As a busy entrepreneur, it's tough to find time to work out when you're bombarded with meetings, phone calls, travel and an irregular schedule. But exercising more frequently has health and energy-boosting benefits, so it's important to get motivated and get moving.
If you need help getting started, here are five simple strategies you can use to stay active during your workday. Bonus: Most require no more than 10 minutes at a time.
Start your day with a 10-minute yoga session.
Waking up half an hour earlier may be a struggle as you press "snooze" on your alarm, but exercising in the morning helps invigorate you for the rest of the day. Robby Berthume practices yoga and meditation before starting his work day as the co-founder and CEO of Bull & Beard, an agency-services company.
"As a part of my morning routine, I incorporate 10 minutes of yoga after 10 minutes of meditation," he says. "Doing some light yoga and stretching first thing in the morning helps me wake up and come to life in a peaceful state of mind, and it combats the back and neck pain I frequently have from sitting so much at my desk or with my laptop."
Take a short walk every hour.
"We're wired to be productive in short bursts, and the longer you attempt to stay focused and engaged, the less productive you are," says Nicole Munoz, the founder and CEO of StartRankingNow, an SEO and marketing company. That's why Munoz takes walks throughout the day to optimize her focus and productivity.
"Take a five- or 10-minute walk every hour or so to clear your head so you come back to your desk refreshed and ready to creatively tackle your workload," she says. "Set a timer for an hour and get up from your desk. Walking can help you find a new, better way to address a project."
Host a daily office-wide workout.
Exercise is an office-wide activity at digital insurance agency Margo, which co-founder Zach Robbins appreciates. "Every day at 3:00 p.m., our office has a team-wide calendar reminder for the workout of the day. Anyone who wants to and is free can participate in 10 to 15 minutes of exercise. It might be abs, squats, yoga, stairs, etc."
Collaborative sessions make daily exercise easier, particularly if you have trouble finding the motivation on your own. "Making it part of our daily schedule and committing to working out together helps everyone get a little exercise in when they'd otherwise be sitting at their desks," says Robbins.
Get out of your chair with a treadmill desk.
Sitting from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. contributes to health problems (such as heart disease and weight gain), so a standing desk is a good solution for otherwise sedentary office workers. Brian David Crane, the founder of CallerSmart, an app that helps users avoid unwanted calls and texts, swears by his treadmill desk that not only gets him on his feet, but keeps him moving as he works.
"My secret is a treadmill desk. It's about six feet high and six inches wide, and has hydraulics and swiveling arms for monitors. It boosts my productivity and ability to innovate," says Crane. "By the end of a workday, I'm ready for a rest. For lunches and other work breaks, I notice that I actually want to sit down - which is a refreshing change from the status quo."
Break up your day with 30-second exercises.
Manick Bhan, the CEO and CTO of the ticket-comparison search engine company Rukkus, encourages sitting on an exercise ball for a few hours in lieu of spending the whole day in a traditional office chair. "In my office, we have a lot of exercise balls around," he says. "Instead of a rolly chair, use one as your seat for a few hours to improve your posture."
But Bhan doesn't need more than 30 seconds to complete additional exercises throughout the day. "After every phone call, do a 30-second wall sit. After every email, crank out a few sit-ups. And if you're feeling super pumped, or want to get pumped up for a meeting you have soon, start pushing out some pushups."