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Effortless Training: 10 Free Fitness Hacks for Busy Entrepreneurs


Full disclosure: “effortless” might not be entirely accurate. Getting fit requires some work. The problem small business owners face is that so many other things require their time and effort that they don’t have the time or energy to give to wellness. The solution is automating wellness habits by making small things easy. If you adopt one or two of these ten nearly invisible fitness hacks, you’ll find your energy goes up, your weight goes down and your focus improves so you have more time for other goals each day.

  1. Upgrade Your Furniture

Trade in your work station for a standing desk, or your office chair for one of those yoga balls. Even half a work day using one of these options instead of just sitting can burn 200 more calories than you would otherwise. That’s 1,000 calories a week – the equivalent of a 6-pack of non-diet soda.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Rig your standing desk with a stationary bike or treadmill.

  1. Wear a Fitness Bracelet

Much like 80s “hair rock,” these feel a little cheesy until you try them. Fitness bracelets – the brand doesn’t matter – track your activity so you know how many calories you burn over a day. This is good information, but the real value is in how most entrepreneurial types respond to them. Anything you measure is something you’ll be driven to exceed. Fitness bracelets gamify wellness, which is the kind of game everybody wins.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Buy one for everybody in the office, then keep statistics up on a whiteboard. Make it a company-wide contest.

  1. Take Food Selfies

Yes, we’re as tired as you are of that one Facebook buddy who constantly posts his meals. But this piece of advice from business coach and martial arts guru Tom Callos really ups how (and how often) you think about what you eat. Make yourself post photos of everything you eat. Everything. Even when you drive through McDonald’s. When all of your friends get to see what you put in your mouth, you’ll be surprised how much more often you’ll make sure that food is good for you.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Apply this even to snacks and drinks, and enlist a friend to nag you publicly if it looks like you skipped a meal.

  1. Stairs Below Six

A simple concept to get some extra exercise most days. If you enter a building and have an appointment upstairs, you take those stairs for anything below the sixth floor. That’s worth seven times more calories than taking the elevator, and rarely takes significantly more time. While you’re at it, get in the habit of parking two or more blocks from anywhere you drive to add walking time to your daily routines.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Take those stairs at a moderate run.

  1. Take Walking Meetings

Walk laps through your office, in the park or wherever works for you while you discuss the business of the day with your people. This hack wins on two levels. You burn calories during the walk, and walking or standing meetings take significantly less time than meetings taken sitting at a table.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Apply this rule to all meetings, including those on the phone and with clients or vendors.

  1. Chew More

This trick from mindfulness advocates like Thich Nhat Hahn first did the rounds to encourage us to think more about our food, but it turns out the benefits go far beyond that. Chewing more while you eat makes digestion easier, so you get more nutrition out of each bite, and it means you eat less in general because you give your body time to realize it’s full.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Eat alone at lunch every day so you can focus on your food and your fitness.

  1. Don’t Drink Calories

Fitness leaders like Tim Ferriss of and Bill Phillips of have recommended this for decades. It’s a simple rule with strong impact on your calorie intake. No sodas, juices or energy drinks for you – just water, unsweetened teas and coffees. Cutting those calories out of your diet takes a little getting used to, but after a few weeks it’s a health habit you stop even noticing.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Stop drinking during meals. Some research suggests drinking during meals interferes with digestion.

  1. Control Your Food Environment

Eating right is all well and good as a concept, but seems to fall apart the second that one girl at the office brings in cookies for the break room. Though you can’t forbid treats for the entire office, you can make sure your work space and other haunts are clear of snacks and similar temptations. Make it easy to stick to your wellness goals by creating an environment where cheating requires effort.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Bring portioned meals from home every day to regulate exactly what you eat at lunch.

  1. Five Minute Meditation

It turns out meditation is really, really good for you. According to information from the Mayo Clinic, regular meditation reduces stress, improves problem-solving skills and can manage or prevent illnesses ranging from asthma to anxiety to heart disease. Set aside five-minute meditation breaks three or four times per day where you practice sitting meditation, focused visualization, martial arts kata or simple breathing techniques.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Take a meditation retreat once a year to learn more effective techniques and completely remove yourself from the grind of work.

  1. Choose the Other Hotel

You already know to book a hotel with a gym or pool, and to learn a set of body weight exercises for times when that’s not possible. Kick this up a level by booking your hotel a few blocks away from the conference or meeting space. No cheating and taking a cab.

Insane Optional Upgrade: Combine this one with “stairs above six” to turn your morning and evening commute into a reasonably solid workout.


Of course, these aren’t the only fitness hacks you can insert seamlessly into your routine. What tricks, tactics and habits would you like to add to the list? Tell the Kabbage community about them in the comments below.


Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at