March 23, 2016
We talk a lot about how entrepreneurs stay healthy. This includes mental health, spiritual health (if you’re into that kind of thing), and of course, physical health. Habits for good physical health can be broken down into two different categories: 1) what you put in your body – eating the right foods, drinking enough water, and cutting back on alcohol; and 2) what you do with your body – like getting enough sleep and getting enough exercise.
You know that exercise is important but you may come up with a lot of excuses. Maybe you don’t know what kinds of exercise will best fit into your schedule and lifestyle. To help you out, we asked 12 entrepreneurs about their preferred activities for exercise. Since they are busy people, just like you, hopefully their suggestions will help you find the right exercise fit.
Do Something at Least 3 Times a Week
“I run, cycle and go to the gym three times a week (either early morning or late evening) as I find I can’t keep focused if I spend too long in meetings or in front of the computer! Being out of shape is also impacts my sleep so I’m even more useless with daily responsibilities as a founder if I’m unfit and not sleeping!” – Wil Benton, cofounder of Chew.tv
Pick an Activity That Gets Your Mind Off of Work
“I love doing alternative activities that help get my mind of work, are effective and to mix it up. My top favourites are swimming, dance classes or going to jump in a trampoline park like sky zone. Different activities help me focus! Dance is particular is a creative outlet that helps inspire new ideas.” – Thea Myhrvold, founder of TeachMeNow.com
Rock the Treadmill Desk
“If I weren’t a tech start-up founder, my favorite exercise would probably be group instruction preferably a cardio class. However, now it’s less about what I like and more about staying in shape; it’s incredibly difficult to make time for the gym or scheduled classes when you’re in the start-up life. My favorite exercise now is the one I do all day long – the treadmill desk. It has totally changed my life!” – Monica Banks, CEO & founder of Gugu Guru
Heavy Lifting to Help De-stress
“I like lifting because it gives me a set period of the day where I can both work out any stress I have (which is a lot recently, as an entrepreneur), and also have time to think, reflect, and plan what I’m going to do. Some people describe having their best ideas in the shower, but for me time in the gym gives me a full hour to have that solitude where ideas can happen.” – Tim Sestritch, c0founder & CTO of Taxaroo
Walking Helps Free the Mind
“I walk every 4~8 miles every day with my German Shepherd, Freyja – here’s why: The three healthiest things for the entrepreneurial mind and body are sleep, diet, and walking. Physically, a mile walked is as beneficial as a mile jogged or run, without the joint damage. But that’s nothing compared to the mental benefit. Walking is a unique exercise in that it does not require exertion. Exertion requires conscious thought, tying up your mental processes, whereas walking is a natural state of the human body – like repose – that frees the mind.” – Rick Carlile, founder of Aegora.com
“I prefer to be outside when I exercise. Normally I’ll escape work a couple of times a week for a long walk, or occasionally I’ll do a bit of mountain biking, or drive out into the countryside for some hiking. Apart from helping me to stay fit and healthy, it’s fantastic to have some room to think. Being outdoors makes everything feel much more relaxed and in perspective.” – Darren Green, founder of Roman Blinds Direct.
Relax and Focus at the Same Time with Tai Chi
“Does Tai Chi count? I started learning it about 11 years ago and have gotten progressively addicted over the years. I now know the choreography of 2 different forms and I absolutely love it. It is a way to both relax and focus. I even guest teach when the regular backup cannot be there.” – Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls
Hit the Ground Running with HIIT
“There are several benefits HIIT training has, especially for entrepreneurs. For one, there’s a surprisingly low time commitment compared to the results you get. You are required to limit your workout time to 2-4 times a week, and it’s only 30 minutes each workout. It aligns perfectly with an entrepreneur’s lifestyles of efficiency. It’s a lot of exercise packed into a short amount of time” – Dan Shure, founder of Evolving SEO
Tennis Is Great for Those with a Competitive Streak
“I’ll drive many hours for a good game of tennis. My competitive nature thrives on the quick-paced sport. It helps me find focus and is truly a great exercise for the mind and body” – Shalyn Dever, cofounder and director of technology of Chatter Buzz
Check Out Kitesurfing If You’re Near the Water
“My favorite exercise is kitesurfing. As an entrepreneur, it’s hard to take your mind off of your business. When kitesurfing out on the ocean, you don’t have a choice. It’s a forced mental break that you don’t always get from traditional exercise.” – Nathan Heber, founder of Boatyard
Crossfit If You Want to Go Hard
“First, knowing that I could jump into something completely new (and admittedly, intimidating) helped give me the confidence to leave PR agency life and strike out on my own. Starting Crossfit movements from scratch seemed impossible at first, but now, years later, I’m developing skills I never thought possible. The workouts themselves are incredibly challenging – as much mentally as they are physically – and facing those challenges multiple times a week has made me a better practitioner for my clients” – Heath Fradkoff, principal & founder of Ward 6 Marketing
And There’s Always Good, Old-Fashioned Running
“Running! Good old fashioned, long distance, nothing sexy about it, running. Just roll out of bed, put the sneakers on and do it. It clears my head, relaxes my body and by the end of it I always, always, have three actionable ideas on how I can do things better. It keeps me fit and it keeps our business fit.” – Elliott Phear, CEO & cofounder of Phear Creative
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