From running to surfing
Highly successful people often push themselves both inside and outside the office.
Though it can be difficult to find time to exercise when you’re working around the clock, several tech executives have found techniques, routines, or sports that resonate with them and help them grow.
Here’s a look at what the CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, and others do to stay in shape.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg works out three times a week.
Zuckerberg said in a recent Q&A session on Facebook that he made sure he worked out at least three times a week. Sometimes he even takes his adorable puppy Beast along with him on his runs.
Here’s what Zuckerberg said when Arnold Schwarzenegger asked him about his workout habits:
Staying in shape is very important. Doing anything well requires energy, and you just have a lot more energy when you’re fit … I make sure I work out at least three times a week — usually first thing when I wake up. I also try to take my dog running whenever I can, which has the added bonus of being hilarious because that basically like seeing a mop run.
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman loves to surf.
Woodman, the highest-paid CEO in the United States last year, fell in love with surfing when he was just 8 years old. In college he joined a fraternity located on the beach, and he surfed with his friends multiple times per day. Woodman still loves to surf, and that is reflected in the office environment at GoPro, according to CBS News.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is an avid cricket player.
Cricket is more than just a sport and a hobby for Nadella, who took over as the CEO of Microsoft in 2014. It taught him valuable lessons that influence how he runs Microsoft.
“Growing up in India, my dream as a boy was to play cricket professionally,” he told Geekwire. “The sport had a very rich heritage at my school and I went on to play school and junior cricket as a bowler (right arm off spin). At a certain point, I realized that I had reached my limit and luckily discovered my next passion in engineering and technology!”
Square CEO and interim Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey goes hiking in his spare time.
Dorsey has an intense schedule. He sticks to a rigid routine that amounts to an 80-hour workweek, as CNN Money reported back in 2011.
But he takes Saturdays off, which is when he finds the time to squeeze in some physical activity. He goes hiking on Saturdays, while Sundays are for “reflection, feedback, and strategy.”
Sebastian Thrun, the former Googler credited with building the company’s “moonshot” factory, is a dedicated cyclist.
Thrun, who now leads his own education company called Udacity, is an avid road cyclist who regularly completes 100-mile bike rides, according to Fast Company. He also snowboards and kite-surfs, and he has run half a dozen marathons.
Google cofounder Sergey Brin is an adrenaline junkie.
Brin, who now serves as the president of Google’s new parent company, Alphabet, is a daredevil at heart. Gymnastics, high-flying trapeze, springboard diving, ultimate Frisbee, and hockey are just a few of Brin’s favorite hobbies. Brin tried out many of these sports when he studied at Stanford, where he met fellow Google cofounder Larry Page. He has been known to bring Googlers to athletic complexes that offer these types of activities for team bonding experiences.
Billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban gets at least an hour of cardio per day.
Cuban, a regular host on the ABC reality show “Shark Tank” who owns the Dallas Mavericks, incorporates cardio workouts into his everyday routine. He told The Dallas Morning News:
I try to do cardio for at least an hour, six or seven days a week, knowing I’ll miss a day or two now and then because of travel. I do elliptical and the stair gauntlet; play basketball; and take kickboxing and Latin fusion aerobic classes at Lifetime Fitness.
Former Cisco CEO John Chambers runs 2 to 4 miles almost every day.
Chambers, who served as the CEO of Cisco for 20 years until last month, described how running helped him unwind when speaking with The Wall Street Journal:
I jog to … stay in shape, but also because I like to eat. For the first part I think of something personal or in business that’s on my mind, and for the last part I just enjoy it.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is in the gym at 5 a.m. every morning.
Cook is a self-described fitness nut, as Adam Lashinsky wrote in his profile of Cook for Fortune earlier this year. He wakes up around 4:30 or 5 a.m. daily to get to the gym several times a week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk exercises about twice a week.
When you work nearly 100 hours each week, finding time to exercise can be really difficult. But Musk says he finds time once or twice a week to squeeze in a cardio workout on the treadmill and lift weights, according to Auto Bild TV.
Alexa von Tobel, CEO of LearnVest, goes to the gym almost every day and brings coworkers with her.
In LearnVest’s early days, von Tobel focused so much on her business that she didn’t go to the gym or visit the doctor regularly. But now she goes to the gym almost every day.
“I’m healthier, I’m happier, I sleep better. And all of that is important,” she told Business Insider in a previous interview. “When my life is better, my company is better.”
Sometimes she brings coworkers along with her for a meeting.
“I do my workouts in the morning, and often I’ll take someone from my team,” she told Fast Company. “The person I’m meeting with can pick the class, whether it’s a spin or barre class, or going for a power walk. It’s hard to run and talk — I haven’t mastered that yet.”
Mint.com founder Aaron Patzer runs and lifts weights.
Aaron Patzer believes physical activity is crucial to being successful.
“You cannot work 14 hour days without getting a good workout in as a break,” he told Men’s Health.
In addition to lifting weights, running, and rock climbing, Patzer also loves climbing trees, which he has been doing since age 3.
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