Fittest Executive checkup with Dan Paulson

Thirty top-level professionals are competing in the first annual Fittest Executive Challenge, presented by In Business magazine. Who will earn the healthiest marks? Find out at the In Business Expo & Conference (www.madisonbusinessexpo.com) on Oct. 17.

This week, IB checks in with Dan Paulson, CEO of InVision Business Development.

Category: Fittest Executive – Men Under 50

Why are you participating in the Fittest Executive Challenge?
I’m competing for that very reason: It is a challenge. A workout feels less mundane when you are actually working toward something. I also can be rather competitive, so this motivates me.

What else keeps you motivated?
Motivation is remembering what it was like being much heavier. Having difficulty getting around, being tired, snoring, and having other potential health risks are enough to keep me on good behavior. I also have friends who are experiencing health issues, and that is a constant reminder to keep up the good work. Beyond that is the enjoyment of being able to run around with my kids and knowing I am doing by best to be around for them for a long time.

What does your fitness regime look like?
A typical week involves five or six days of workouts. Three days are usually a combination of strength training and cardio while the other three days tend to be cardio only. Cardio workouts are a mixed bag. I do everything from bike riding to jogging. Recently, I have been working on the Insanity Workout as part of the regimen. It has helped with stretching, flexibility, and focusing on my core (something that biking and running don’t always do).

Diet has been a big factor as well. I’m eating less red meat, cheese, and carbs and a lot more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Calorie management is key. I try to eat smaller meals more frequently to help curb hunger, but this can be challenging with a busy schedule.

Over the past few years, my workouts have changed tremendously. In late 2010, I was considerably heavier than I am now. At first, the focus was on calorie management and cardio. I spent many football games watching from a treadmill. In early 2011, I was in great cardio shape but lacked definition, so I got a gym membership and began a weight-training program. Currently, my workout plans balance cardio, weights, and flexibility. Changing it up also keeps it from getting boring.

What are you doing to prepare for your fitness evaluation in August?
My biggest focus is managing my diet. I was already working out, but I knew maintaining a healthy diet would be the most important. Overall, my diet has improved tremendously over the past two years. However, cheese, ice cream, and breads can still be a weakness. Summer is great for fresh fruits and vegetables, so I am taking advantage of that. I spend more time snacking on fruit since it is a healthy alternative to ice cream.

Meet all of the competitors here (http://ibmadison.com/fittest), then vote for your favorite to win the “Readers’ Choice” awards on Twitter @ibmadison #FittestExec.

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