Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Tim Cook.
Can you guess what they all have in common?
If you guessed that they all launched multi-billion dollar companies, you’re correct.
But we want to talk about something else that they all have in common.
They all swear that regular exercise is an integral part of their success.
In fact, in a recent blog post Branson said: “I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life) if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.”
Science backs this idea too. Studies show that regular exercise can improve your mental health, your memory, your energy levels, and make you feel happier overall.
They’re all attractive propositions, and they aren’t just limited to CEO’s – everybody can reap the benefits of regular exercise.
So let’s take an in-depth look at how regular exercise can benefit entrepreneurs across the globe, how you can start building a regular exercise routine for yourself, and which exercises other successful entrepreneurs swear by.
- Exercise Increases Your Energy Levels
- Exercising Increases Your Creativity and Concentration
- Exercise Is Great for Mental Health
- Exercising in The Morning
- Building an Exercise Routine
- Set Your Goals
- Choose Your Workout Times
- Choose Exercises Which Match Your Goals
- Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun
- How Successful Entrepreneurs Exercise
- Tony Robbins
- Richard Branson
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Oprah Winfrey
- Now It’s Your Turn
- Want to Learn More?
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Exercise Increases Your Energy Levels
Trust us – exercise can be even better for increasing your energy levels than that large cup of coffee you have every morning.
Wait, how can that be true?
Well, every time you workout your body releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine.
They might sound fancy, but they’re usually known as “happiness hormones.”
If you’ve ever completed an intense workout and felt fantastic, even though you’re exhausted, you know first-hand what those happiness hormones feel like when they’re rushing through your body.
And it isn’t just happiness you’ll be feeling after you’ve been exercising – you’ll also feel energized and ready to complete more tasks in your day.
It might sound surprising, but exercise actually increases your blood circulation and strengthens your heart muscle. This in turn makes it easier for your body to create energy – a win-win situation for you.
So, if you regularly dedicate some time out of your week to workouts, your body will learn to naturally release more endorphins, faster, which will leave you with more energy to achieve more in your day.
Exercising Increases Your Creativity and Concentration
Turns out that those happiness hormones aren’t just great for increasing your energy levels – they’re also great for getting your creative juices flowing.
Once you’ve finished your workout you’ll be primed to tackle tasks which require creativity, and you’ll have the energy to follow them through to completion.
But it isn’t just after a workout when you’ll notice a spike in creativity – you’ll likely notice that you’re much more focussed during your workouts too.
One little trick which I’ve found helps to take advantage of the heightened focus that I feel during a workout is to bring a notebook with me on my workouts.
This helps me in two ways:
- I can follow my planned exercises and jot down any details that I feel are important about how my body feels each day.
- I have a place to write down any new ideas that I come up with, or scribble down any new strategies that I come up with that could help me conquer the day ahead.
Of course, a notebook isn’t a requirement – I could just take my phone with me to the exercise equipment.
That is, if I didn’t get distracted so easily.
Honestly, I’ve found that bringing my phone with me to fiddle with during the breaks between my exercises is such a productivity killer.
If I take my phone with me I find that my workouts take longer, are less intense, and I’m even less likely to complete everything that I wanted to achieve. None of that is ideal.
Regardless, you’ll experience heightened focus when you workout – make sure you take advantage of it.
Exercise Is Great for Mental Health
Entrepreneurship can be stressful, as can any profession.
The reality is: there will always be a few high-priority tasks that you’ll need to take care of on any given day.
It can be easy to focus on the never-ending flow of work that you’ll need to complete.
And, we’ve already spoken about regular exercise, and the benefits that it can bring your physical health.
But regular exercise can also work wonders for your mental health too – especially when it comes to dealing with stress.
You’ll have an overwhelming sense of wellbeing after you’ve got your heart rate up.
You’ll be able to use exercise as a detachment tactic, and you’ll be able to detach yourself from your daily worries, and focus on something completely different for a little while. Something that you can feel is working towards bettering yourself.
And you’ll be able to take the energy that you’d normally spend worrying about how much work you have, or how well you need to perform, and focus it into improving your health for the future – both mentally and physically.
You can take the energy that you’d normally spend worrying on the work that you need to complete, and focus it into improving your health – mentally and physically.
Exercising in The Morning
Getting up early to make sure I get my workout in eliminates one of the biggest problems that I faced in the past – feeling too tired at the end of the day to even go to the gym.
I know, I know. It’s tough to wake up early.
Waking up even earlier to get a workout in? Unthinkable.
But it’s like the old saying goes: “The early bird gets the worm.”
I used to be a serial end-of-day exerciser, but I’ve never thought about looking back since I switched to morning workouts.
There are a few reasons why I’ve loved the switch, and no, it’s not because I enjoy torturing myself.
First of all, I find that morning workouts really set a great tone for the day.
I once saw a speech from Admiral William McRaven, who spoke about how making your bed is the most important task of your day.
Sure, making your bed every morning might seem trivial, but it really adds consistency to your routine, and it allows you to accomplish something right after you wake up.
I see morning workouts the exact same way, except even more effective. Let me tell you, an hour workout will give you a much greater feeling of accomplishment than making your bed will.
If you’re anything like me, the vast majority of your social commitments and gatherings will occur in the evenings.
Of course, that means you’ll need to choose between a meeting with the pull-up bar, or your friends at your favorite dive bar.
Don’t put yourself in that situation – just get your workout over and done with in the morning.
Building an Exercise Routine
It’s clear that incorporating regular exercise into your routine can benefit you both physically and mentally.
But if you’ve never really been into exercise, or you’ve struggled to stick to a routine in the past, it can be difficult to picture yourself taking advantage of those benefits in the long-term.
Research found that it only takes 66 days to integrate a health and fitness routine into your life.
On the face of it, 66 days might seem like a long time, but let’s break that figure down.
66 days is 18% of your year.
So, if you start a brand new health and fitness routine at the start of January and stick at it, you’ll have integrated it into your life at the start of March.
Imagine how the rest of your year would go if you’ve already made such a positive impact so early on.
When you look at it from that perspective, 66 days really seems like nothing.
But, as with most things in life, the best way to set yourself up for success it to plan in advance.
Let’s take a look at how you can build an exercise routine which works for you.
Set Your Goals
Your first step to building an exercise routine that you can stick to is to come up with a goal that you want to achieve.
Maybe it’s dropping a few pounds, gaining some muscle, or getting fitter for a sport.
Whatever it is – make sure you right it down and stick to it.
Your goal will be your north star – it’ll be the thing that you turn to when you’re searching for motivation.
Choose Your Workout Times
An important part of creating an exercise routine that you can follow consistently is setting aside the times of day when you want to hit the gym.
Find gaps in your schedule which you can dedicate to working out, and try your best to stick to them.
And remember to listen to your body. If you’re not feeling well, or you’re tired, maybe it isn’t a good idea to do your full workout.
It is important that you still show up – an incomplete workout is much better than no workout at all.
Choose Exercises Which Match Your Goals
Once you’ve set aside the goals that you want to achieve, and the times when you’re going to work towards them, you’ll need to figure how you’re going to achieve them.
There are plenty of free resources available which can provide you with workout tips and tricks depending on your goals.
Personally, I like watching YouTube videos whenever I’m looking for new exercises (because videos help me to understand the mechanics of the exercise better) or some motivation.
If you’re interested, here are a few of my favorite health & fitness channels:
Of course, these are just my suggestions – feel free to take a look and find ones which you love. There’s plenty of choice out there.
Don’t Be Afraid to Have Fun
The last thing you want when you’re exercising is to feel bored.
That’ll sap your motivation, and hamper your progress.
If you feel like you aren’t enjoying your workouts, try to switch up the exercises.
You can also try working out with a friend, going to a fitness class, or joining a sports team.
There are a lot of options available, so try tinkering with your routine to find what really works for you.
How Successful Entrepreneurs Exercise
We’ve already covered the benefits of exercise, and we’ve pointed you in the right direction for when you want to create your own exercise schedule.
Now, let’s take a look at the exercise routines of some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet.
Award-winning author and entrepreneur Tony Robbins spends just 15 minutes per day on his workouts.
But what they lack in length, they certainly make up for in intensity.
Here’s what he once said when he was introducing his workout routine to somebody:
“You should feel like you’re about to die, but you’re not.”
It’s a tough workout, and it’s not recommended for everybody, but Robbins swears that it’s an integral part of his success.
English entrepreneur Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, incorporates his exercise into his morning routine.
Branson mostly partakes in exercises which increase cardiovascular endurance, like tennis and kitesurfing, and focuses on “having fun.”
And, it’s important to note that he always tries to follow up his workout with a healthy breakfast – something which we believe is integral to a productive morning routine.
Facebook’s CEO is a strong believer of the benefits of exercise in entrepreneurship.
He once said: “Doing anything well requires energy, and you just have a lot more energy when you’re fit.”
He tries to get in at least three workouts per week, and usually opts for running sessions with his dog, Beast.
Oprah Winfrey is another entrepreneur who swears by exercise, because she wants to “feel alive.”
Her rule is that she tries to do something every day which helps her to feel active – this commonly translates into yoga sessions, and trying to hit 10,000 step count.
She’s such a workout aficionado, she does interviews while on the treadmill:
Now It’s Your Turn
When it comes to exercising, the key is to find out what works best for your body and your schedule, and forming a habit around it.
If you’re going to build your own workout routine after reading this post, make sure that you do your best to stick at it.
Remember, 66 days is the magic number.
And if you’re struggling with motivation, think back to your goals, consider taking classes, working out with friends, or even hiring a personal trainer to help you along.
I’ll leave you with this quote from successful entrepreneur Josh Steimle:
“If I were to stop exercising because I felt that being a good business owner was a higher priority, then ironically I would end up a worse business owner than I was when it was a lower priority.”
So, now it’s over to you. Do you have any questions? Any exercise tips for other entrepreneurs? Let me know in the comments section below – I read them all.