Beverly Hills is sleepy and sunny on an early Saturday morning as I make my way to the Physique 57 studio for a class. The area, notorious for its shopping and restaurants, is virtually empty with exception to a few early risers ducking into the Rite Aid pharmacy or Jack and Jill's for breakfast. There's so much street parking its as if you're in another part of the globe. I hop out and hurry into the tiny brick building that hosts the studio. The latest hot trend in fitness, Physique 57 classes combine strengthening exercises with stretching. Without a doubt, the classes are popular. The room is packed as more than a dozen sleepy-eyed women file in -- mind you this is at 10am.
What hooked me, however, weren't the classes but the DVDs Physique also offers. As a serial entrepreneur with a two-year old startup, I'm not always able to get to the gym, am on travel, etc. I keep the DVD that tones your booty in my laptop's player for this very reason. In 30 minutes, no matter where I am, I can sneak a work out in.
It's all been part of an effort to rebuild health and fitness in my life this year -- two things that can inevitably go by the wayside (and very easily at that) when you are in business. It doesn't matter if you're a serial entrepreneur, a high level executive, or climbing the ranks as an intern or entry level - chances are if you have a career or work of any type, you're busy.
Often the first things that are sacrificed are related to your health -- a good night's sleep, exercise and especially, healthy eating. Having traveled more than 45 times a year for almost ten years of my early adult life, all entirely for business, who hasn't had their share of airport meals, snacks on the go and late night room service because your flight was delayed?
"As women, we're so busy taking care of our families and our work responsibilities, that sleep is often the first thing to go," said celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu as we chatted via email this past week. "However, research shows that lack of sleep can be harmful to our bodies both on the outside as well as the inside."
I can believe it. During the first two years of my now-second startup, 9, I had expanded into a new industry and the work and stress in my life seemed to double, event triple. I barely slept. I hardly had time to work out, and was not eating well. Absolutely, every part of my body noticed it. I saw it in my skin, my energy, everywhere.
I am sure that most women with careers or companies can surely relate. If there is one thing that today's new modern women entrepreneurs and executives don't have its time. We're busy, we're juggling a lot and there are just not enough hours in the day.
But, as it turns out, you can have it all -- and that includes good health and fitness while you own a startup or have a jamming, crazy career. It might take a little more strategy and careful thought, but its easier than you think.
For example, Dr. Wu's new book, "Feed Your Face," is helping me to learn how to leverage eating and diet for all around better health and it turns out, it's super simple. All you've got to do is adjust a few small things like having spinach during that client dinner instead of a potato. Just the same, fitness classes and fitness DVDs, like the Physique 57 series I keep in my laptop, can help you get a work out when you never thought it possible. When my days are crazy busy, even 10 minutes helps and it's manageable with my schedule.
To help make it easier to slip in and out of workouts at the gym, I invested in a great gym bag that can double as an overnight from Lululemon, along with a few easy workout pieces that make getting dressed faster. Believe it or not, making my bed as comfortable as possible has helped me get a better night's sleep. I took a page out of the notebook of my then-boyfriend and added a mattress pad, researched to identify the right kind of pillow, and invested in new sheets, etc. My chronic, business/stress induced insomnia has been cut in half. In fact, I started sleeping so often it took a while to adjust to the extra rest.
And guess what! That glass of wine you might have with dinner can actually help your skin. Dr. Wu says that wine is full of antioxidants that can do just that.
If there's one thing I've noticed among the women entrepreneurs and executives I've met and know, it's that they want big lives, in every area of life. When it comes to health and fitness, don't get discouraged when the traditional routes don't work. All it takes is a little strategy on your part, and happily, there are more resources and tools to do it than ever.