It’s time to make 2017 the year you got healthy. To be a thriving, efficient entrepreneur, this is non-negotiable because keeping yourself healthy is crucial for building and sustaining a healthy business. So as you work to use your time more efficiently, it’s going to open up time for you to work your bod. Because when you do, your body works better, your mind works better, it’s easier to keep stress in control.
And when everything’s working better inside, your business is going to work better too. Tony Robbins talks about our “state.” Your state is how you’re feeling. My goal is to live in an amazing state. Can’t think clearly? Feeling too low-energy or low-confidence to make the calls you need? Feeling a bit blue? Then change your state.
And the simple prescription for changing your low-energy state for a vibrant, energized and engaged state? Move your body. You can change your state in a matter of seconds, but to also get the exercise benefit you need to put a bit more time into it. I always told my patients to move their bodies and break a sweat for at least 20 minutes a day. And if we cut out things that aren't serving our priorities and our goals, I promise you that you can find 20 minutes.
Here's the inescapable truth: as we grow businesses (and grow in other parts of our lives) we need to be as alert and healthy as possible. Besides strengthening our immune systems so we get sick less often, exercise can improve our mood and help us be more engaging and energized when we have conversations with others. As Romi has said, “Exercise is my Prozac.” Trust me, you’ll feel better and perform better if you move your booty. In fact, your business and the rest of your life need you to exercise.
To get started, change the way you think about exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym or carve large chunks of time out of your day. Between exercise apps and videos and the things you already have in your house (stairs, floor space to do squats and jog in place), your office (stairs, the block around your building) and your neighborhood (we love speed walking the hills around our ‘hood), you can get in 20 minutes of movement.
Here are five simple things you can do to change your state without leaving your office building or home office. And if you’re not sure how to do any of these, not to worry. Do a quick search on YouTube for instructional videos.
- Take a stand. If you’re sitting, stand up. Working standing up can burn more calories and strengthen your leg and core muscles. And anything you can do while walking around, do it. I always walk around on business calls unless I have to be closely looking at a document.
- Take a seat. If you've got a chair you can work your arms. Grab the arms of the chair or put the palms of your hand on the edge of the seat and do some dips. This will work your triceps and biceps and a little of your core. If your chair is on rollers, obviously lock those babies down.
- Hit the floor. There are a few fantastic exercises you can do with just a little bit of floor space that will work your arms, abs, and back. Do a setup push-ups, then flip over and plank for 30 to 60 seconds, followed by laying on your back and flying like Super Man for another 30-60 seconds. This combination will work your arms and abs.
- Cop a squat. Put your feet shoulder width apart and squat down, then stand back up. Do it enough times and you’ll feel it in your legs and core.
- Go up to come down. If you’ve got stairs you can work your legs and get in some good cardio by briskly walking up and down the stairs ten times. And if you don’t have stairs, not to worry, you can do some additional squats.
You don’t have to do this all at once. These can all be done in increments of 3 minutes or less. Now surely you’ve got 3 minutes a few times a day, don’t you? Just like in business, when you break up your exercise into bite-size pieces it makes it easier to do. No need to get in the car and drive somewhere to sweat. No need stop working for long stretches of time to work out. And all of these short exercises increase your circulation and send more nutrient-rich blood to your brain, making you more alert and engaged.
If you have a larger chunk of time you want to dedicate to exercise, say 20 minutes, there are some great ways to use that time. Take a brisk walk. You can even do some business calls while on your walk, moving both you and your business closer to hitting your goals. Add some stair climbing to your walk for an even more challenging workout. Twenty minutes of yoga can work your brain and body at the same time. And if you're new to yoga, no problem. Check out the myriad of apps or Amazon Prime where there are on-demand yoga classes for any level and style. Research shows that you don’t have to do all 20 minutes at once to get the health benefits. You could even break it out into two 10-minute blocks if that fits better into your schedule.
As entrepreneurs, if you want to build a successful business you have to be touching your business every day. You have to consistently put in the effort to take your vision and make it something that will sustain you and your family. But focusing only on how many phone calls you’ve made, or how many sales you’ve had, or whether you hit your personal development milestone, misses a crucial component of business success—Your Physical Health. And now that you’ll be using your time more efficiently, you’ll be able to fit exercise into your day and experience how your improved energy and mood will energize your life and business.