Finding the time to exercise can be a huge challenge for entrepreneurs who are used to working around the clock and wearing lots of hats running their business. However, this doesn’t mean improving their health isn’t important to small business owners. In fact, more business owners (34 percent) chose getting healthy over saving money (19 percent) as their most important personal New Year’s resolution, according to a Manta Small Business Wellness Index report.
But the truth is, New Year’s resolutions are easy to break -- a Franklin Covey report found 77 percent of people who make resolutions won’t reach their goals and 40 percent blame not having enough time. If small-business owners don’t have time to exercise outside of the office, there are lots of alternatives they can do in their office to allow them -- and their employees -- to stay fit and healthy all year long.
Start standing, stop sitting: Set up a standing desk for yourself and encourage your employees to do the same. Standing can help a 160-pound person burn about 150 calories an hour according to Fatsecret – that’s more than 1,000 calories if you stand for eight hours! Standing can also help relieve back pains caused from sitting in front of computers all day and improve posture.
Bring the gym into the office: According to the same Manta report, over 30 percent of small business owners believe the best way to relieve stress is through exercise. So if you typically eat at your desk and work through lunch, try exchanging your usual routine for a walk outside. Once you’ve mastered that routine, expand your lunch-time exercise program to fit your interests and those of your office. Hire a yoga instructor to come into your office once or twice a week, and get the entire office to stretch and learn a new yoga pose. Plus, yoga is a natural stress reducer and could help you and your employees feel happier and more productive to power through the day.
Providing company-wide exercise is not just a great company perk, but something you can use to draw new applicants. Showcase your exercise program on your website (just imagine the great photos of warrior pose). While large corporations may have the resources to offer gym memberships to their employees, you can compete by leveraging lunch-time exercise activities, to bring in more talent.
Talk the talk and walk the walk: It’s a fact: It’s much easier to go for a run or hit the gym when you have an exercise buddy to keep you motivated and make sure you’re working toward your goal. If this doesn't suit your needs, try other approaches like rallying your employees to join a 5K or half marathon. If a race is too time-consuming to train for, there are also a variety of annual charity walks, such as the Relay for Life and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. In addition to staying fit, you’ll boost company morale and give everyone a chance to bond while helping a great cause.
By incorporating exercise programs in your daily work routine and turning them into fun group activities, you are not only getting healthier, you’re also more likely to increase workplace happiness for your employees. It’s a win-win situation, so why not start now?
More From Entrepreneur