I’ve never met a solopreneur who didn’t have a busy schedule. Even if you contract out some of your job functions—such as those related to bookkeeping or marketing, for instance—running a one-person business often requires putting in well beyond the eight hours a day one might experience while working for someone else.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much room for exercise. It also makes it that much easier to talk yourself out of working out. But not taking the time to tend to your fitness doesn’t just affect your physical health. It can also impact your performance within your business.
The Connection Between Fitness and Business Performance
“Speaking from my own personal experience, someone’s personal level of fitness can greatly affect them mentally and physically in business,” says Jay Perkins, co-founder of Living.Fit. Living.Fit is an online fitness hub that offers users access to fitness equipment, digital workout plans, and certain fitness certifications so they can become the best version of themselves.
“As someone who went through a period of time in which I did not prioritize fitness and nutrition, I can say I always felt tired during the day, did not have focus, and felt stuck in a rut,” says Perkins. “Taking the steps to get in better shape changed that completely for me.” In addition to feeling better mentally, the tiredness and fatigue faded away.
“I had more stamina to keep working each day and perform at a high level,” Perkins adds. “It is anecdotal, but when I was in software sales, I felt that I was more capable of staying focused for longer and working longer periods of time than coworkers I knew who were eating processed meals and taking cigarette breaks.”
“Mental and physical fitness are inextricably connected,” affirms Aaron Guyett, CSCS, Director of Education at Living.Fit. But how?
“If you introduce the small ‘microdoses’ of stress from a physical fitness program (even as small as ten minutes per day), I am also creating mental toughness, resilience, and discipline,” says Guyett. This not only helps build more physical strength, endurance, mobility, and movement variability, but the mind enjoys the same effects.
“This happens because the brain is evolved to improve our movement capacity and performance,” says Guyett, “and the body’s movement capacity and performance enhance the cognitive capacity and performance of the brain.
Even if you recognize how exercise could help you be a better business person, you may still not make regular physical activity a priority. If this is the case, you certainly aren’t alone.
Most Common Fitness Challenges
“The most common reason people don’t take time to exercise is because their schedule is filled with habits and routines that do not have exercise,” shares Guyett. The fix for this involves developing new habits that do include exercise, then stacking these habits to create a healthier, more active lifestyle.
In Perkins experience, a lack of knowledge also inhibits the creation of a regular fitness routine. “If you feel like you don’t even know where to start while fueling your body will poor nutrition, I think it quite literally affects your decision making and the amount of bandwidth you believe you have to devote to this,” says Perkins. “It is like a spiraling effect, similar to if you put bad gas in a car. Eventually, it will seize up and stop working. I think of us the same way.”
Perkins goes on to add, “If we are not fueling our body correctly [through proper nutrition], we come to believe we simply don’t have the time, which is your body telling you it does not have the energy.” Yet, this isn’t reality. “Everyone has 10 minutes to simply get started each day,” says Perkins.
During these 10 minutes, Perkins recommends that you take the time to learn about nutrition so you know what to put in your body to give it the energy it needs. You can also use this time to do a short workout plan, like Living.Fit’s 10 Minutes to Transform.
The Importance of Developing the Right Mindset
If you’re ready to start your fitness journey, it’s important that you have the right mindset. This mindset will help seal your commitment to getting and staying in shape. It will also stop you from making excuses that prevent you from working out. Instead, exercise isn’t an option. It’s a must. How do you create this mindset?
The key is for people to get “motivated, inspired, or educated into making fitness a priority in their lives,” says Guyett. This includes making sure you have access to a variety of “programs, entertainment, interviews, social media, emails, and educational courses,” Guyett says, adding that all these are part of a Living.Fit membership.
It’s also important to start small. As your fitness increases, you also increase your exercise program. This enables your body to progress from one fitness level to the next in a methodical way.
It’s also beneficial to surround yourself with like-minded people. “Join a community of people who are in similar positions and all rooting for each other,” suggests Perkins. For example, Living.Fit offers a Facebook group where people can connect with others. “Seeing people who are in similar situations, who share what they are experiencing, answering each other’s questions and encouraging each other is important,” says Perkins.
How Does Living.Fit Help?
If you want some help developing and sticking to a fitness routine, Living.Fit wants to help. “One of the unique things about Living.Fit is we create different forms of media to help you get started,” says Perkins. “We have podcasts that discuss fitness. You listen to these during your commute. This is an important building block to help you think the correct way about how to get started.”
“After that, you just need a little bit of knowledge and guidance,” Perkins says. “The Nutrition Kickstart Program walks you through the first 30 days of eating better, with recipe ideas and knowledge. Workout plans like 10 Minutes to Transform will help you get started incrementally. Or you can start with something a bit more challenging like a kettlebell, dumbbell, or resistance workout.”
“We are here to help,” Perkins stresses. “We have a staff of highly accredited trainers who can answer your questions to get started via email or in our Facebook group.”
”Most people think of fitness in a way that is completely different from their current lifestyle,” adds Guyett, “and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fitness can be as small as adjusting one or two habits that take less than ten minutes per day, and they will soon realize these small adjustments in habit lead to incredible transformation in many areas in life—including financial, mental, and physical.” In short, working on your fitness also makes you better in business.