Any work environment can be taxing on the human body. I consider myself an elite athlete, having excelled at soccer and football in high school before taking on bodybuilding. When I moved to Miami, I realized first hand how the temptations of the Florida lifestyle can take time away from fitness and nutrition.
As I grew my Marketing Company and started to become more active in networking events, social functions, and business travel, I found out first hand how hard it was to keep a healthy lifestyle while being at the mercy of associates making Happy Hour plans in addition to four course dinners. Where does the caloric intake stop? When do I ever have time to work out?
I recently caught up with Tim Schmidt, President and Founder of SkinPro. We spoke about the toll that travel takes on the human body, as well as the adjustments he’s made over the years to help him remain physically active no matter where life and work takes him. He agreed to share his insights exclusively with the skin care industry in a special guest post today.
How Entrepreneurs Stay Healthy Through Hectic Business Schedules
by Tim Schmidt
First and foremost, I want to say that where I am today in life and health is nowhere near it was when I founded SkinPro almost ten years ago, and that’s a very good thing. When I founded the company, overall health wasn’t anything I took much time to think about. In fact, if I did one activity per week, I thought I was “doing just fine.” I had played team sports through college and it was rare that I didn’t have a practice, game, or other physical activity, so I really don’t know why when I got out of college I just thought it was okay to stop being active. Perhaps the move from Minnesota to South Florida just distracted me and my new career and surroundings were just too much for me?
Looking back on the long hours I put in building SkinPro, it’s no wonder I was always burnt
out and looking forward to the weekend. I wasn’t generating any positive energy because all I did was sit on a computer, work, go to meetings, and be on long calls with vendors. I really didn’t have much time for breaks, but let’s face it, we can all find an hour in our day to do something healthy. A walk, lifting weights, playing a sport, or a group class is always within your reach no matter where you live.
As they famously say “age catches up to you.” This is exactly why I founded SkinPro, to help people look younger and feel better about themselves at any age. For every person “not worried” about their health who hovers around age thirty, trust me, it catches up with you. It’s best to get ahead of the eventual decline in health and mobility before it’s too late. It only gets harder as you become older. While I entirely regret being very lackadaisical for the better part of my 20’s and early 30’s, I’m happy to say that about three years ago I made a cognizant effort to change my habits entirely.
Lumbering around at 212 pounds at my sub 6 foot height was not a good look for the face of an anti aging company, let alone becoming a public figure and speaking in front of as many as 1,200 people at times. What’s really shocking is that I was recruited to be an anti aging contributor at the Huffington Post and I’m doing everything in my power NOT to age well.
How to Completely Change Your Lifestyle & Mindset Healthwise
As I write this today, my body weight is in the low 180’s and I’m still getting stronger and increasing cardiovascular endurance. My body composition has changed entirely, and while my physique is far from that of Arnold Schwarzenegger, I’m constantly improving and it’s nice not running out of breath playing soccer and basketball with my 11 year old.
Many people have asked me “what sparked this change,” and it’s a very valid question.
I’ll go on record that life is busier than ever. The odds were and are entirely stacked against me to do anything drastic with my lifestyle. I travel more than ever, (East Coast to West Coast) maintain more responsibilities work wise than I’ve ever juggled, and I raise my son all alone with very little help outside of my blood family.
Perhaps moving on from a toxic marriage was the spark I needed. Eventually settling into a new relationship with a health nut who always finds time to work out was definitely the best thing that ever happened to me. Lastly, I saw two of my mentors get into incredible shape right before my eyes. They are both serial entrepreneurs who have multiple kids, travel frequently, who were 47, and 53, respectively. (I was 37.) They did this right before my eyes. The excuse machine was out of credits, I was officially armed with all I needed – energy, visuals, and someone in my corner nudging me.
Steps to Keeping Healthy as an Entrepreneur
The first thing I did was stop making excuses for not having time to work out. I told myself that 6 days per week I’m going to find an hour to do something physically exhausting. I’ll call this “step 1.”
#1: Finding an hour per day to do physical activity.
As an Entrepreneur, I get it, time is money. We all have meetings and events to attend, let alone keep our personal lives intact. If you don’t have time in your day, wake up an hour earlier, and make time. It’s as simple as that. It may be hard at first, but over time it’ll become easier as your sleep patterns adjust and your energy will only become greater.
#2: Find An Activity You are Passionate About
My girlfriend introduced me to Orange Theory Fitness, which I knew existed in my town but I didn’t know anyone that went and raved about it.
At first, I was skeptical. Running on a treadmill? I can do that at a gym or in my neighborhood. (Although clearly, I wasn’t.)
Rowing? Who rows?
The saving grace for me was that 1/3 of the class consists of lifting weights, which is something I really enjoy doing, (but somehow never found time to do). Seeing this, as well as seeing people rally together as a team, doing a class in a group, well, it was motivating.
I did one class, and was hooked. I continue to do Orange Theory Fitness 3-5 times per week.
Entrepreneur Tip: the great thing about Orange Theory is that your membership allows you to use any facility, in any location. In the time I’ve been a member I’ve used a handful of the South Florida locations in addition to locations in Las Vegas, Minnesota, Orlando, and more.
After about 9 months of Orange Theory, I did my first spin class.
“That’s only for women,” I told myself for years.
Wrong. Dead wrong.
I joined the Cycle Bar in Fort Lauderdale and it’s totally my jam. There is a board with statistics, making everyone’s vitals known to the rest of the class. While you can opt out of this feature, it really makes the entire ride not only accountable, but also highly competitive. I’ve done classes with professional football players as well as tri-athletes, and seeing how I stack up against them through hills, sprints, and endurance courses is truly something that gets me mentally stimulated.
I work in 1-2 cycle classes per week.
Entrepreneur Tip: when you travel, don’t assume that you need a membership to a spin studio in order to ride. Many studios offer “drop in” classes for rates as low as $10. Visit Google and type in “spin studio near me” and you will be able to find somewhere to burn calories. The great thing about spinning is that most classes are 30-50 minutes, so you won’t spend a great deal of time there and you’ll get an incredible burn.
#3: Quit Lifestyle Clubs and Get Raw With Your Workout
Perhaps the biggest thing hurting my workouts before I got serious with them was the fact that I was a member of a full fledged health & racquet club. This was something I signed up for when my son wanted to take tennis lessons, but once he quit, I enjoyed the lifestyle that it provided so I kept it as my health club.
The biggest problem with having a health club membership is that I was spending all my time on the nice things they offered and very little doing what I was supposed to be doing – working out.
With a full gourmet restaurant, multiple pools, a bar, a lavish steam and sauna, it was a “who’s who” of Fort Lauderdale. There was very little working out to be done and a lot of talking, relaxing, and just being there without getting much accomplished.
I canceled that expensive, posh membership and joined a grimy, rugged $10 per month gym that had old weights and one vending machine with Gatorade. Believe it or not, this changed my mindset. Instead of being “in the gym” for two hours and doing nothing, I was getting much more done in just 30 minute sessions lifting weights and getting the heck out fo there. People don’t go there to relax, they go there to train, as they should.
Traveler’s Tip: I’ve also had a lot of success in doing “boot camps.” These are normally workouts that combine weights, cardio, and agility work and they are considered HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, the best ones to burn fat.
#4: Fuel Your Day With Clean Foods
As someone who grew up on the Midwest, I have always been a “steak and potatoes” type of guy. Like they say, “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”
Well, as much as I love a ribeye, (rare or blue of course) New York Strip, or any other cut of meat, it was time to cut down on that, as well as add a lot of greens to my diet. I often found myself eating fast food and whatever airport cuisine is fast to consume, (usually junk, although most trends are moving towards a health conscious menu) but since I started incorporating clean food into my diet, I’ve found myself feeling better and having more energy.
The fact is, it’s so easy to grab a deep fried empanada and sugar filled Cuban coffee. In South Florida, you can get that anywhere and only waste five minutes of your journey making it to MIA to make an early flight. Since switching to green juices and fresh fruit, I’ve never felt better.
I consider that the easy part. The more difficult part of eating well is when you are at the mercy of whomever started a social event. Often times I’ll be at a social event which is normally a Happy Hour menu. Wings, sliders, beers, and cheese fries are all delicious. I’ve devoured more of those than I can count! However, these have to be avoided. I’ve made the Martini my drink of choice when at these events, and with how strong they are, you won’t find yourself having more than a couple unless you are trying to become intoxicated!
Travel brings many challenges with eating, but the luxury organic food chains have been rapidly expanding. Prior to any travel, find a local Whole Foods. You can eat there for about the same price as eating out, and you have a lot more control over the health contents since it’s normally advertised on the labels. If you find yourself dining in a group of associates, try to skip on the appetizers and stick to a plate of greens and proteins.
Everything builds on top of everything else. What I mean by this is that if you have good habits, they steam roll into other habits. If you eat in moderation, you’ll have more energy and get better sleep. When you do this, your brain won’t tell you “I’m not working out today.” After bad nights of eating horrible food and doing business over cocktails while on business trips I found myself waking up and craving either a bloody mary, a sauna, or if I was in luck – BOTH! This isn’t the way to start your day unless you are on a bachelor party!
Instead of loading my body with beer, which bloats me and makes me tired, I found that a clean vodka (Titos is my preferred brand) is much more friendly on the body. If you really want to be clean, drink it with water. No matter what, I always try to consume at least 75-100 oz of water per day, and even more if I know I’ll be indulging in cocktails in any way, shape, or form.
Next, having a green drink first thing in the morning not only replenishes your body with nutrients it needs to fuel your body throughout the day, but greens such as kale really do a lot for your gut’s health. It’s also low carb, so there is no subsequent spike in blood sugar.
I find that a few glasses of water coupled with a green drink and black coffee is all my body needs to get started. Of course, you can swap out a smoothie of your choice, because the major takeaway here is that we are avoiding the heavy, starchy carbs, and of course, my favorite – the fried Latin delicacies like empanadas and arepas! Another bonus is that you can make (or order) and consume these swiftly, as many entrepreneurs are on tight schedules and need to make time to game plan, catch flights, and host meetings.
Not only will you feel great, but you will look great as well. The best way to a flatter stomach is to dial in your nutrition.
#5: Make this Become Your Routine
Most studies say that it takes 21 days to break a habit. Whether you are looking to start a diet plan, a varied sleep schedule, or do something as simple as use a brand new skin product you invested in twice per day, you need to make sure that this mission isn’t just something that happens from time to time, it must become a habit. When you change your mindset and incorporate the four above tips, it becomes more than a “change, ” it becomes your life. I went years without doing any strenuous activities that bettered my health both physically and cardiovascular, and now, if I go three days without some serious physical fitness, I freak out. I went from being the ultimate couch potato and man of work and leisure to someone with a focus on fitness. The best part is that it hasn’t taken a single ounce of fun from my personal life, and when the compliments on my looks come in, I know that everything is “working,” and it’s much more than my skin product of choice, the Bioplacenta Serum (which I use daily, and you should too).
When I travel, which is very often, my alterations to my routine have become very simple over the last 18 months or so of my life.
When in Las Vegas, a City I frequent often for all of the events and conferences they host, instead of using all of my down time to explore, play blackjack, and sight see, I carve out and hour to visit a gym, spin class, Orange Theory, or other boutique gym where I can work up a sweat.
I only get to play blackjack for four hours per day, instead of five. Big deal! LOL.
Another example is when I visit research partners overseas. The first thing I would do when I was setting up meetings was have my assistant find the best steakhouses in town. (Hey, I’m a creature of habit.)
However, I’m now trending towards eating more fresh fish, and I’m finding myself having much more energy to power through the long day and top it off with a dinner meeting – where let’s face it – most business gets done.
As a steak connoisseur, I miss seeing the presentation of the various cuts of steak offered. I miss the marbling, I miss cutting into a rare tomahawk steak and seeing the blood ooze out, but when I finish my snapper with a side of spinach I have more energy to continue talks, or even go out, rather than want to go to bed from the self induced food coma!
Besides, it makes it that much more special when I do get to dive into a black and blue steak!
Traveler’s Tip: Lean on peer review sites for restaurant recommendations. Use sites like OpenTable, Yelp, Oyster.com, and Zagat to find the best rated restaurants in Cities you aren’t entirely familiar with.
While I’m far from a bodybuilder or professional athlete, I’ve kept off over 25 pounds during the the past two plus years and got into the best adult shape of my life. It’s a feat I’m proud of considering SkinPro has kept me very busy. Coupled with an exhaustive personal travel schedule, I wasn’t able to sleep in my own bed for over 175 nights last year, which makes it nearly impossible to get into any routine. However, I have found that following the principles I outlined above made staying fit as an Entrepreneur a million times easier.
Tim can be reached at tim@Skinpro.com for any follow ups or inquiries to this article.