6 Secrets to Fitting in Fitness for More Productivity

When I founded my company, Fit Armadillo, four years ago, I knew I had a lot to learn as a new business owner. To minimize my learning curve, I started to study other entrepreneurs, hoping to uncover some of their secrets of success.

What did I find? These successful CEOs and entrepreneurs stressed the importance of daily routines that included fitness to help them increase their productivity.

Richard Branson shared that he achieves “twice as much in a day by keeping fit.” Shark Tank investor and businesswoman, Barbara Corcoran, related that having a personal trainer work with her three times a week is her “ultimate luxury in life.” She said that working out keeps her from going to a shrink, drinking too much, and “clears [her] head, makes [her] feel like [she is] physically able.”

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As a personal trainer starting a fitness company, this was great news! I’d always known the health benefits of fitness and never quite felt like myself when I didn’t work out. However, this was the first time I’d heard multiple people who weren’t in the fitness industry talk about the importance of fitness.

Since then, I’ve made it my mission to spread the word about fitness as a productivity hack. Initially, I did this through a series of video interviews on my blog where female founders shared how and why they fit in fitness. More recently, I published a book, Superwomen Secrets Revealed, that includes even more tips from top female entrepreneurs, CEOs, and other ambitious women who have three things in common:

1. They are very successful. 
2. They have full schedules, but prioritize fitness. 
3. Fitness is NOT their main career!

These women are proof that fitting in fitness adds to one’s productivity!

Want to be two times more productive each day, but haven’t been able to start and stick to a fitness routine?

Below, I share six secrets I’ve learned as a personal trainer and through my talks with other entrepreneurs to help you start and stick to a fitness routine so you can enjoy increased productivity.

Secret #1: Start small

If you find yourself saying you don’t have enough time to commit to a fitness routine, you’re not alone. But you also might be overestimating how much time you need to carve out to enjoy the productivity benefits of moving more.

Instead of trying to make it to an hour long fitness class on the other side of town, focus on starting small.

How small? A 10–15 minute walk is long enough to boost your energy, focus, and creativity.

Try one in the morning in place of your coffee run to save money as well as time, if your coffee shop’s drive-thru line is anything like the one near my house! This tip also works well for part of your lunch break and after dinner. If you can walk for 10 minutes three times a day during the workweek, you’ll enjoy many added health benefits, too!

Secret #2: Reframe

Instead of focusing on working out as something you HAVE to do, something that is just a means to lose weight, something that is selfish, or something that can’t be fun, work to rethink the role of fitness in your life. More on this in secrets #5 and 6.

Secret #3: Enlist support

Making any change in your life is challenging. However, you don’t have to go it alone! Just as I sought out the wisdom of more seasoned entrepreneurs when I started my company, you can and should seek out the wisdom and support of others.

Of course, you could hire a personal trainer, like Barbara Corcoran does to keep her fitness commitment. However, you can also enlist the help of an accountability buddy. Share your goals with your support team and have them check in on you each week.

Find yourself as the first one in your social circle looking to commit to moving more? All of the women who shared their stories in Superwomen Secrets Revealed and on my blog have shared a fitness dare. Accept one and share your process on social media and we’ll cheer you on! Even if you don’t have a copy of the book, you can find the fitness dares on the book’s social media pages (Instagram and Facebook).

Secret #4: Make yourself the priority

While I often hear this from moms, I have plenty of clients who don’t have children who find that their calendars get packed with appointments that put other people first. They feel guilty when they try to make themselves the priority.

But as your flight attendant tells you, you have to put your own oxygen mask on first! You really can’t do a good job of helping anyone else if you put yourself last. Making yourself and fitting in fitness a priority isn’t selfish. Keeping your fitness commitment allows you to be the best version of yourself and better able to help others. I know it’s hard to believe, but I promise you it’s true!

Secret #5: Change things up and make fitness fun

It’s easy to think of a workout as work. Afterall, “work” is part of the word workout! However, you can enjoy more productivity from your workout sessions even they don’t feel like work.

Start to think about your workout time as a time to fit in some adventure.

Sign up for that tap class you’ve been eying. Give indoor cycling a second chance. You might find that when you do, your activity tracker signals that you’ve reached your daily fitness goal a lot sooner than it does on days when you complete more formal workouts.

Secret #6: Know your why

As I alluded to in secret #3, it’s important to reframe your reason for fitting in fitness. More specifically, you want to make your fitness why your BIG why, your reason for getting up in the morning.

If your current reason to work out is to look cute in your skinny jeans or to try to lose 20 lbs before your reunion next month, it’s going to be hard to make fitness a part of your lifestyle.

However, if you focus on moving more to enjoy more focus, energy, creativity and productivity so you can really thrive and reach your personal and professional goals. Well? You’re a whole lot more likely to keep your commitment and enjoy the process. The more specific you are with your why, your reason for fitting in fitness, the more successful you’ll be.

Have you added fitness into your daily routine? I’d love to hear some of your secrets to fitting it in and some of the benefits you’ve been surprised by. Share with a comment to inspire another reader: