Make It Your Business To Exercise
Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Health Habits
The most successful entrepreneurs are characterized by good health and vitality. They don't let the daily grind of running a business (or driving a leadership mission) keep them from taking care of themselves... they know their business and mission depend on their own energy level and fitness, and they make it a priority to stay healthy.
In contrast, entrepreneurs who struggle in business often first struggle with their health. I've known too many business owners and leaders who let their vitality slide, acting as though they viewed themselves as a "brain on a stick," important only for their thinking and decision making. They use any number of excuses to justify their poor health habits ("I'm too busy to eat anything but convenience foods" or "I don't have the energy or time to work out"). And over time, that precious cognitive ability they prize above all else just shuts down... because your brain's health depends on your body's health.
If you are stuck in a low-energy, low-vitality rut, start with the five key daily health habits I call "The NEWSS" - Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sleep, and Supplements. Eat real food, not junk, and take at least one good daily multi-nutrient supplement. Get at least two liters of water every day, and at least eight hours of sleep every night. And get your butt to the gym.
Yes, you have to exercise, and all that running-around you do at work doesn't count (at least, not enough). Make sure you get at least three good workouts a week, and one each on six days a week is best. Give your body one day a week to rest and recover, but in the meantime, get three good cardio workouts (getting your heart-rate up to the age-appropriate aerobic level and keeping it there for 15-20 minutes) alternating with three good strength-training (weight lifting) workouts every week. It will take extra effort and energy from you at the beginning, but after a few days you'll see that you have more energy at the end of the day than you used to have.
A few years ago, the many benefits of regular exercise were listed in the "Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health." You know you need to work out, but you might not realize all the things exercise does for you. Here are just a few: exercises lowers the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis (are you hearing your joints "creak" more than they used to?), it lowers your resting heart rate, and it reduces the circulation of triglycerides (bad stuff) in your blood. Exercise helps boost your creativity (that's not helpful in your business, is it?), helps you resist upper respiratory tract infections, and helps preserve your lean body tissue. When you exercise, you build a higher anaerobic threshold, which means you can work out longer at a higher level before building up a significant amount of lactic acid (which makes you sore). And you know this is true: when you exercise regularly, you recover more easily from other kinds of physical exertion.
There are dozens of other good reasons you can think of for applying your considerable entrepreneurial initiative to a personal exercise regimen. Do it for those reasons, and for all the reasons you can't think of. Your family, your business, and your brain will thank you.
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