Making fitness fun is paramount to laying the foundation for living a healthy, energized life. This is especially important for entrepreneurs. Here are a few reasons why exercising is so important not only for our physical health, but also our mental health.
Weight-loss: Even if you’re already at your ideal weight, maintaining your weight is important for preventing future weight-gain. Your metabolism won’t always be as efficient as it is currently, so help your future-self by starting good habits now.
Preventing Health Problems: Exercising boosts “good” cholesterol (HDL) and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. Exercising regularly can help prevent stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis, and falls!
Improves Mood: Even just a brisk 30 minute walk will stimulate the various chemicals in your brain that leave you feeling happy and relaxed.
Elevates Energy: Being physically active delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissue, allowing your cardiovascular system to work with less effort. This in turn will give you more energy to get things done throughout the day without that extra cup of coffee.
Improves Sleep: Getting good sleep is important to being successful in all that we do. Exercising can help you fall asleep faster and deepen the sleep you do get. This will allow you to wake up early and improve your productivity as an entrepreneur.
Walking is a great place to start, it’s easy and a low impact exercise. Walking at a fitness stride will provide you with all the health benefits of exercise listed above. Start at a meager 30 minutes a day and increase your time as the days go by. If you’re looking for fast weight-loss, walking may not be the right choice as a long-term exercise routine; however, walking will ease you into the habit of exercise and begin your weight-loss journey.
Choose If: You’re just starting to exercise again, you need a low impact exercise, you want to multi-task, you want an exercise that you can do anywhere, and/or you just need to maintain your weight.
Tips: While walking keep your head up (looking forward not at the ground), back relaxed, and arms swinging freely – this will maximize your results.
Have Fitness Fun: Get that project done while walking, try a treadmill desk for a convenient place to exercise and work all in one. Listen to podcasts or music while you walk.
Yoga is perfect for everyone. Whether you’re just starting to exercise or you’re an accomplished athlete – yoga can be customized to meet your needs. Yoga focuses on muscle toning and strengthening, deep breathing, and meditation to relax the mind. This is a great practice for entrepreneurs because it allows us to slow down and really listen to our bodies needs and desires.
Choose If: You need a low impact exercise, you want to strengthen your core, you want to strengthen your arms and legs, you want a program that you can do anywhere, and/or you want a program that has a lot of variety.
Tips: Do a few classes with an instructor before jumping into yoga alone – this will ensure you are doing the poses properly and will prevent injury.
Have Fitness Fun: Take the breathing and mind clearing seriously. Allow yourself to relax during your yoga sessions and don’t think about work – this will ensure a relaxing workout that will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle anything.
Jogging is a great way to relieve stress and get an efficient workout all at the same time. This exercise is sure to make you sweat. You’ll burn plenty of calories, strengthen your bones and muscles, and workout your heart. Jogging is a great companionship exercise, find a friend to start jogging with you – this will hold you accountable and keep you on track. Whether you jog with a friend or alone, sign yourself up for a competitive run so you’ll have something to look forward to and be able to track your progress.
Choose If: You want faster weight-loss, you want a competitive exercise, you want a cardiovascular fitness routine, and/or your body can handle a high-impact exercise routine.
Tips: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run. Get the proper shoes for running, you don’t want to risk an injury or generate shin splints (trust me).
Have Fitness Fun: Throw on some headsets and rock out to your favorite music or maybe listen to that audiobook you’ve been meaning to get to.
High Intensity Interval Training
One of the newest trends to hit the fitness world is high intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of exercise encourages the participant to burn maximum calories in a minimum amount of time. The idea behind HIIT is to do short intervals of exercise followed by short intervals of active rest, which makes the body work harder than a regular cardio routine.
Choose If: You want short workouts, you want faster weight-loss, you want an intense workout, you want a cardiovascular fitness routine, and/or your body can handle a high-impact exercise routine.
Tips: Warm-up first. Eat something easily digestible 20-30 minutes before your workout (like a banana or a smoothie).
Have Fitness Fun: Listen to loud music during these sessions to motivate you to move, if you need a great sound system check out this awesome Bose system.
Let your inhibitions go and just dance. Join a jazz class, ballet class, hip-hop class, or just dance at home! Not only is dancing great for weight-loss, it builds and strengthens your bones. But you’re not just working your body while you dance you’re working your brain too. Memorizing dance moves and learning rhythm involves the brain and actually leads to a lower risk of dementia.
Choose If: You want to engage build and strengthen your bones, you want a cardiovascular fitness routine, and/or you want to keep your mind active and sharp.
Tips: Try different types of dance (you never know what you might like). Look up not down while dancing, relax and have fun.
Have Fitness Fun: Don’t just stick to Zumba, find a genre of dance that really interests you. Dress the part, the more you the commit the more fun you’ll have. Go out with your friends dancing, showoff your new moves!
Group classes are a good way to motivate your workouts. If you’re a competitive person, like me, group classes will not only push you to workout harder, but they make you commit the time to doing them (because you don’t want to be the one that bails out early, right?!). Try Pure Barre, a new workout class that utilizes ballet barre techniques, a total body workout that works on toning all areas. Also, look for Les Mills classes, these workouts range from lifting, cycling, cardio, core training, and dance.
Choose If: You are a competitive person, you workout more when held accountable, you like variety, and/or you want to challenge yourself.
Tips: Try different types of group classes – there are so many different classes available so find the best fit for you.
Have Fitness Fun: Pick out someone in the class and try to do better than them, make working out into a game. Participate in the crazy shouts and yells they incorporate throughout the class – this will help you relax and probably make you smile.
Working out from home and on your own time is ideal for the entrepreneur. There are hundreds of fitness routines and exercises to do from the comfort of your own home. Working out from home can cost you less time by cutting out the travel time to the gym, a hike, or dance class. You can virtually do any workout you want from home – especially if you invest in a treadmill and/or weights. Kick the morning off with some yoga in your living room and end the day with a heart-racing P90X workout.
Choose If: You like to workout at home, you don’t like to schedule workouts, you are a self-driven person, and/or you have limited time.
Tips: Dedicate a room in your house to exercise, set a timer for your workout sessions so you complete the entire routine and don’t get distracted.
Have Fitness Fun: Working out from home gives you endless options on how to make exercise more fun, include your kids, include your family, watch t.v., wear whatever you want – nobody’s judging you in your own home.
Sports aren’t just for kids. Join a local softball team, meet new people and have fun while you workout. Maybe soccer is more your vibe – kick around a soccer ball by yourself or find some friends to scrimmage with. A really great sport for entrepreneurs is golf. Invite investors or friends out onto the course with you – do business while you exercise. Or try swimming, a great low-impact sport that will not only workout your entire body, but give you ample time to clear your mind.
Choose If: You are a competitive person, you want to meet new people (potential customers and investors), you love sports, and/or you want to workout your mind as well as your body.
Tips: Make sure you acquire the right gear for whatever sport you choose. Always warm-up and stretch.
Have Fitness Fun: Joining a team sport will help you build relationships with new and old friends while also making your exercise time fly by.
Hiking is a terrific way to experience the world around you. After hours of phone calls and emails, getting some fresh air into the lungs and sunshine on the skin will renew your spirit and mind. Hiking books and apps provide elevation information and trail difficulty levels so you can determine what kind of workout each hike will provide. You don’t have to hike alone either, invite a friend to go hiking with you. This will push you and also provide conversation and fun while you exercise.
Choose If: You love nature, you want to customize your exercise, your want a cardio workout, and/or you want a reward at the end of a workout (seeing that beautiful view at the end of a hike).
Tips: Always carry water, bug spray, and sunscreen. Keep a towel in your car just in case you encounter mud or water (who knows you might just have an urge to run through that waterfall).
Have Fitness Fun: Make hiking a learning experience by identifying plants, animals, trees. Bring your dog or your camera for added fun.
Join a gym. Gyms are the classic workout choice for a reason, they have everything! From swimming pools, group classes, personal trainers, weights, ellipticals, stair-masters, and treadmills – gyms dominate the workout scene. Depending on your personality, gyms may also help you workout for longer than you would if you worked out alone. Overall, joining a gym will give you access to a variety of workouts and allow you pick and choose which machines and routines work best for you.
Choose If: You want to customize your workouts, you want to try a variety of machines, you want a cardio workout, and/or you like working out indoors.
Tips: Avoid peak times (unless you like crowds). Ask the staff about machines you don’t know how to use. Wear wicking gear.
Have Fitness Fun: Gyms have events, participate in a few! Try out the new cycling bikes that have a virtual trail for you to race on.