Running your own venture is tough, both on your mind and your body. The stress takes its toll and, needless to say unless you have the energy to meet the challenges head on, it will be a difficult road to success. It is a common misconception that only people with free time can exercise, in fact unless you exercise you would be wasting much more of your time by being lethargic and/ or sick.
However it is indeed difficult to get started on a fitness regime if you never done so or have lost the habit for some months/ years.
So here are 5 tips to stay fit and healthy as an entrepreneur.
1) Exercising is hard enough on its own, but it is almost impossible to do if you’ve chosen a program which you do not enjoy. Hence, it is very important that you find out something which feels like fun while doing. For some people it is running-they say that it takes away all the stress. For other people it is weight training – looking at your own body as it develops to its full potential is indeed inspiring and motivating. And this motivation does carry over to your business facets. Then again, there are some people who want to look muscular but either do not have the equipment or do not want to join join a gym, for those people there are plenty of programs on the net which give you simple bodyweight exercises. Finally there are still some more people who feel that exercising in such manner is boring whichever you choose. For them, it is important to find out a sport which they enjoy. In fact let me rephrase that since they should not only constrain themselves to sports, and even simple hobbies which lead to some physical effort might be sufficient. These could be sports like swimming, basketball, cricket or these could be some hobbies like gardening or even dancing. Choose either one of them, and stay on it for at least some months. The motivation is only long lasting when it is self-sustaining. And it will sustain when you start seeing results. So whether it is running and the results you see are in the increased distances you can run, or it is weightlifting and the result is in the increased weights and your personal records which you keep beating. Once you start once you start seeing results, you are on your way to be fit because inevitably you would not want to stop working out.
2) Schedule a time for exercise: Time Management for entrepreneurs is critical. If you’re managing a company or you’re part of a founding team, (perpetually urgent) tasks come at any time from morning to night. Unless you specifically take out some time for exercising (and exercising means what you defined in point 1) you will find that your exercise time is being used for something else. Hence it is very important that you start scheduling and writing down your routine. Take a stock of how much time you have and if that means that you can only take out half an hour for three days a week, it is good enough start on and then build on it. Do not be too ambitious at this time. I’ve seen far too many exercise programs fail, when the beginners try to aim for too high a bar.So start slow, and if that means only 2 to 3 times every week but you can keep that schedule you’ve already achieved success.
3) Remember that exercise is itself a great energiser but it also needs some support. And this relates to point 1 again, if you find something that you are enjoying, you’ll find that you are getting energised even after a tiring workout. But here it is also very important that you take care of your diet. Remember the end goal for you as an entrepreneur is not to be a national champion of something (though it would be great if you aimed that high), it is for you to be physically fit enough to achieve your startup’s success. The attention to diet must be at least as much if not more as you give to your exercise regime.
4) Innovation is always welcome. Even if you choose an exercise program written by the greatest Guru in the industry, it is up to you to make changes for your individual style. If you feel some exercise is giving more pain than necessary, change it. Typing a simple “alternative to Exercise X” in Google will give you plenty of options. If you feel that certain activity is helping your program or is helping you get rejuvenated faster do it – even if it is not listed. The point here is that just like your start-up, the rules are only as the guidance – it is up to you to make them perfect for yourself.
5) Know the difference between the right pain and the wrong pain. This again is probably one of the most common problems of beginners. There is conflicting wisdom floating around, one part of which says that no pain means no gain and the other part of which says to take care of your body by listening to your pain. And no surprises that one does not know which is which. And again no surprises that even I can’t tell you which is the right kind of pain and which is the wrong kind of thing. However it is you who must know when to quit and went to push forward. As an example, I often had pain when I did lunges-and it was not difficult to understand that this was the bad kind of pain. Perhaps I had pulled a muscle somewhere or perhaps I had a weak ligament somewhere. Either way, it made sense for me to either stop the exercise completely or go back to the drawing board and understand the correct technique. Compare it to some other kind of pain – perhaps you did a long run today and your legs are tired but overall you feel great. This is perhaps the right kind of pain which is asking you to push forward even more the next time.
Remember being fit is not a luxury, it is a necessity. And as much attention as you pay to your venture equal amount of focus must be allotted to a proper exercise and diet program.