There’s a certain irony to being an entrepreneur in the world of health and fitness. Most who come to be seen as an authority in any particular area have done so because they have developed a lifestyle in which they have a somewhat consistent diet and exercise routine. But the more authoritative you become, the more you’re called upon to travel across the country, and often internationally, to share what you’ve learned. Naturally, that can be disruptive to the regimen you’ve carefully cultivated to get to that point.
So how do you deal with the rigors of an entrepreneurial lifestyle when that doesn’t necessarily work well with your fitness goals? Here are two major tips that have helped me stay on top of the regimen that I consider central to my own health and wellbeing.
Any exercise is better than nothing.
It’s easy when traveling to take a look at your hotel fitness center and declare that it doesn’t have the equipment you need to get a real workout in. That’s not, however, to say that you should skip it and wait until you’re back home to “catch up”. Even the most bare-bones of hotel gyms have enough equipment to help you get a sweat going, and Arnold himself has spoken of the need to improvise rather than skip a workout.
If I can’t access a facility of any sort, I like to revert to a trusty bodyweight exercise routine. If you have enough room to lie down, you have a whole world of options available, from trusty push-ups and sit-ups to pistol squats and triceps dips. There is always an opportunity to work your muscles and get your heart rate up, and no lack of facilities should deter you from burning some calories, even if circumstances aren’t ideal.
When it comes to your diet, be prepared.
Busy schedules, travel, and an almost constant stream of interruptions mean that consistency is a tricky thing for a fitness entrepreneur. There’s rarely a normal nine-to-five, and planning ahead often just means breaking plans later. It’s all too easy to see your lunch “hour” cut down to fifteen minutes, and conclude that you’re justified in making a quick trip to the fast food spot on the corner since your healthy go-to is a ten-minute walk away. You may find yourself ordering in after a long day instead of cooking, and if you eat dinner late your low blood sugar may beg you to add a dessert before you check out.
So how do you work around the challenges of uncertainty? Forward planning is key. There’s a growing movement around meal prepping, a practice popular among health-conscious professionals who can’t be certain of a regular schedule. By preparing a week’s worth of lunches and/or dinners ahead of time, you can be sure of having a nutritious meal at hand no matter what the day throws at you. Consider investing in a slow cooker if you’re particularly strapped for time. You can prepare a week’s protein, vegetables, and grains in one go, then simply store until you need it. You’re less likely to order your second cheat meal of the week or make that trip to the store for a candy bar if you have food already prepared. For days when you’re constantly on the move, you can pick up insulated bags that keep the food from spoiling as you go about your business.