by Steve Shewmake, MBA, NASM-CPT
As small business owners, our time is precious. We all know the benefits of staying fit and watching what we eat, but is devoting some of our time to exercise really worth it? Absolutely! Working cardiovascular and strength training can bring us many benefits – some obvious, some subtle – that positively affect our work life.
Here are just a few possible benefits:
- Improved sleep – People who exercise tend to fall asleep quicker and even have a better quality of sleep, which can lead to (among other things) better focus throughout our often hectic days
- Higher energy levels
- Helps maintain functional bodies as we age
- Greater confidence – Sure, you may feel a little better about yourself if you drop a few pounds or slap on some lean muscle, but more importantly, after a challenging weight training session, the rest of the day seems light in comparison. Conference calls are a breeze compared to heavy squats….
- Excellent stress relief – Running a small business can bring a lot of tension and pressure, so it’s important to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels and manage your stress. Exercise can help with both.
Honestly, I’ve come up with some of my best ideas while jogging. Get that heart pumping and blood flowing and you may be surprised what your brain can do.
Love the benefits but aren’t sure where to start?
Don’t overthink it. I tell my clients to think of fitness as a three-legged stool, with the legs being your diet, strength training, and cardiovascular exercise. If you’re missing one of the legs, the results won’t be as good as they could be.
Do a modicum of research regarding healthy eating habits, and if weight loss (or gain) is a goal, track your diet using a calorie counter. There are several such tools out there from which to choose. I typically mention www.myfitnesspal.com to my clients…it’s free, and they have a mobile app that makes tracking very easy.
Take the time to learn about effective and efficient exercise.
This investment – whether in time spent on a computer researching or in partnering with a good personal trainer – will pay huge dividends and save you from wasting your energy through less than optimal workout programs or poor form.
If you haven’t already, make squeezing fitness into your life a priority. Start small and let it grow from there. Keep it simple, effective, and sustainable. You – and your business – deserve it!
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Steve Shewmake is a small business owner and certified personal trainer at Onward Fitness in Richmond, VA.