A Reader Writes:
“I know it’s really important to exercise. But when? My company is still in its startup phase, so I’m working killer hours to get it going. And, I have so many other urgent priorities that I hardly ever make it to the gym. Does anyone have any advice on how I can squeeze some exercise into my really busy schedule?”
Bonnie Elliot, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs:
“You have got to put exercise above your ‘urgent priorities’ and look at it as a vehicle that will help you reach your goals and stay focused so you can more efficiently address those ‘urgent priorities.’ If you allowed a half-hour in your day for exercise, it really wouldn’t impact your list of priorities in the long run (because you would actually be more efficient during the day). But you should be ready for your half-hour, i.e., put out your workout clothes and running shoes the night before you need them. If you’re always ready, then that half-hour won’t turn into an hour because you couldn’t find your shoes! Keep your exercise very simple—there is nothing easier and cheaper (and better for you) than going for a power walk for half-hour. But remember: exercise has to top your list of priorities; once you give it the position it deserves on your list, it will be much easier!”
Catherine Ward, Physique Fitness:
“I have worked in the fitness sector for approximately 15 years, the last seven as the owner/operator of a fitness equipment retail store. I can really relate to the NO TIME concern that so many of us face. That is really why I got involved with fitness equipment (retail) in the first place.
“Make a small initial investment in one good piece of cardio equipment, set your alarm 20 minutes earlier each morning and you are well on your way to getting the critical exercise your body craves to succeed!
“After only 21 days your body accepts this new routine as its own, and the workouts will become an integral part of your day. Exercise makes better leaders, executives, managers and people in any walk in life.”
Heidi Ehlers, Black Bag Creative Recruitment:
“Buy a dog. As someone who started my own business three years ago, someone who understands the importance of exercise and someone who finds that something always comes up, my dog has been a godsend. First of all, you can’t blow them off with an excuse why you can’t take them for a walk. They force you to put discipline and structure around your day. The walking has caused me to lose 10 pounds in the last year (the slow and healthy way). The time that I spend with my dog is a lovely break from the pressure of my business, and being out with him in all kinds of weather has me spending more time outside, which I’ll take over 45 minutes on a treadmill any day.”
“Making it to the gym can be such a hassle because of time restrictions that most clubs have. I have found great success in hiring a personal trainer who comes to my home and works with me to get the best possible workout within the small amount of time that I have. She provides me with great instructions as to HOW to do the exercises properly versus just sweating through sets. I am better prepared to work my body hard in a shorter period of time because she is making sure that I perform the exercises the right way. She has become a great part of my success.”
“I know what you mean. I still haven’t found that perfect solution yet, but here are the top three things that have increased the chances of pulling me away from the office.
- Join a team. By having an obligation to others, it makes it more difficult not to go.
- Try a martial art. My guess is that as an entrepreneur, you’re driven to improve. Since you won’t be satisfied until you get that black belt, that could push you to actually show up at the dojo.
- Remind yourself constantly of your life’s priorities.”
“I am in the same boat, no time, lots of pressures and time constraints.
“You absolutely must take time out for yourself, if and when your health (read: heart) fails, everything will become clear. As they say, ‘Imminent death focuses the mind wonderfully.’
“Try jogging that last kilometre to and from work, it will only cost you 10 minutes per kilometre. Walk a portion if you get out of breath. I never take elevators up. Always jog it up the stairs. In fact, I double-time everywhere I go and change into my work shoes at work.
“You could wear those lead shot, velcro-attached weights on wrists and ankles (not for joggers) everywhere else. Weights like dumbbells and barbells are wonderful. You can get stainless or chrome weights, which look good at the office and can be worked on even sitting down. Keep a log book of reps and weights per session and date. Skip every second day for repairing/building tissue.
“Anthropologically, we evolved as joggers, as evidenced by our skeletal-muscle design. Take glucosamine. Avoid meat and large fish like tuna, but do not avoid sardines or oily fish. Walnuts are good for the heart, as is giving blood every 12 weeks. It lowers blood pressure and reduces iron levels.”