If you want to start your own business, you already know that you’re in for some pretty major changes. For one thing, if you’re like Daymond and a lot of other entrepreneurs out there, you’re probably going to be working two jobs for at least a few months. You might not be working at a restaurant all day and then coming home to sew hats and fill orders like Daymond did with FUBU, but you’re probably looking at some late nights and early mornings as you put together your business plan and move from the idea phase to actually launching your business.

Whether you’re still working a 9:00-5:00 job and building your brand in your off-hours or you’ve already left that world to fully dedicate yourself to your business, you’re going through changes, and that means leaving behind old routines and starting new ones that work better. Along the way, though, it’s not unusual to let a few things slide, especially your workout regimen.

In the first months and years of their businesses’ lives, a lot of entrepreneurs gain some extra padding in their midsections. Daymond has been there, and I bet you have, too. But your fitness is actually a lot more important to the health of your business and your brand than you might think.

HEALTHY BODY, HEALTHY MIND

First of all, if you wake up every morning and go for a walk or a run, hit the gym, or do something else that’s active and healthy, you’re going to see a major difference in your mindset. Also, starting the day off with a healthy breakfast helps kick-start your body and your brain to give you the energy you need to get through the day and stay focused on your goals.

FIT PEOPLE SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT

Let’s talk about how well you sleep and how much it matters to your business. Yes, you’re definitely going to have to put in some extra hours in the evenings and mornings, especially as you get started, and that’s going to mean losing some sleep.

However, the less you sleep at night, the less functional you’ll be during the day. And, if you spend your day sitting in meetings, working at your desk, and making calls, you’re going to tire your brain out but not your body. That’s going to lead to restless sleep, so those short nights are going to feel even shorter, and you’ll be even more exhausted. Just 30 minutes of cardio and/or weight training in the morning or evening can do a lot for how well you sleep, and that’ll give you more productive time during the day when you feel awake and alert.

EXERCISE YOUR COMPETITIVE SIDE

Along with setting your mindset for the day and helping you sleep better at night, being physically fit can also help you be a more competitive entrepreneur. No matter how new and innovative your idea is, you’re going to have competition, and you’re going to have to get comfortable in a competitive environment. Just like anything else, being effectively competitive (e.g., thinking strategically, making the right moves to stay ahead, etc.) takes practice.

Getting into a regular fitness regime can help you get that practice. Whether you’re competing with yourself for a faster 5K or you’re working your way toward bench-pressing 200 pounds, you’re going to follow a consistent program and strategy, and you’re going to be practicing and honing your competitive skills.

Being a successful entrepreneur means more than just having a great idea and getting funding for it. No, you don’t have to be fit to be a great business owner and leader, but it can help a lot in ways you might not have thought of before.

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