In your quest to be successful in business, it’s easy to lose focus on your personal health. However if you want to play the long game in business it’s really in your best interest to make your personal health a priority.
It’s no secret that fitness is good for your physical health and reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (leading cause of death, globally) obesity and type 2 diabetes, but still the majority of us sacrifice our health in the quest for wealth and business success.
A lot of entrepreneurs live with an air of optimism and invincibility about them, they think it won’t happen to them and so poor health doesn’t seem to be a big enough reason to give up valuable working hours, spent in the gym!
Success leaves clues though…………..
Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg all share the commonality of multi-billion dollar companies and all state that regular exercise is an integral part of their success.
Daily exercise improves your workplace productivity greatly. When you exercise, you are also increasing blood flow to the brain, which can sharpen your awareness. Improved energy levels gained through regular exercise will assure you perform at a high level. You’ll also have more stamina to meet the demands of your job.
The self-discipline required and confidence gained by following a health and fitness regime are transferable traits that allow you to thrive in a competitive business.
Exercise also helps to lower stress, it’s important time-out and subsequently provides more clarity of vision. Endorphins are natures happy pill and your enhanced mood acquired through regular exercise will be noticeable from your work colleagues, family and friends.
Money can never buy back your time, happiness or overall health. We all have the same amount of time in a day, and there is no excuse as an entrepreneur to NOT put health and fitness at the forefront. It’s time you made fitness a priority so you can be the leader you were born to be.
Here are 4 ways to help you look, feel and perform better and avoid becoming the unhealthy entrepreneur
1) State your ‘WHY’
It is impossible to stay committed and determined to do anything unless you set your goals and know your reasons “WHY”
Your “WHY” is the REAL reason, you WANT to change.
Your “WHY” has to be bigger than yourself.
Maybe you want to exercise to be a good role model to your children
Or stay healthy, so you can be active with your grandchildren
Whatever it is, Your “WHY” is the REAL reason, that underlies EVERYTHING and becomes your CORE driver and motivator.
When it is identified and understood, and when it is aligned correctly with your intentions, you become unstoppable towards your goal.
Simply stating you want to lose weight for your next holiday is too short term – Turn your fitness journey into a lifestyle
My “WHY” is to make a positive impact on the health of as many people as possible.
My “WHY” has become so big, I have made it my business, my purpose in life.
I lead by example, I exercise and work on my physical, emotional, and mental health, with the goal of inspiring at least 1 person every single day.
So today, go and Identify your true “WHY” and become unstoppable in what you want to achieve.
2) Stop looking at exercise as something you MUST do
Instead, think of it as something you CHOOSE to do
Look, our bodies are designed to move, and if you are lucky enough to be able to move pain free then find some time and go and workout
It’s all about mindset.
The problem with saying today “I must workout” is stating that you’re doing something you don’t necessarily want to do.
We often use this language if on a short term fad fitness plan.
How you frame things can play a huge role in your motivation to train.
When you workout and embrace what your body is able to do, it no longer becomes a chore
When you learn to enjoy the freedom of movement, it no longer becomes a battle to motivate yourself to train
You will instead just think how lucky you are to get to work out.
Do what your body is designed to do
3) Fix your Habits
Your life has been & will continue to be created by your habits
If you don’t control your habits, they will completely control YOU.
We need to build positive habits that when repeated regularly start to happen subconsciously
Think of it this way, when was the last time you consciously thought mirror, signal, maneuver whilst driving?
Wouldn’t it be cool if subconsciously you reached for the right foods and exercised everyday without any effort – well I’m telling you it’s possible.
IT WON’T HAPPEN IN A WEEK – but through continuous repetition over time. Be patient!
Breaking Bad Habits
In my experience, as soon as you eliminate something from your diet to fit into a particular regime, people end up wanting that banned food more than they ever did, they keep thinking about it, perhaps even imagine eating/drinking it when the diet is over! it becomes unbearable and then they cave.
Instead of having a banned list, it’s much better to say everything is on the table as long as its measured. Due to the simple logic that what’s measured gets managed. Finding a way to Include foods you enjoy, will mean you never feel you’re missing out – sustainability!
Creating New Habits
Patience is the key. Habit change is not something that happens overnight – in fact it takes 66 days of repetition before it becomes a subconscious action.
Use implementation intention
So simply stating you’re going to start exercising more often doesn’t mean that you actually follow through – it’s a sweeping statement from what I call the ‘new year mindset’
Instead, if you state when and where your new habits are going to happen, you are so much more likely to actually start the process and then with consistency, that habit will have a better chance of building into the subconscious mind and therefore will stick and just become part of your everyday life.
Example:- I’m going to do my hiit session at hii tomorrow morning at 6:30 before work
All habits (positive and negative) have cues, triggers and rewards
Sitting down in front of the TV after a long day at work can be a cue to over eat or crack open a bottle of wine which would certainly stand in the way of your fitness goals. The reward is the pleasure you get from that habit and it’s this pleasure that reinforces your behaviour.
Once you start to look a little deeper you can work out ways to adapt your routines so they don’t trigger negative habits and in fact become the basis of positive ones.
For example:- Morning Routine
CUE – Alarm goes off
Habit – get my clothes on and go on a power walk
Reward – Feel fired up because I’ve started the day with some exercise and had time to think
You can actually make this habit easier by setting yourself up the night before – Clothes are ready, podcast downloaded, trainers and headphones by the door. Water and morning supplements are in their usual place so I can take them before I leave the house. Make it less likely to press snooze – just get up and go.
4) Manage Stress, through mindfulness & meditation
People are always a little surprised when I talk about breath-work, personal environments, sleep & stress management
I’m supposed to be the guy that “makes people do stuff until they get in shape
The truth is, it doesn’t work like that
At some point your mental & emotional health (invisible health) markers will become a frustrating glass ceiling
Small obstacles seem like monumental challenges you can’t get past
Changes to what you can see will be restricted by what you don’t
Restricted breath & high pulse rate? – Expect roadblocks doing cardio and likely more serious health issues related to low oxygen levels
Lack of self-belief ? – Forget lifting those heavy weights you need for strength gains and muscle definition
Stressed out ? – Expect neck ache and back pain to get you at some level and stop further progress
Don’t feel a purpose in life? – Expect everything to look grey and your lack of motivation to result in missed workouts and unrestrained eating
To be a truly successful fit -entrepreneur, you need to get everything in flow.
In today’s fast-paced society, effective stress management is more important than ever before.
1. Workplace stress
2. Difficulty sleeping
3. Daily household chores
4. Health concerns
5. Money and financial concerns
Stress comes in many shapes and forms, and can be a result of your social relationships, home life, work, and a number of other overwhelming instances.
The negative effects of stress on your body
When our body’s stress response doesn’t stop firing – which causes our stress hormones to remain elevated for much longer than necessary.
It can cause symptoms such as irritability, agitation, anxiety, depression and insomnia. When this happens, it can have damaging side effects such as:
- Heart problems (including increased risk of heart attacks)
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Rapid breathing
- Sexual dysfunction
- Tense muscles
- Weak immune system
- Weight gain (especially belly fat) poor food choices
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty concentrating
Managing Stress effectively
> Eating a healthy balanced diet
This might seem very obvious, but eating a healthy balanced diet is vital for stress management. Limiting processed foods (which cause a spike in your blood sugar) helps to keep your mood stable throughout the day. You need a wide variety of whole foods (especially fruit and veggies) to ensure that you get all the macro and micronutrients necessary for good health.
Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly helpful when it comes to reducing the symptoms of anxiety.
Drinking green tea, especially Matcha is linked to increased serotonin (the “happy” chemical) levels. Green tea is also packed full of antioxidants, which help to fight disease.
Getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night plays a vital role in our ability to cope with stress
in our daily lives. A good night’s sleep helps to reduce cortisol levels in your body. However, when you’re extremely stressed, your sleep is often interrupted and you can develop sleep disorders such as chronic insomnia – which can worsen the effects of stress.
It becomes a bit of a vicious circle
As well as ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep, exercise also releases endorphins which takes the body into a feel-good mode and releases Serotonin. Low levels of Serotonin are linked to developing depression. A boost in serotonin can mean everything when it comes to remaining motivated and feeling happy.
> Mindfulness and meditation
We often live in the future – playing out conversations in our heads and worrying about ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ – which often never come about.
Mindfulness and meditation are two great ways to help reduce stress. Learning to be mindful and meditate is like learning any other skill – it takes practice. So, if you’re a beginner, don’t judge yourself too harshly if you’re battling to meditate for more than five or ten minutes.
Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. What can you see, smell, touch, taste and hear in your immediate environment? It’s one of the most popular forms of meditation. It’s an easily accessible way to start your meditation journey.
Paying attention to the present helps you enjoy life more and understand yourself better.
> Deep breathing
The most common advice we give each other when someone is stressed or anxious, is “take a deep breath”. Why do we say this? Well, as it turns out, it’s scientifically great advice!
You often hold your breath or take shallow breaths when you’re stressed, lifting mainly the chest and rib cage. Consciously shifting to slow, deep breaths which also move your diaphragm, is a quick way to break the stress cycle. This moves you away from a stress reaction to a relaxation response.
- Sit for 5 mins
- Concentrate on your breath
- If your mind starts to wonder bring it back to your breath.
- Try box breathing – In for 4 hold for 4 out for 4 hold for 4 – repeat
> Meditation Apps
If you’re battling to master any of the above techniques on your own, you can always turn to technology for some help!
Calm and headspace are two of the best.
We hope you have found this useful and most importantly, that you put them into action.
Consistency is key, progress not perfection. Take a stand, start your journey to becoming a fit entrepreneur and make some positive changes for your business, family and most importantly, YOU.