For the past couple of years, I have been deeply engaged in the topic of how to find time to stay healthy and fit, both while building a career and spending quality time with the family. Let it be said right away; at times it can definitely be a tall order. However, if I should boil down the answer to just one word, it would be “RUN!”
Running can offer a total solution that very few other sports can match:
- You can do it anywhere, anytime (just not right before bedtime)
- It doesn’t cost anything (aside from a pair of running shoes once a year)
- You are outdoors, and that’s a refreshing place to be!
- It’s efficient: just 30 minutes is sufficient, though if you are busy, do it in 12
- Running is social, or at least it can be – I love running with my friends
- If you have a small child, no problem – just buy a baby jogger. Suddenly your spouse will encourage you to run, instead of complaining about you spending time at the gym
- Travelling is no problem, just always have your running shoes with you
- You don’t need to go to a certain place. Just walk out the door, start moving your legs faster, and your exercise has begun!
As an entrepreneur juggling multiple businesses, working with more than 200 team members, and having the need to try my luck as an author, I have been very motivated to find the ideal sport for me. A sport that I could fit into my busy schedule that also wouldn’t be too much at odds with my family life.
Throughout the years I have experimented with karate, badminton, tennis, swimming, bicycling, and table tennis. I even had a go at surfing (Denmark is too cold for that) and climbing (just once!)—But I keep coming back to running because of the efficiency and flexibility. In the long run (hah), I simply can’t consistently show up on a specific day, at a specific time, at a specific place. My running shoes don’t make any of these demands; they just wait for me to grab them whenever the time is right
Running is often accused of being a lonely sport, but with 3 simple steps it doesn’t need to be:
- Have a couple of running mates in your neighborhood who run multiple times a week like yourself. Ask them spontaneously if they want to join
- Use Endomondo to build a network of running friends. You can even give each other challenges and use peptalks to cheer each other on
- Sign up for a competition once a month. That will give you clear goals to strive for, some new and exciting atmospheres, and a place to meet more peers
You can even start a running club in your company. We had that for a while, and it was a blast. Once a year we even participate in a running event for companies called the DHL Relay. It’s great for team building, and it’s definitely a lot healthier than another post-work happy hour.
If “How to stay fit?” is the question, then “Running” is the answer. If you haven’t started already, do it now – it’s never too late. In the research for our book Winning Without Losing, we learned about centenarian marathon runner Fauja Singh. If you have a tendency to make excuses, it would be in your own interest to hear what he has to say.
About the author:
Martin is the author of the international bestseller on work/life balance Winning Without Losing that is out in 30 countries and has won the prestigious “Management Book of the Year” award in 2013. Martin lives in Copenhagen, where he runs 4-5 times a week. Martin has finished 7 marathons and a dozen of half marathons. He’s the founder and CEO of www.pinetribe.com.