Lets be honest: Living the life of an entrepreneur can take a huge toll on your health. Amid the long days of work and erratic scheduling, its difficult to find time to exercise or plan a healthy meal. However, its incredibly important to make a healthy lifestyle a priority, especially for entrepreneurs. Youll find that your mood, productivity, energy levels, and happiness will all improve as a result.
With that in mind, here are five strategies to get you back on track.
1. Dont be chained to your desk.
Its easy to get stuck at your desk, but its actually a big problem if you dont find a way to watch your diet and activities during the day. Wendy Chant, in a recent contribution to SheKnows, said that sitting all day causes your body to pick up on the wrong kinds of signals.
She says, The body thinks its in an emergency state because of high blood sugar and high cortisol and its thinking something major here, like famine causes the liver to signal the body that more consumed calories should become fat, and that this fat should be stored mostly around the belly as an easy energy resource when the perceived emergency comes.
Changing your diet can help prevent these problems. Chant says nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables are great choices, as are protein shakes and oolong tea.
2. Skip the energy drinks.
Not only are energy drinks harmful to your health, but they can also make you more tired in the long run. While they may seem like a quick pick-me-up at the time, the negative effects can outweigh the positives. James Hamblin says in The Atlantic that the government has gone even further recently to warn people about the dangers. He writes:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, a government behavioral health agency) issued a report that called energy drinks a continuing public health concern. Yes, energy drinks like Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster, Full Throttle, CHARGE!, Neurogasm, Hardcore Energize Bullet, Facedrink, Eruption, Crakshot, Crave, Crunk, DynaPep, Rage Inferno, SLAP, and even good old Venom Death Adder.
Not only that, but Hamblin says energy drinks can have hidden caffeine in the form of guarana. While many energy drinks advertise that they have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, he says they fail to include the caffeine found in this additive. Thats one more reason to skip the energy drinks you could be consuming more caffeine than you think.
3. Stay active during the workday.
Work can be incredibly busy and stressful, but its important to make time for physical activity throughout the day. Joe Barton, CEO of Barton Publishing, offers some great tips on managing the sedentary nature of office work. He says:
Humans werent created to sit motionless for hours in front of a digital screen. When we become sedentary and inactive, problems start to occur. Our eyes become strained, our back and neck get out of whack, and we gain weight.
Thats why Barton recommends taking a physical break every hour for at least five minutes. He says you should get up and walk around, get a drink of water, stretch out, breathe deeply, and do some jumping jacks or push-ups to get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Youll feel energized and itll kick start your metabolism, while releasing endorphins.
4. Make meetings (and phone calls) active.
Chuck Cohn, CEO of Varsity Tutors, tries to take all of his phone calls standing up (or even walking around). Its a great idea because it improves alertness (so you can pay better attention to the call) and helps incorporate physical activity while you work. Cohn also tries to make all of his meetings active. He says:
Many people with whom I work like our accountants and lawyers want to meet with me over lunch at a nice restaurant, which almost always results in an unhealthy meal. Ive started requesting that we grab a coffee instead at a local Starbucks. Once we grab a coffee, we usually just walk around the block while we talk. We both get exercise and get out of the office, and it tends to make the meetings more efficient.
5. Manage your stress levels.
Stress can be the gateway to myriad other problems, including fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Failing to manage this all-too-prevalent component of an entrepreneurs life can lead to some devastating consequences. As Diana Rodriguez wrote in this Everyday Health article, managing stress is just as important as diet and exercise. Rodriguez wrote:
Being busy is sometimes inevitable, but regularly taking on more than you can manage can cause unwanted and unwelcome stress. Tell yourself that its okay to say no to activities at your childs school or to extra projects at work you are not obligated to accept every request made of you. Additionally, dont take on more financial responsibilities such as a new car or a bigger house if you think theyll be a stretch. Being realistic about your finances is an important strategy for managing stress.
Its true that entrepreneurs have some of the worst health habits this happens because our lives can be extraordinarily busy, and we dont have set schedules to accommodate routines, like regular exercise. However, these five tips are great starting points to reducing stress, eating healthier, and getting active. The better your body runs, the better youll be able to run your company.
John Hall is the CEO of Digital Talent Agents, an agency that specializes in helping companies, entrepreneurs and business leaders build their brands by getting quality content published from them in reputable online publications that reach their target markets. Connect with him on Twitter or Google+.
- ^ a recent contribution to SheKnows (www.sheknows.com)
- ^ says in The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com)
- ^ Joe Barton (ideamensch.com)
- ^ Barton Publishing (www.linkedin.com)
- ^ Chuck Cohn (www.mo.com)
- ^ Varsity Tutors (www.varsitytutors.com)
- ^ this Everyday Health article (www.everydayhealth.com)
- ^ John Hall (blogs.forbes.com)
- ^ Digital Talent Agents (www.digitaltalentagents.com)
- ^ Twitter (twitter.com)
- ^ Google+ (plus.google.com)
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