The time constraints of running a business mean finding time for a full workout can be difficult. Neeta Oza outlines some simple ways to keep your body and mind in shape.
Being a human can be full-on in itself, especially when you own a business. Whether it’s a small side-hustle or you’re in charge of a rapidly evolving enterprise, time is always of the essence. Task lists, finances and employees need constant monitoring, and before you know it the day has whizzed by.
As someone who works full-time and has her own side-business, I know just how difficult it can be to put wellbeing first. I personally feel that a healthy body, mind and soul will flourish, and a burnt-out version will simply shut down.
I make my routine a daily habit so that it has become second nature to me. If I’m on the move, I know I’m keeping fit in stages throughout the day, which makes me feel good both physically – as I accumulate more energy to keep going – and mentally, as my thought process becomes clearer.
The following tips will help to keep your heart healthy, body toned, thoughts clarified and
step count flourishing.
When: While having your first morning coffee/breakfast/shower.
Why: Deep breathing recharges your body and mind, energising them for the day ahead. This slow inhaling and exhaling calms you, as well as encouraging oxygen levels in your blood to reach their highest potential, resulting in oxygen being smoothly transported from your lungs to the cells and organs of your body. Organs and cells are refreshed and recharged.
Duration: 4 mins
When: On the train/going to meetings/doing food shopping/taking the kids to school.
Why: Carry a moderately heavy rucksack evenly on your back while you’re on the move, to strengthen bones and muscles using the weight of this item – a method called ‘loading your bones’. This enhances fresh bone tissue to form, boosting bone strength and energy levels, toning muscles and reducing the risk of fractures from falls.
Duration: 20 mins
When: As much as possible – on stairs, escalators, around the office/your workspace; try getting off the bus a couple of stops early. Also get up from your desk at least every 60 minutes to gently boost your cardio system and refresh your eyes away from a screen, phone or books.
Why: Walking that little bit faster strengthens your heart as it starts to beat faster. Continued brisk movement can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, simultaneously increasing your step count – aim for 7,000-10,000 per day if you want to challenge yourself. I love step-count monitors as they encourage me to go that extra mile (literally) to get to my desired number.
When: Write how you felt at the end of every day to work towards a sharp thought process.
Why: I anticipate that you will feel good, which is one of the main reasons you want to get and stay fit. It can be truly rewarding to witness how simple steps during your day can help maintain your fitness level while you’re whizzing around.
I personally draw a small box in my diary with the type of exercise and duration that I have completed on the relevant day, and then I highlight this box and feel like I’ve received a gold star! It has made some people laugh, including me, but it’s the little things that make a big difference.
Duration: 1 min
When: For at least 15 minutes before bedtime (slowly working up to 30 minutes). Instead of focusing on the TV, mobile or tablet, opt for washing the dishes, prepping for the next day, a quick stroll around the block, or relaxing/meditating. Some chill-out music or soothing meditation mantras can really help you here.
Why: This is so your brain can properly unwind from all the buzz of your overactive mind, and your hectic task list. It can only take so much! From 10pm to 2am, your body also has a better chance of getting a fantastic night’s sleep (you have to be asleep during this time though, not deep in a box-set), healing you and simply caring for you while you’re (mainly) still for at least six hours out of your full-on 24.
Duration: 15 mins
Neeta Oza is a yoga and Pilates instructor and author of My Fun-Filled Fitness Folio