, by stocking up on healthy time-saving foods that require minimal preparation and cook time.

Buy canned varieties of your favorite lean meats and fish. Canned meats come precooked, stripped of fat and ready to eat. Except for the fact that they carry a bit more sodium, canned meats packed in water are an excellent alternative to uncooked chicken breast, which requires 30 minutes in the oven.

Pop open a can of chicken and toss it over a salad or mixed tuna, with avocado, for a sandwich. Using Minute-ready rice and microwaveable sweet potatoes makes it easy to skip the stove time. Heat up a bag of steamable vegetables, and your side dish is ready. You can prepare a whole meal in less than 10 minutes with these quick foods.

5. After a hectic day, how can I turn my brain off at night to go to sleep?

HIIT, a form of vigorous exercise, is particularly taxing on the body and helps regulate sleep cycles. Exercise-induced fatigue relaxes the body and frees up your mind, making you tired. Many studies suggest that the physical stress of intense exercise has a positive effect on body temperature, melatonin rhythms and cortisol secretion, which are three factors that contribute to sleep.

Therefore, those who regularly perform vigorous exercise report better sleep quality, more total sleep and less time required to fall asleep.

Related: Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea Might Be Why You're Drowsy All Day

Wavy Line
Dan Marzullo

Owner of Fit Bodies

Dan Marzullo, NASM CPT, is the owner of Fit Bodies. He offers one-on-one online fitness coaching tailored to the lifestyles of entrepreneurs and business professionals. Contact Dan at if you want to succeed at living healthier, both in and out of the office.

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