Career women often have many irons in the fire. For example, you might own more than one business, have a family, engage in a hobby or two and have a million other ideas floating through your mind. Finding time to workout isn’t always on the list, but you know you need to for your health.
How Do You Stay Fit With Limited Time?
In a recent Small Business Trends report by Guidant Financial, researchers found 39% of small business owners are very happy. Being your own boss helps alleviate some types of stress. Following your passions and building something for future generations is also a positive boost for morale.
However, being in charge also means your time is limited. If you can find just 20 to 30 minutes a day, you can ramp up your fitness level. Working consistently over time has many health benefits, such as a stronger heart and better control over issues such as high blood pressure. Here are some things you can do to stay fit without slowing down your business momentum.
Make Little Changes
Start with the little changes that won’t take much time. The great thing about workouts is that they are cumulative. While it is good to set aside 30 minutes, you can also workout in 10-minute segments three times a day.
Take the stairs, park a little further out or make an extra lap around the building. Invest in a standing desk or put an exercise ball in your office to bounce on while you chat with your supplier across the world.
Wear the Right Clothing
Get in the mindset of working out by wearing the right clothes. You’ll be more likely to hit the gym before your day starts or take a walk at lunch. You can also prevent injury. Workout clothes have compression features that help your body’s circulation and improve blood flow.
The last thing you want is to be stiff and sore, so using the right clothing helps prevent lactic acid buildup.
Most entrepreneurs are professionals at multitasking. While some researchers frown on it, there are times when it can be beneficial to kill two birds with one stone. For example, if you have a bunch of calls to make, jump on your treadmill at a low speed and talk and walk.
You can also make meetings with department heads walk and talk sessions. Take an employee to lunch and walk to a nearby restaurant. If you know another worker likes swimming, ask them to go to the gym with you after work and hit the pool. Find ways to connect with clients and staff through physical activities that improve your fitness.
At the same time, though, do be aware that some people may have limitations in the physical activities they can participate in. Others may simply dislike working out and feel uncomfortable doing so. Be sensitive to their comfort level.
Create a Fitness Culture
Make your company culture one that embraces fitness and you’ll be surrounded by people who like to workout. You’ll gain new ideas from those around you and hopefully find some new ideas about how to implement workouts without spending a lot of time on them.
Open a gym in your building or start an after-hours workout. A bonus is that you’ll retain employees who care about having perks at work. Experts predict a 20% voluntary turnover of American workers this year. If you want to keep the people you have, make your office more home-like and work fitness into the perks.
Do HIIT Workouts
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) condenses your workout while still making you sweat. An example might be that you start walking at a normal pace for a few minutes and then jog for a minute or two as hard as you can go.
Gyms offer HIIT workouts so you can get in a quick bit of fitness before or after you start your workday. However, you can also use online fitness systems or create your own HIIT program. Learn how to watch your heart rate for safety and watch your fitness peak in less time than you’d think.
Remember to Stretch
While an intense workout is good to get your blood pumping and ramp up your fitness, don’t forget the importance of the little things, such as stretching from time to time or doing some light yoga at your desk.
Those who work in an office tend to scrunch over the computer to read and type. Over time, you can create back problems, neck issues and even eye strain. Make it a habit to stop every 30 minutes to an hour and stretch a bit. Get up and reach to the ceiling, touch your toes and do gentle neck circles.
Give Up Time Wasters
Everyone has things they waste time on. For example, you might binge watch your favorite show on Netflix every night for an hour. While we all need things we enjoy to destress, what if you reduce your watching time to 30 minutes and work out for 30 minutes?
Perhaps you spend 20 minutes every morning waiting in line for a drink from your favorite coffee shop. Instead, you could bike to work and ask your assistant to grab your coffee or have a pre-programmed machine spitting it out as you walk in the door.
Make Fitness a Priority
You likely make your business a priority in your life. Probably, you spend time worrying about your staff, your family and your pet. Why shouldn’t fitness also rank on your list of important tasks? Pencil in your workouts and the things you want to do to ramp up your health. Make an appointment with yourself so you can live longer and feel better.
Authored by Eleanor Hecks
Eleanor is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the creative director at a digital marketing agency before becoming a full-time freelance designer. Eleanor lives in Philly with her husband and pup, Bear.