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Startup Fitness Advice from Battle-Hardened Entrepreneurs

Let’s face it: the quality that makes entrepreneurs great is the same one that can turn them into overworked slobs. Most entrepreneurs are driven by an intense passion for one thing or the desire to achieve one goal, be it the creation of the most-loved app in the world or of a fast-growing, sustainable company. Each is a geek at heart who is motivated by rabid fans, the popular girl who wouldn’t look twice at him in high school being on his arm, and the addiction and adrenaline of the rocket ship. If you have a start-up, here are a few tips to keep you and your employees healthy, happy, balanced, and good-looking.

1) Make “downward dog” mandatory: provide free weekly yoga classes to help your employees embrace the value of “Namaste” and remain centered, balanced, and flexible.

2) Develop a running group. People who run together stay together. Get your employees outside and sweating instead of snacking and sitting.

3) Institute recess: in our hectic lives, we lose our sense of play. Encourage your employees to take 15 minutes a day for ping-pong, headstands, pull-ups, mini CrossFit workouts, etc…this is not in place of your normal workout/exercise routine of course.

4) Stock the kitchen with healthy, organic foods to encourage good eating habits.

5) Implement flexible vacation policies so people can take adventurous trips, experience faraway places, and bring back good memories to share. At Factual, we have a “no policy” vacation policy.. so people take the amount of time they need to re-energize and rejuvenate.

6) Provide subsidies to nearby gyms. This also keeps them in the office longer.

7) Make off-sites active: encourage treasure hunts, beach time, group hikes, etc…

8) Encourage laughter— lots of it. I was lucky to be a part of start-ups that inspired me to stay fit and provided me the flexibility to climb mountains, swim oceans, and run ‘til my heart’s content. At Factual, I wanted to recreate that environment and build a healthy family that has the energy, focus, and passion to play together for a long time to come.

Eva Ho is VP Marketing & Operations at Factual. She can be found @eva_ho.

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