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Everyone knows how important it is to take “fitness” and “health” seriously, VERY few do…

With so many things in life, consistency is key, and exercise is no different. I’m often asked, “how do you find time to exercise”? This is never easy, and unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to make “fitness” easy. Sorry, no silver bullets, just lots of hard work and purposeful time.

What I can tell you is in the 20 years I have learned a few key things that I have found have made a pretty significant difference when trying to stay consistent while being under the pressure of an executive or business entrepreneur (I have done both for a long time).

Key #1 – Don’t be too hard on yourself.

If you’re like me you work hard, darn hard, and you hold yourself to a higher standard. You have pushed yourself in all areas of your life. This is why you’re good at what you do, why you are where you are. This is a good thing, hold yourself to a high standard, and don’t let yourself off the hook when you screw up! I love it. EXCEPT for fitness, the trouble is with something like exercise, the lines are a little more “fuzzy.” There will be days you miss your workout; there will be days you drop the ball OR something legit will have prevented you from your goal. THIS IS LIFE, do not sweat it. Don’t make yourself miserable for the sake of a workout, remember the workout is for you, NOT you for the workout. So when you miss one, just forgive yourself, and move on.

Key #2 – When you miss, don’t miss again.

Ok, so you WILL miss a workout you told yourself you would never miss.
Bad dog, no treat, don’t do it again. How do most people go from working out everyday for a month straight to never working out? (let’s face it this is MOST people). They miss a day. They miss a day, feel bad, so they miss another. Then they feel really bad, maybe a bit depressed, so they miss a few more. Soon it’s not even worth working out they have missed so many. Does this make any sense? No, but often human nature doesn’t. If you miss, DON’T miss again.

Key #3 – When you miss, don’t work extra hard to “catch up.”

So then what, you miss a day, then the next day you work twice as hard to “catch up”. Seriously, did you think your body worked that way? It doesn’t. Or maybe it’s your way of punishing yourself for missing that workout in the first place. THIS IS NUTS. And potentially damaging if you push yourself too hard. Your body ALWAYS needs time to recover, do NOT do twice the workout because you missed one, or even work out five times the intensity because you missed a week! Simply just pick off where you should have been, and if you have missed weeks or months, start over from the beginning. Start again with workouts that make sense and work back up to where you were, and remember to review Key #1.

Key #4 – Consistency

This is so freaking important with exercise! Frankly, consistency is important with just about every area of business and life, weather your parenting, building a company, building your biceps or shedding some pounds. Consistency is so important. You should be working out 5+ days a week if possible. HOWEVER, it’s important you’re not doing the “same” workout every day of the week. Your body needs time to recover.

Your week might look something like;

  • Monday Run 45 min
  • Tuesday Walk 60 Min
  • Wednesday Lift Weights (focus on lower body)
  • Thursday Intervals 20 Min
  • Thursday Lift Weights (focus on upper body)
  • Friday Walk 60 min
  • Saturday Run 45 min
  • Sunday Walk 45 min or nothing.

The above is my current workout regimen, but yours could be different, talk with your doctor or fitness pro to find what’s right for you, but at the end of the day, consistency is important. Walking days are great for getting fresh air, to clear your head, and getting the heart moving, this also gives rest to the muscle groups from more intense workouts.

Key #5 – Travel is NOT an excuse

Look I get it, you’re on the road a lot. I have had periods of my life where traveling every week was the normal thing. This is part of life for many of us. Just because you woke up in New York, had a dinner meeting in Denver, and took the red eye to London, doesn’t mean you don’t’ have time to get your blood pumping.

I have developed workout plans that fit within a travel schedule; it can be done. There are also sites such as http://fit2b.com that allow you to workout from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, so MAKE it work. Travel is NOT an excuse.

Key #6 – Don’t over complicate things

You don’t need a fancy gym. You don’t need a ton of equipment, a home gym, treadmill, and row machine. You need you, a plan, and consistency. That’s it. There are lots of great options out there for online fitness, and lots of great options out there for workouts that require nothing more than 20 min and your body. Find what works, and STICK WITH IT.

Key #7 – See Key #1

Look this stuff is kinda hard. Why? Because it’s not all that fun. I mean some people love it, but they are the wackjobs that love getting up at 4 am to run in the freezing rain in January. I’m guessing you’re NOT “one of those” if your reading this in the first place. I’ll just assume you’re like most of us and think that exercise for the most part sucks. I’m here to tell you, too bad, get over it, get your gym cloths on and start doing it. When you miss a workout, and you will, DON’T beat yourself up, just pick it up again the next stay. Six months from now, if you do, you will thank yourself, as you feel better and look better.

In the end, you have only yourself to blame if you don’t take fitness and your health seriously, you can’t pin this on anyone else, so get out there, and get it done!

Onward

~Chris Behnke


Christopher Behnke, Chris BehnkeChris Behnke

http://chrisbehnke.info

Entrepreneur, Advisor, Author, & Pilot who loves business getting outside the box & inventing new ways of doing the impossible.

 

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3 thoughts on “Executives Guide – Exercise, The 7 keys for success

  1. Stacy Wallace says:

    I love this. I think every day is in excess. Balanced with meditation or yoga might help. I love the concept of remembering how exercise makes us feel – lowers stress, mentally happier, joyful and limit the attention we give to the physical consequences of exercise.

    I would say weight is not the most important part of health and exercise should be about many other benefits before weight. If we focus on weight instead of the mental, social benefit of exercise, it makes commitment to exercise more difficult. Look for intrinsic motivators before waiting for the extrinsic ones to come.

    Great article

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