Sometimes, it can be hard to make time for your health. Especially as a business leader, where you’re running a business 24/7 and dealing with a variety of challenges and opportunities, you barely have time for anything fun or personal. Whether you’re staying up late at night coming up with new strategies for promoting your online store, or you’re up early every morning for a Skype call with business partners in another part of the world, it’s hard to make time for eating well and exercise. But your health is important, and you’ve noticed that it’s not getting as much attention as it deserves.
Luckily, we’ve come up with some great ways for you to stay fit–and they’re all ways that can fit into your schedule. It’s all about organizing time for your health the same way you would for an important meeting or conference–and here’s how.
Schedule in time at the gym
One of the great things about exercise is how good it makes you feel. It’ll improve your mood, make you feel pumped up for your business challenges throughout the day, and, over time, you’ll feel stronger and more energized. Especially if you’re building up muscle with weights or getting your heart rate up at a spin class, you’ll start to get stronger inside and out. But a huge problem with going to the gym is that it just takes up so much time. It’s not just the forty-five minutes of class you have to factor in, but also getting there and showering after. And for a busy entrepreneur, cutting out a huge chunk of time like that is nearly impossible.
But you have to make the time. If you feel like it might be too much, start slow so that you can notice the benefits, which will then motivate you to exercise more. Schedule in just two classes a week at first, one over the weekend, so you don’t feel too guilty, and another one halfway through the week to get you through the mid-week slump. Additionally, think about using an app like ClassPass, which lets you select classes all over your city (available in over 50 cities globally)–or use an at-home trainer app to save on time.
Don’t get tempted by bad food at the office
Some of us rely on food when we’re stressed–and if that’s the case for you, you have the additional challenge of having to create a diet that works for you. Meeting with a nutritionist is a great idea in this case because you can figure out what causes your bad habits and find strategies for changing them.
However, if your problem’s got more to do with the eating culture that America is entrenched in, you’re not alone. Someone’s always bringing free snacks into the office, and if you ever have guests coming in for a meeting, coffee and bagels are a must. And let’s not even start with the temptations available when you’re traveling for business: the free dinners, the sugary cocktails, the hors-d’oeuvres that add up to thousands of calories. It’s nearly impossible to stay healthy in today’s business world.
That’s why you need to put some strategies in place. First of all, remind yourself that even when there is food that you don’t have to eat any of it. Use a food journal to hold yourself accountable, or an app like MyFitnessPal. And if you’re committed to health, why not encourage colleagues to bring in healthy snacks or bring them in yourself? To learn more about encouraging healthy eating in the office (since it can be a sensitive subject), check out these strategies. And if you have to pull out some stark statistics to encourage everyone, do it: heart disease is the number one killer in America, and a great way to keep your heart healthy is by eating well.
Manage your stress
Finally, an important health tip for business leaders is especially is that you need to manage your stress. 46 percent of the time, the workload is the main cause of stress in the office, and it’s no surprise considering our 24/7, “work hard, play hard” culture in the US. And while we aren’t telling you to slow down (though relaxing a few times a week isn’t a bad idea), you should take stock of what’s stressing you out. Keep a journal, and if you feel like it might be affecting your health, speak with a professional about it.
These are some of the best strategies for staying fit as a business leader. It’s all about making time for your health and making it a priority.
What do you consider to be your greatest health challenge?