Andy Gutowski doesn’t consider himself a fitness nut, but some people might disagree with that assessment. He works out religiously, five days a week, for at least 45 minutes. And if he can’t get to the gym first thing in the morning, which is when he prefers to go, he makes time for it at lunch.
“Even if I just get a 30-minute run, it helps me burn the stress off and gives me energy to refocus again,” he says.
For Gutowski—and also his wife, who just had their third child—fitness has been a way of life for a long time. The 38-year-old marketing executive played soccer at LSU for the club team and was always athletic, though he never considered himself a hard-core athlete. A knee injury on the soccer field led to two knee surgeries, the second of which Gutowski has only recently recovered from.
But even when knee problems prevented him from running, Gutowski made sure his daily workouts included aerobic exercise on a stationary bike or elliptical trainer. These days, he’s able to run again and jogs between three and five miles on the treadmill at the gym or around his neighborhood before hitting the weights. It’s a lifestyle choice and, above all, a stress reliever.
“I enjoy it, and if I don’t get a run in I don’t feel right,” he says. “It’s my time to release some stress and refocus and spend some time on my own.”
Gutowski finds that working out and staying fit also helps him concentrate on his job as managing partner and creative director with the marketing firm Object 9. The company is growing, with 16 employees and revenues in the $3 million range and a new office in Atlanta.
“To me, it clears the cobwebs and clears the mind and gets you focused,” he says. “It’s not convenient and it’s something you have to make the time for, but the benefits are well worth it.”
So committed is Gutowski to a healthy lifestyle that Object 9 now pays for its employees’ health club membership.
“Life shouldn’t be all about work,” he says. “There should be a balance—a little bit of everything.”
That said, Gutowski is planning to ramp up his fitness regime in the coming months. He intends to start playing soccer this spring with some of his former teammates from LSU. He also wants to start training for his first marathon, which he hopes to run before turning 40.