The decision to become an entrepreneur has required me to make major trade-offs in my life.
I’ve moved across the world to launch The Plant Era from Denmark with a great team based in Copenhagen, but have much less time spent with my family and friends back home.
One area of my life which I’ve refused to let suffer is my health and fitness. I inherently believe that having great health is essential to success in entrepreneurship. I’ve always struggled with my immune system, making health extra important for me.
Running a business and the stress on a daily basis takes a giant toll on me, but I find focusing on my health and wellbeing aids it a ton.
Here are my top tips on balancing health and fitness, when you have a demanding life, be it from your career, family, or other situations in your life.
1. Set goals
I’ve always found that having a goal surrounding my fitness helps me a lot more than when I’m not. Everyone is different, but goals are great ways to motivate and lead you in the right direction.
Further, it gives you structure around your diet and fitness, so you know where you’re trying to end up.
Whether your goal is to complete an Ironman, or lose 5 pounds, or increase your bench press, a goal is an excellent way of leading you onto the right path.
The only way to achieve success is through constant working. Having one big workout once a month or week, won’t do anything. You need to be consistent in your fitness regiment and diet. Treat your health as a lifestyle.
Remember your protein for post-workout, eat more greens with your meals, lay off the sugar and processed foods on your non-cheat days. There really is no shortcut when it comes to fitness and nutrition.
A great way that I hold myself accountable with my cardio is booking a set of cycling classes in advance. If I don’t show up, my gym bans me for 14 days from taking them.
But after every class, I feel much better physically. When I was training for an Ironman, I had to have an extremely disciplined schedule given that I was also launching The Plant Era around the same time.
My weeknights were used for shorter training sessions, while Saturday was a nearly all-day session, and Sunday a half-day session.
Make sure that others understand your expectations surrounding your workout schedule and that you are working out and eating clean is non-negotiable. A great way I do this is by booking it all into my work calendar, that way there is no reason for me to be in another meeting or having another work-related excuse.
3. Plan Your Eating
Along with so many others, I struggle a lot with keeping a clean diet. The free snacks at work and occasional desserts presented by friends get me. However, there are certain steps that I take to mitigate these mishaps and keep a clean diet.
I pre-plan when I’m going to cheat and try to have an idea in mind of what I’m going to eat for the day.
When I’m eating super clean, MyFitnessPal is a great way of tracking calories and nutrients which give you total control over your eating. I would highly recommend it, but understand that it takes time.
Another best practice that I take with my eating is keeping a rule that vegetables and fruits are free food. I can eat as much as I want of those foods and try to load up my plate with vegetables at meals.
You’ll see the majority of my plate being vegetables – aim for as much as possible with the vegetables!
4. Rest & Recharge
A key part of staying healthy is understanding your body. If you need a day off, then take it. It’s important to listen to your body to stay injury-free and to ensure you don’t get burned out.
While training for the Ironman, I would take one night off every week or two to watch Netflix, eat pizza and ice-cream. Remember, life is short so be sure to enjoy it!
5. Just do it
The most important piece of advice that I can give is to just do it. Don’t procrastinate, don’t say you’ll do it tomorrow, and don’t even think about it.
When you start thinking about it, is when you’ll probably decide you don’t want to work out, or you don’t want to take your post-workout protein shake, track your food, or eat healthily.
There really is no shortcut to having a healthy and fit body. One needs to stay focused, dedicated, and disciplined in order to accomplish their goals.
About The Author:
Nicholas Orsini is the Founder & CEO of The Plant Era, a Copenhagen based nutrition company aiming to develop the world’s best sports nutrition. He is a finisher in the 2019 Ironman Italy Race, boxed amateur under Buster Douglas, and cycled across America, writing a memoir on the experience, Resilience: How I Stole My Little Brother’s Bike and Ended Up in California. Nicholas was a NASM certified personal trainer from 2013 to 2015.