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Stay Fit While Staying Productive

Instead of plunging headlong into the rat race, learn the healthy way of staying productive
By Entrepreneur Staff |
Stay Fit While Staying Productive

“Walang oras” or “I’m too busy” are two phrases constantly uttered by people who are unable to pay attention to their health while in the rat race. But a good businessman knows a good investment when he sees one, and investing in your health may be one of the most safest and the most beneficial investment you could ever do for yourself.

Good investments aside, anything free is always worth a peek. Read on and get free tips on how three busy bees: Andy Leuterio, 30, events director, Elite Multi-Sport Resources; Ani Karina de Leon, 34, Sports Program Manager, coach for running and triathlon; and Robert Alejandro, 45, artist, entrepreneur, sometime host, sometime reporter; manage to keep fit while staying productive.


1. How do you balance between staying fit and productive?

Andy: I keep a loose schedule of workouts built around meetings and obligations. Usually I workout early in the morning or in between meetings. Weekends and 'free days' I put in longer workouts like 4 to 5 hour bike rides or 2 hour long runs.

Ani: I'm quite lucky that part of my work actually entails training. But honestly most of the time it is a juggling act as I have my own personal training to carry out and when I am preparing for a race there is hardly any free time. I do have an iron-clad schedule when you look at my planner, and that is that. The tasks there get done I'd say 90% of the time because of proper organization and discipline. The other 10 % doesn't get done when I am really tired. My health is my priority AND my job.

Robert: It is getting harder and harder! - getting old is SOOOOOO difficult especially when it comes to fitness! I guess my answer is: you have to make it a priority and put in the time and effort- I just came from a short run in UP.

2. What diet advice can you give?

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Andy: Have a regular eating schedule. Avoid getting 'nalipasan ng gutom' because you'll get acidic and your brain won't function 100% anyway. If you're not yet in shape, ask yourself if you really want to be that way when you could be in the best shape of your life with just a little hard work and discipline.

Ani: I go by three things when it comes to nutrition: Quality, Quantity, and Timing. Quality is self explanatory- choose healthier alternatives when you can. Quantity of course should be governed by the number of calories you intend to burn during the day. It's a matter of energy input and output. Timing, because long before a workout complex carbs are ideal. Shortly before and during, it would be simpler carbs. Workouts lasting more than 2 hours may require some protein intake as well. Post workout food should consist of a 4:1 ratio of carbs and protein.

Robert: The more I age, the more I think [diet affecting one’s productivity] is true. I used to eat a planggana full of food at one sitting BUT my metabolism is SO much slower, and stuffing myself makes me heavy and sluggish. So what I do is I eat like a king for breakfast and hardly eat dinner, lessen my rice intake, eat oatmeal almost every breakfast. I eat vegetables at every meal. Even when I eat at fastfood, I try to eat greens. I hated the idea of me being dependent on drugs or vitamins BUT I get sick if I don't take vitamins.

3. What workouts can a busy person incorporate in his schedule?

Andy: Crunches and pushups first thing in the morning. A brisk walk at night, especially if you've got a dog anyway. If you've got an hour, a circuit workout of free weights, core training, and some fast cardio would be great.

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Ani: I always value consistency, and would prefer to have my students work out on a regular basis, a minimum of 3x/wk even if it is just a 30min session, than let's say an hour and a half session once/wk. You have to get used to the movement and the routine. An easy example would be, walk 5min. Stretch. Jog easily 10min. Then maybe a short walk, then do a few minutes of faster paced running, before cooling down. You have to learn how to get out of your comfort zone.

Robert: A run / walk or a swim (if accessible) is good either at the start or the end of the day. I used to be a gym rat but I lost the verve for it. Now I'm trying to go back to running which I think is really more about fitness than "looking great".

4. Do you think staying fit can affect one’s productivity?

Andy: Definitely. Work is very stressful and staying fit provides a good way to vent and think, take a step back and analyze a situation from a different perspective. Too many people chain themselves to work, not realizing they could do themselves a favor by stepping out for a moment, exercising, and using the opportunity to see thru the 'fog of war'.

Ani: Oh yes. Especially in my line of work wherein I find myself waking up on the average of 5am every single day. You've got to have a lot of enthusiasm to do that, haha. And facing my athletes when I am low on energy--not a good idea!

Robert: YES! I have to run around ALL DAY! meetings, checking sites, more meetings, carrying this and that, workshops here and there, shoots - ALL physically tiring!

5. What are your Dos and Dont's when starting a workout?

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Andy: Do start slow and easy. Don't overload or overdo the workouts. It's too easy to overtrain or get sick or injured. Do aim higher as you progress. Do get decent workout clothes so you'll look good and feel good . Do make it a habit to eat well and stay in shape. Above all, Don't ever give up.

Ani: Do set realistic goals. Do train at a venue conveniently located. Do train with a group. Do hire a coach. Do use the proper equipment. Do get enough rest and sleep.

Don't go from ZERO to HERO, which means: Too much too soon, Too hard too soon

Don't smoke and have vices which are counterproductive to your training.

Robert: DO keep it fun, do have expectations, do take vitamins, do maintain the program (hindi ningas cugon), do make it a lifestyle, do create a "spiritual" part of life as well, do consult a physician before beginning.

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