Woman Stretching on BeachI don’t think I could run my business as well as I do if I didn’t keep my body and mind in shape. I’ve always been drawn to physical activity, and I’ve noticed a correlation between staying in shape and having less stress in running my business.

What about you? Do you notice that when you’re not exercising, running your business gets harder? Do you crave a run (or dance class, walk, bootcamp class, or whatever) when you’re stressed at work? Here are some tips to get a great bill of health in both your business and your body.

Make Time for You

It’s soooo easy to push ourselves to the bottom of a very long list of things to do. Kids, spouses, and our businesses often come first. But do you notice that when you don’t take care of yourself, the rest suffer?

It’s kind of like when you’re on a plane and they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first in case of emergency. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.

So this year, I encourage you to put yourself at the top of the list. Block off time on your calendar for an exercise class or a walk. Consider it a non-negotiable part of your schedule.

Find What You Enjoy

I know a lot of people who didn’t enjoy team sports as kids who rediscover physical activity as adults when they stumble upon something that resonates with them, like yoga or running. If you don’t get excited about the idea of exercise, try some new things to find what you will enjoy.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Take a golf lesson
  • Drop into a new exercise class
  • Ask a buddy to walk or run with you
  • Take a family fitness class with your kids

Turn to Exercise in Times of Stress

You’ll have ups and downs with your business, so make sure you deal with that stress in a healthy way rather than bingeing on Ben & Jerry’s. After a hard day, even a 10-minute walk can reduce stress levels and get your head refocused on what matters.

Give Yourself a Break

Whenever I’m on a roll and exercising regularly, and then something like illness or travel disrupts my routine, I always feel let down. But now I’m practicing self-compassion and I cut myself some slack. Life happens, and you won’t be able to maintain a steady cadence of working out 100% of the time. That’s okay. Just pick up when you are able and move forward from there.

Maintaining a healthy (and sexy) body will pay off in dividends in surprising ways, including making it easier to run your business with less stress!

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