Business Strategy · Sales Strategy

Best ideas to build exercise into your daily routine?

Bob Fucci Sales and Revenue Growth, Strategy, Advisor, Speaker

February 2nd, 2016

I'm interested in how people build exercise into their busy days.

I'm a runner so at the beginning of each year I map out 3-4 half marathons and 1-2 marathons and I put them on my calendar.  That helps keep me focused on maintaining goals and to train properly (otherwise I'm apt to roll over on a Saturday morning).  For extra motivation, I tell friends, family, business associates about the upcoming run and how I am raising money for certain causes on Crowd Rise. 

All other ideas are welcome.

Dimitry Rotstein Founder at Miranor

February 2nd, 2016

Here's what I did to incorporate physical exercise into my routine:

I went to a cleaning contractor and got a part-time job (16 hours/week) cleaning apartment buildings and offices that require weekly cleanings. I arranged all these jobs to fall on Mondays or Thursdays. In exchange, I work for my startup on weekends as well, so I still get a full-time job worth of time for the startup. I also picked only the jobs within 4 miles from my house, and convinced myself that I'm too cheap to pay for a bus or to buy a car (sadly, that wasn't too hard :-).

Here's what I get from this arrangement:

1. Steady physical workout (cleaning + walking there and back) that is perfectly sufficient for general health (not for running a marathon, but I could run from work instead of walking - that might do it). I lost 20 pounds after 10 months of doing this without changing eating habits or anything, I sleep much better, and my heart palpitations are gone.

2. I cannot skip this workout at will, because I'm obligated to do the work, or have a very good reason why I can't (or get fired and pay a pretty big fine). So I don't have to force myself at all - the external pressure is sufficient, and I can save all my willpower for the startup (and I do need every ounce of it).

3. Mental health: doing a MEANINGFUL physical work is very fulfilling. You can actually see the results of your work, you can see the world around you changing for the better, becoming cleaner. That's very rewarding, especially for programmers, whose contribution is virtual, not physical, especially in the early stages of the startup when it often feels like you're doing something meaningless, and you have to fight this feeling constantly. A physical, results-oriented, community-beneficial activity is a nice, perhaps even vital break from a startup. Whatever the reasoning, I do feel it - the simple mindless work clears up my head better than anything I've ever tried before (though I've never tried drugs :-).

4. Time well spent: to my own surprise, spending two days per week cleaning doesn't waste time. Since the work doesn't require much brain power, I can do it automatically, while thinking on the startup and other things. I got so many cool ideas while cleaning, that at some point I downloaded a memo app so I could write these ideas down as they come (and they do).

5. Finally, I get paid for this job just enough to cover the apartment rent, which alleviates the financial pressure of an early-stage startup. I think of it as a gym that pays me for my workouts! How cool is that?

Of course, cleaning is not the only option with all the above benefits. There's also construction work, gardening, dog-walking, non-express delivery services, shopping for disabled or old people... you name it. For some of these you can even get community service points.

I think every startup founder or self-employed person should try this method.
If I had time, I'd create a startup around this idea :-)

Jim Bunyan Non-Exec Director at Alhambra Resources Ltd

February 2nd, 2016

Bob, I find having a dog guarantees me exercising every day Additionally, I find it mentally very relaxing. It is that time when some problems are best tackled, particularly round that thorny area of interpersonal relationship. Yours, James Bunyan.

Peggy Kelsey Creative Director at Change Your World-online courses to increase personal and professional productivity

February 4th, 2016

I'm the kind of person who would rather work at my desk or lie down and read a book than exercise, even though I know and my body can feel that it's important. (Love that Dalai Lama quote.) 

What finally worked for me was to get an intention partner. We set our three goals, which may be different goals or amounts but which are equal in difficulty, and check in online on Sunday evenings to share our scores. At the end of the month we meet and the one with the fewest points buys coffee for the other. When we tie, we go for a walk instead. Not wanting to let my partner win has gotten my butt to the gym more than once. 

Adrian Garcia Founding Partner at Carao Ventures

February 2nd, 2016

Swimming at noon for 60 minutes. If you can build it into your schedule and have availability of a pool.

Aaron Vargas

February 2nd, 2016

I'm a former fitness model that used to be very overweight as a child and again struggled with extra weight during peak times of stress in adulthood and while growing first business.  Simply put it all comes down to diet and exercise.  A lot has to do with finding the motivation to stay dedicated to a plan and lifestyle, whether you are doing it for yourself or others.  Though I have a pretty hectic schedule I've learned a couple of routines that work great from home and only take about 45 minutes each day.  That and eating basic healthy foods has helped me stay in shape.    


February 3rd, 2016

I walk 30 minutes four or five days a week, and catch up on various podcasts.

eileen gittins Founder and Executive Chairman at Blurb

February 3rd, 2016

I was routinely eating lunch at my desk -- and one day decided to start walking at least 3x a week for 30 minutes during the lunch break, picking up a cup of soup on my way back into the office. Then I got a Fitbit -- and while initially I was addicted to the data, now I find that its real value to me is that it begs the question, "Have I moved enough yet today?"  The combo play of biofeedback plus routine works for me.

Jessica Magoch Sales doesn't have to be a dirty word. Get more clients without being icky, sleazy, or just plain annoying.

February 2nd, 2016

I've practiced martial arts since I've been 15 and recently came back to it.  It's the best way I find to have an incredible workout that doesn't feel like one, work toward a goal and be recognized for it, and have the accountability of classmates and sensei's to make sure you show up.  Tournaments and belt testing keep it extra exciting so there's always a reason to uplevel.  People are always like, "how do you do all you do AND train for your black belt." The answer is simple. I hate the treadmill! I go at 8pm and my husband gets his alone time with the kids. It's important to have personal goals to strive for outside of business to feel well rounded.

Laura O'Melia Marketing Pro, Entrepreneur, Health & Wellness, Social Butterfly

February 2nd, 2016

It's great to prioritize your health and make the time to always get it done. I also love that you map out your marathon schedule ahead of time. I agree that when you have something to train for or work towards, you are more accountable to doing it, than just leaving it to chance. I work out at home, in my garage. I have a TV and DVD player set up and also use my lap top to stream Beachbody on Demand. This works for me because it doesn't require me to spend time driving to a gym or even put on matching clothes. I can just get it done whenever I am at home. Plus I do intense workouts, like Insanity Max 30, P90X3 or Hammer and Chisel which are all about 30 minute workouts, so that saves time and guarantees I get an effective workout. Pluse be sure to eat clean and stay hydrated. I am training for a tri, so starting swimming practice this week. I'll have to venture out of my garage for that one. Good luck.

Chitra Rajeshwari Executive Director at Avasant Foundation

February 2nd, 2016

First of all congrats on your runs for the year...I too run easily 8-9 races a year which includes 4-5 half marathons. I exercise first thing in the morning I bit the road and/gym at 5-5.15am and get my hour be it is part of my daily activities, just like eating, working and everything else we do everyday..why should exercising be treated differently when it can only do our body good! Making it part of everyday routine is the best way to go!