Getting an A+ in business but taking an F in your own health and wellness?  Let’s face it, to some extent, we have all been there.  It’s not difficult to start a fitness routine but sticking to it is a whole other ballgame.  You know fitness is important for your long-term health (and short term, too) and each week go you in with the intention of starting a new routine, but then something work related takes priority and the first thing we let go of is our fitness regimen.

Running your own business requires a lot of work and more often than not, we prioritize our career and try to cram in as many hours in our day as possible BUT truth be told, in order to succeed and be the best we can be in our career, we need to think about our own health and wellness.

The common misconception of entrepreneurs is that we need to work as many hours as possible and sleep as little as we can, fill our calendars, and yet still, we don’t feel like we are putting in enough.  This couldn’t be further from the truth and making fitness a priority is essential in who you are as a business owner as well as a person.

In order to make fitness a habit, which is the area most entrepreneurs with busy schedules struggle with, I have listed my top 6 tips on how you can make this a lifelong habit and achieve results both inside and outside of the gym:

1. Make workouts short and effective.

Plan your attack before entering in the gym. Plan the time you will be going to the gym, put it in your schedule, have your clothes ready and put your phone on silent.  A great suggestion to making your workouts short yet effective are incorporating your cardio within your workout.  Tabata is an excellent and effective way to accomplish this.

2. Be realistic.

One of the worst things you can do is over commit or put pressure on yourself to do too much at once. It will just end in failure.  Figure out what you can commit to on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis and schedule it in, just like an important meeting.  Once it’s in your calendar you’re less likely to back out or ‘accidentally’ double book yourself.  If it means only hitting the gym 2 days a week, then so be it.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that if that is your reality.

3. Make the most of your weekend.

For some of us, our weekdays are so crammed with work, meetings and conference calls, running errands, taking the kids to soccer practice, and family commitments, we rarely get a moment to breathe let alone trying to fit in a workout. For most, weekends tend to be a time that we take for ourselves and even as an entrepreneur, we all need some personal time.  This is a great time to take advantage of that and get in an early morning workout or run before starting the day with friends or family.

4. Keep it interesting.

Working out in the gym isn’t for everyone and fitness doesn’t have to be either. Figure out what interests you as that will lead to ensuring your habits stick.  Maybe one week you try out some spin classes while the next you add in aerial yoga.  Consider using apps such as Class Pass or Sworkit for that extra motivation and challenge.

5. Hire a coach.

One of the best things that I ever did was hire a fitness coach. This is my one time every day that I get to shut off for an hour, listen to someone else tell me what to do and focus on me.  It enables you to be committed, schedule it in like a meeting, not show up late and be accountable to someone.  Commitment is everything and can help with creating a healthy habit.

6. Plan to stick with it for at least 30 days.

Have you ever wondered why studios offer a 30-day fitness challenge? It’s because it takes about that long to develop a habit. The first week is easy because you’re excited to get started and make a change, but by the second and third week people tend to get bored, lose focus, or get frustrated that they don’t have a supermodel body yet. A 30-day commitment gives you time to see some results and to overcome that ‘hump’ where most people give up. Better yet, go for a 6 or 12 week program.

Working out releases dopamine, the happy hormone, and being in a better mood will make you more successful in all other areas of your life. Follow these tips and make your fitness routine a healthy habit.

Don’t feel bad about not going to the gym, feel great about doing it!Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Nadine is a former accountant turned entrepreneur. She is currently based out of the Cayman Islands building her fitness empire. She is a 9x international magazine cover model and mother of a 4 year old son. She enjoys working with women to transform both their bodies and mind.

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