EO Partner Presents: The Business of Exercise

Article by:
Susan Locke, M.D.

Susan Locke, M.D.
Healthnetwork Medical Director

As an entrepreneur, your time is precious. There are only so many hours in the day, and most of them are spent working on or in your business. To be effective in this role, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay in the best shape possible. How can you do that when you’re busy running a company? Build exercise into your day.

The Surgeon General recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. For starters, make it a point to incorporate stretching, muscle strengthening and even short bursts of aerobic exercise into your workday. According to the American Council on Exercise, even 60-second bursts of aerobic exertion can be considered “cardio” if you can get in your target heart rate zone. The simplest way to calculate your target heart rate range is:

  • (220 - age) (.60) = lower end of target heart rate range
  • (220 - age) (.80) = upper end of target heart rate range

Want to burn calories while you work? Try the following for aerobic bursts of exercise:

  • Do jumping jacks for one minute.
  • Run in place for one minute.
  • While seated, pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, and then rapidly tap your feet on the floor for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.
  • Do lunges in your office or in a vacant room.
  • Take the stairs; try two at a time, 5-7 times a day.

Want to do some strength training? Try these office-friendly tips:

  • Do squats while waiting for your computer to load a page.
  • Extend your leg while sitting in your chair and hold for two seconds, then lower your foot, stopping short of the floor; hold for several seconds. Alternate legs and repeat 15 times, each side.
  • Place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your buttocks off the chair. Lower yourself back down, stopping short of the seat, and hold for several seconds. Repeat 15 times.
  • Try pushups from your desk or the floor. Repeat 15 times.

Here are some other helpful exercise tips to consider:

  • Keep resistance bands and small hand weights at your desk.
  • Consider trading in your desk chair for a fitness or stability ball. It will help your balance and tone your core muscles.
  • Park at the far end of the parking lot for a longer walk.
  • If possible, walk down the hall to talk to your co-workers, rather than emailing or speaking on the phone.

Healthnetwork Foundation, an EO partner, is a non-profit whose mission is to improve medicine for all by connecting CEOs with leading hospitals and their doctors to provide the best access to world-class healthcare and increase philanthropic funding for medical research. For more information, contact [email protected].

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