When you’re a small business owner, you’re always busy—and when you’re always busy, staying in shape is ridiculously hard. But it’s not impossible. These 9 fitness hacks will help even the busiest among us stay in shape.
1. Keep it simple.
Let’s face it: Some fitness routines are easier than others. If you’re working 24/7, forget about driving to the gym, changing into your swimsuit, swimming laps, showering, drying off and getting dressed again.
Instead, find workouts you can do with minimal equipment in the places you spend most of your time: at home, at work or somewhere in between.
2. Be prepared.
Keep a gym bag with your workout clothes, shoes, weights or exercise bands, and anything else you need to exercise in your office. That way, if the opportunity arises, you’re ready.
3. Walk to work.
I love reading about the daily routines of successful businesspeople, and I’m always amazed how many of those who live in New York City walk to work. This won’t work in every city, so if it’s not practical for you, try walking around work.
Periodically walk around and talk to your employees, take a brisk walk up and down the hall (or, better yet, a couple flights of stairs), or pace back and forth in your office while you’re on the phone. Get a fitness tracker like Fitbit, Jawbone UP or Apple Watch to track your steps—they add up fast.
4. Forget the food—get fit instead.
Meeting clients or colleagues for lunch or dinner is so old hat. Meet them for a workout instead.
There’s a reason so many business meetings take place on the golf course: It gets you moving, but you can still hold a conversation. Depending on your and your colleague’s fitness level, you could also go for a run or bike ride together, hit the gym or play squash or handball. Grab coffee or a smoothie afterwards if you still have more to talk about or need to take notes on what you discussed.
5. Get a standing desk.
Standing desks are a great way to change things up. If you don’t want to stand up at your desk all day long, look for an adjustable model that raises and lowers to suit your needs.
You burn more calories standing than sitting, plus you’ll avoid the hunched shoulders and tight hamstrings that prolonged sitting can cause.
6. Sit on a stability ball.
Balancing on an exercise ball instead of slumping in a desk chair requires a surprising amount of effort from your core, glutes, and legs. It not only firms up your muscles, but also helps keep you alert.
If you’re not quite ready to go full tilt, get a chair to hold the exercise ball, like this one.
7. Get active as a family.
Just because you’ve got a family and a business doesn’t mean fitness has to take a backseat. Instead of sitting on the couch watching Netflix with your family, get outside and get going!
Take a hike, go for a long bike ride, play tennis, shoot hoops—whatever your family enjoys.
Bonus: You’re modeling good behavior for your kids.
8. Try the 7-minute workout.
Popularized in this New York Times article, this workout requires no props except a chair, a wall, and your own body weight. Done in quick succession, the 12 exercises work your muscles and elevate your heart rate in just 7 minutes.
There’s no excuse anymore! You can find the 7- Minute Workout app (plus lots of variations) on iTunes and Google Play.
9. Build workout breaks into your day.
Hey, you’re the boss—there’s no one to stop you from dropping and doing 20 push-ups right in your office or breaking out the yoga moves at your desk. Set a reminder on your phone or computer and take 5 to 10 minutes every hour to do something physical.
Better yet, make it a company-wide break: Have everyone stop what they’re doing and stretch, dance or just jump around for five minutes. You and your employees will be energized and more productive.
Combine several of these fitness hacks, and you’ll find it’s easier than you thought to fit fitness into your day. While they won’t get you ready for the Olympics, these fitness hacks will help keep you in shape to keep your business growing.