5 Exercise Tips for Entrepreneurs—Plus 1 If You Really Hate Exercise

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“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” – Wilhelm von Humboldt

Do you have a history with exercise? Or is it a love/hate relationship?

My exercise history began in my early teens. My brothers were teen terrors and there was a lot of stress and strife in the household. Retreating to my bedroom was one solution, but so was hopping on my bicycle and escaping the drama. What started out as 5 miles per ride quickly doubled and quadrupled until I participated in my first Century (100 mile) tour at the age of 16. I loved it and was hooked. I even pursued Exercise Physiology as a career and graduated with a master’s degree in 1990.

Needless to say, I love physical activity and exercise. It has been a long-standing, daily part of my life. There have been two phases of life, however, when I wasn’t as active as I’d like to be.

  1. Pregnancy—it’s difficult to exercise with 9 months of continued morning sickness.
  2. Entrepreneurship—building and owning a business takes A LOT of time. It isn’t easy to head out for a 50 mile bike ride whenever I want.

As with everything else, we must modify and prioritize. When I worked at Brigham City Hospital as an Exercise Physiologist, I spent a lot of time helping patients find ways to include exercise into their daily routine. Most of them HATED exercise. However, by the time they came to me, many had experienced a cardiac event and needed to train their heart for recovery and improved health. Exercise became a race to stay ahead of additional complications.

While many people continue to struggle with implementing exercise into their day or week, the more you exercise now, the better it will be in the long run. Entrepreneurs especially can benefit from stepping away from their desk and getting outside—or to your local fitness center. Entrepreneurial wellness (or as I like to call it, wow-ness) is up to us to pursue.

Built from my own experiences these 6 tips will help introduce exercise into your business schedule:

Standing desk: standing at a desk for a portion of your screen time keeps the blood flowing and the mind active. Even if your back or legs can’t stand for long blocks of time, you’ll find your strength improving, which will positively influence your duration in other activities.

Refresh and revitalize by stepping outdoors: how many times do you get stuck on an idea or a project? Do you agonize in front of your screen, forcing ideas to come from the black depths of nothingness? Then it’s time to step away and get OUT! Breathe in fresh air. Let the wind and sunshine, or even the rain, clear your brain. Do a brain dump and let things flow naturally. I find that fresh ideas come quick after a 10 minute step outside. Does 10 minutes sound like a lot? How many minutes were already lost seeking ideas that were stuck?

Get the family involved—especially the grandchildren (if you have them): Children are GREAT encouragement and motivation, plus we are viewed as GREAT grandparents for our involvement with them. They are bundles of contagious energy and lots of joy. Utilize their youth and let it rejuvenate you!

Stretching: this VERY EASY exercise form is often overlooked. Who doesn’t feel good following a morning stretch? Or getting out of the car after a long drive for a full-body stretch? Stretching is the easiest, do-anywhere form of exercise and it costs NOTHING! It keeps the blood flowing, relaxes the body, and gives us pep. We won’t break out into a sweat and we can do it before and after any meeting or event we attend. For introverts, it’s a grounding tool before and after social events.

Pump up the volume—the heart that is. Yes, you still need to get your heart pumping. Not the normal grocery store stroll we all fall into, but something that has you breathing a little harder and pushes the blood through your body—faster than stretching. Walk a block—fast—as if you are late for a client meeting. THAT’S the feeling you want when you exercise—whether that be walking, running, cycling, or whatever method you choose. The more times per week, the better, but we’re entrepreneurs, we’re grandparents, we’re caregivers…we’re BUSY! But your self-care must come first to be the best you can be, and exercise is a big part of that—for prevention, maintenance, and wow-ness.

But what can be done if you absolutely hate exercise? My first suggestion is to explore ways to stretch and pump up the volume. A little activity is better than none at all. If that won’t happen then eat healthy, make mental relaxation a part of each day, reduce stress and habits detrimental to your body, drink water, and maintain regular check-ups with your health care providers.

Your customers and your family want you around for a long time!

To your health and your success,
Kristen Edens
A grandparent in business

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