Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Work-Life Balance

+1

Become a Healthy Entrepreneur

Become a Healthy Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur

Myth #2: It’s too late for me to exercise
Reality Check: Research shows that even those in their 90s can build new muscle and improve their speed

Maybe you haven’t exercised since high school gym class or you’ve been away from activity since you’ve launched your business. You’ve spent too many late nights and eaten too many bacon ultimate cheeseburgers. Even if you had the time, it’s too late to do anything about it now, right?

Wrong. In the January 2005 issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers Christian K. Roberts and R. James Barnard tackle this issue head on. “The evidence is overwhelming,” they write, “that physical activity and diet can reduce the risk of developing numerous chronic diseases, including [coronary artery disease], hypertension, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and several forms of cancer, and in many cases in fact reverse existing disease.” And in a 1990 study conducted at the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Massachusetts, researchers looked at the effects of strength training on frail senior adults with an average age of 90. After eight weeks of high-intensity training, the participants averaged strength gains of 174 percent, increased their mid-thigh muscle by 9 percent, and improved their walking speed by 48 percent. The message: It’s never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Myth #3: Exercise isn’t enjoyable
Reality Check: It’s important to find an activity that you like to do-you’ll be much more likely to stick with it.

Jogging is one of the best ways to burn calories and condition your cardiovascular system, so it’s worth trying to see if you like it. But it’s not your only option. As we saw under Myth 1, the body burns calories with any kind of movement. Besides, if you have an aversion for an activity, how long are you going to keep at it, anyway?

The alternatives are many. You can bike outdoors or on a stationary bike; swim; walk; join a dance group; or play tennis or racquetball. Or do them all at different times in your life. Entrepreneur Susan Solovic mixes up her workouts, alternating between the treadmill and the elliptical trainer (where you stand upright and your feet move against resistance in an elliptical pattern). For even more variation, she goes walking outside or does yoga. “I believe in doing a variety of things so I don’t get bored with any one routine,” says Solovic, CEO and chairman of SBTV.com (Small Business Television), an internet-based television network for small businesses. “I think [boredom is] what causes people to fail.”

One of the points of exercise is to enjoy the sheer act of moving your arms, your legs and your whole body-muscles, bones, joints, lungs, heart. You may remember that feeling from childhood-when it didn’t matter if you were in a formal exercise program. Chances are, you just ran around and had fun. And yet you remain a physical person who can find expression in physical action. Movement lets your body revel in that very real aspect of who you are.