If you're like most entrepreneurs, exercising tends to fall down towards the middle or bottom of your list of priorities. You tell yourself you'll do it, you might even fully intend to do it, but something comes along that's more important or more urgent.
Before you know it, years have passed, you're packing on a spare tire, and your doctor's telling you it's time to start looking at blood pressure medications. Look, it's no secret that exercising helps you in every way imaginable. You've heard that a million times. Mind, body, soul -- that's the good stuff. Getting in the routine of regular exercise is vital to your mental and physical health, and it can do wonders for your career and for your personal life.
But what you probably haven't heard is which specific exercises will help you be a better you and a better entrepreneur. Here are three types of exercises, specifically for entrepreneurs, that will help you achieve the benefits of regular exercise without interrupting your busy lifestyle.
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If you're not spending time every week running, you're doing your entrepreneurial self a huge disservice. One study that analyzed the effects different types of workouts have on the brain found that "sustained aerobic exercise might be most beneficial for brain health."
In other words, your brain loves running, biking or any other sustained aerobic exercise, and it's able to think better when you do these activities. It makes sense really. If nothing else, running gives you time and space to think. No distractions, no noise -- just you and the road (or trail or treadmill or whatever).
And you don't have to run long distances either. I run no more than one to two miles at a time, and I can't count the number of ideas I've come up with while on the 10-20 minute runs. In fact, running moderately is actually healthier than running insane distances. If you get to where you're running more than 15-20 miles a week, you should probably scale it back some.
So tomorrow morning, wake up an hour earlier, set a goal of how far or how long you want to run -- no matter how short that may be -- and try it out. You'll see what all the rage is about.
2. Do burpees.
Let's be honest. Burpees suck. But they're a super quick way to get a great workout. When you have projects and ship dates, and you're facing another 12-hour workday, the last thing you have time to do is workout. That's when you turn to the trusted burpee.
Do four sets of 25, and you're out the door in 15-20 minutes. Or you can try one of these burpee workouts.
No matter how you decide to do them, I can't think of a faster workout that works your entire body and increases strength and stamina the way burpees do.
If you're not stretching on a regular basis, it's time to start. And I don't mean bending over to touch your toes for 30 seconds every day. We're talking about going through a short, but intentional, stretching routine.
How will stretching help you be a better entrepreneur? It'll help you deal with the stress that's an o-so-natural part of being an entrepreneur. To quote Dr. Oz himself -- "Stress restricts blood flow, causing tension in your muscles and lower back. Stretching stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones. The secret is to isolate the muscles that store tension by stretching the lower back, shoulders and neck."
If that doesn't convince you, here's more proof from Jaime Longval, a certified strength and conditioning specialist at Brown University and The Miriam Hospital Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine in Providence, R.I. -- "Stretching is an effective strategy to aid in the relief of stress. It lengthens the muscles to relieve tension."
So there IS a reason why people absolutely will not stop talking about yoga.
But, similar to running, you don't have to take it to the extreme. Simply following a moderate stretching routine on a regular basis should provide some stress relief. Not to mention you'll be limber as a rag. Now there's no reason to skip workouts
I get it, you're busy. But focusing on the exercises that offer the most benefit to your entrepreneurial lifestyle just might provide the motivation you need to add exercise into your daily or weekly routine.