We’ve all had those days. Or weeks. Or months. Where we thought about it, talked about it and packed the gym kit every morning, but it never happened.
Excuse me – gym?
Working out too often comes last on our priority list – especially in weeks where we can’t remember when we last spoke to our mother.
After a few years of working in demanding jobs and now as an entrepreneur, I’ve found that my mind is only really happy when my body is happy. There are many ingredients to this, eating well, sleeping well, getting the affection one needs, and last but not least a good workout regime. Here are a few tips about how to get one in place, and how to keep up with it when life gets busy.
1 – There are really no excuses
As reader of EDITION F you are probably a busy woman, and chances are that my number 1 workout excuse “I get more work done if I don’t do that work out” has crossed your mind in the past, too.
I had a period in my life where I almost stopped working out completely. At the time I was an Analyst at Goldman Sachs and I didn’t want to be seen as the kid who goes to the gym during work hours and doesn’t get her work done. However, what I found though was that squeezing in a workout, even if it was just 30 or 45 minutes, had a positive effect on my productivity otherwise. It often meant I didn’t grab that afternoon coffee and I would cut out 15 minutes of reading news out of my morning routine because I had already done it on the running machine.
Now as an entrepreneur, I could use every single minute of my day towards getting more work done. But as matter of a fact, on my workout days, I get up earlier and I can concentrate better the rest of the day. For me the opportunity cost of the ‘lost hour’ is more than made up for by my increased productivity – and this is just one of the million benefits of working out.
2 – Find your own mojo
Many voices argue for exercising in the morning. The truth is, it is most important listen to your own body as everyone’s clock is different. If you are a notorious late night worker, the 6:00am exercise alarm will do you more harm than good. I found I’m at my best after a large coffee and crunching out an hour of emails in the morning, because it gives me both energy and piece of mind. Now that I know my mojo, I schedule my day accordingly.
Try out classes, team sports, and individual workouts, and decide for yourself what fits best to you. A routine is good, because it holds you accountable to yourself. My recipe is having a rough routine (~2x running in the morning, 1x yoga, 1x circuits) whilst always mixing it up with different classes and new workouts.
3 – Make it social
Workouts can be social in all areas of your life: With friends, your partner, colleagues and meetings.
Regularly working out with my co-founder brings us closer together, and I’m meeting girlfriends for workout classes instead of brunch all the time. I’ve done meetings over Soul Cycle classes – though admittingly it works better amongst equals, otherwise it can get too competitive.
For the further advanced, Barry’s Bootcamp is a great second date spot.
4 – Treat other cities like your home
It really changed it for me when I started keeping up with my workout regime when I travel. I avoid meetings and social activities during my workout times, even if it means I don’t get to see everyone I should or could see. There is always a next time.
Mindbody app should be on your home screen. Then there is no better way to get to know a city intimately by going for a run, choose the most popular running paths, or explore the hood around you. Runkeeper and Runtastic are a great way to record your newly found routes.
5 – Hotel gyms and workout apps are your best friends
There is really no excuse to avoid a hotel gym. No one will bring a gym closer to the doorstep. If there is no gym to be seen, I use the 7 Minute Workout Challenge app or a YouTube yoga video which allows to squeeze in a workout really whenever and wherever.
If you are a future entrepreneur looking for a business opportunity: Airport gyms & yoga classes (like the Xpress Spa does for manicures and massages) are something desperately needed. Until then, always wear your sneakers when traveling, ready for a sprint wherever you are.