The life of a young entrepreneur is demanding, time-intensive, and quick. I get that, but don’t let it impact your attention to nutrition and exercise. If you’re going to make your business adhere to the principals of a lean startup, it’s only fair that you lead by example and become a lean entrepreneur.
Now I understand you may not want to dedicate ten hours a week to working out, so here are seven small things you can incorporate into your busy day to keep your mind fresh and your body in sync.
1. Eat well
Fast food is tempting, but it lacks quality. Eating high glycemic foods will fill you up quickly, but cause you to feel incredibly hungry again just as quickly. This deteriorates your body, your time, and your wallet. Plus, as an entrepreneur, you’re continuously representing your brand. Walking into a meeting with giant fast food portions speaks to your character –– cheap and gluttonous.
2. Eat breakfast and snacks
This may seem contradictory to the first point, but the focus here is on your metabolism. Exercise will increase your metabolism, but so will eating!
Now hold on, before you reach for that Ho-Ho, try to pick snacks that are convenient and healthy. Nutrition bars from Clif, Usana, Lara, Kind etc. make great snacks that keep your body churning. Just be sure to stay clear of snacks made with trans-fats.
Products with less than 0.5 grams of trans-fats per serving can legally declare 0 grams on the nutrition label, so be sure to look in the ingredient list for the words “Partially Hydrogenated” as that’s a quick indicator to walk away.
3. Park farther away
Speaking of walking, parking farther may actually save you time and gets your body moving. Ever notice all those gloriously empty spots in the back of the parking lot? Instead of fighting over the front spot, driving around in circles, and waiting for that mom to buckle her child in, just park farther away. You don’t need to break a sweat to make a positive impact on your long term health.
4. Take a stance
Standing burns 34 more calories per hour than sitting, so buy a desk with vertical adjustment, ditch the couch for a dance floor, and save the sitting for a car.
5. Drink boatloads of water
When in doubt, grab bottled water. Water is one thing you can consume all day long and it remains good for you! Plus a cold glass of it just before a meal should make you feel full sooner.
However, if you’re looking for maximum hydration, say after a few too many drinks, I suggest reaching for coconut water. This is my go-to beverage for keeping hydrated and in top mental and physical shape. Plus they come in interesting flavors, including chocolate, if you’re not ready for the plain stuff.
6. Get fresh air
Are you the entrepreneur who’s daily commute is three steps from the bedroom to the desk – or even better, do you just pull your laptop up into bed? Whatever you’re working on, where ever you are, take outside breaks. Trust me. Don’t let yourself stay inside all day.
Humans weren’t designed to flourish under fluorescent lighting and stale air. Get that natural sunlight and the accompanying vitamin D. Plus, spending five minutes walking around will make you more efficient when you get back to the desk (or bed). You’ll make up for those minutes in no time.
7. Couple meetings with ‘athletic’ events
This may be the hardest one on the list, but there are hundreds of activities that involve moving your body… pick one up. As a golfer, I’m sad to see golf losing its place in American business, but for all you non-golfers, this is good news. It means there are more sporting opportunities appropriate for you and your business clients to bond over.
Just find a sport or hobby that involves moving, and a) incorporate that into your social time with friends and family, or b) turn drab meetings into fun events with prospective clients, investors, employees and the like. I’m sure you’ll make a lasting impression.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to make nutrition and exercise a regular and fun part of your day. As said earlier, you don’t need to sweat in order maintain your mental and physical well-being. Be a role model for your lean startup and become a ‘Lean Entrepreneur.’
Brett Bernstein sold Natural Cravings in 2012, worked at Box through their IPO in 2015, and is now the founder of Gatsby, an innovation in influencer marketing. In his spare time he helps his family with Socks For Neuropathy, rides bikes, and loves a good cup of coffee. He continues to use these seven principles every day and welcomes feedback and questions from others in the community.
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