Your business is your biggest passion in life; maybe it was even your first love. You’re willing to sacrifice your time and energy to make sure it’s happy and thriving, and usually, that sort of work ethic is an entrepreneur’s most redeeming quality. But when your health starts to take a hit for your career, it’s time to reexamine your priorities.
Keeping your body in great condition is more than a fashion statement; it’s a long-term investment. Healthy habits sharpen focus and boost morale, which means encouraging employees to join you in your quest for health will lead to an ultimate increase in productivity. Most importantly, when you reach your retirement goal, you’ll want to be in great shape so that you can either enjoy your spoils or continue working on the projects you love.
“Easier said than done!” you think. We’ve all been seduced by fast-food billboards winking at us on our commute home, especially when the only other alternative is cooking a time-consuming meal for the family. And during a hectic week, the last thing on your mind is how you’re going to squeeze a two-hour workout into your schedule.
Luckily, business owners can take small, easy steps towards building a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their employees. Here are four tips for getting your business hooked on health:
1. Meditate before or after a long day.
Health isn’t all about diet and exercise. Your mental health is just as important as your physical, and that’s why it’s important to address problems with anxiety or stress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the idea of going to work, try taking fifteen to twenty minutes of quiet time before leaving the house. Focus on a happy image, a motivational phrase, or just listen to the sound of your own breathing.
Alternatively, you can choose to not focus on any one image and instead allow yourself to think of anything that relaxes you.
Check out more meditation techniques that will invigorate you to tackle your business challenges with new energy.
2. Avoid binging at lunch.
You rush out of the house without breakfast, you’re starving all through morning, so by the time lunch arrives, you’re ready to pounce on all the junky foods within your reach. We’ve all been there, but if you binge eat regularly, you make it harder for your body to burn calories.
Keeping your digestive system active by spreading your caloric intake throughout the day can boost your metabolism. That means it’s better to snack between meals than stuff yourself all at once.
The key here is to make sure you’re snacking healthfully. Blueberries are a fun finger food that could even help improve your memory, and nuts are great for scaring away hunger because they’re packed with protein.
Check out more easy snacks like these; they’ll only take a second to grab in the morning, and if you bring a bowl to share, you and your employees will yourselves able to fend off french fries with lunch.
3. Don’t spend your break in a chair.
What’s the harm of sitting? If you do it too much, sitting can cause increased risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes.
When break time rolls around, your first instinct might be to race for the nearest chair (or, if you’re working in an office, staying put and pulling up YouTube). Resist the urge to sit and opt for a speedy workout instead:
Jumping jacks or a sixty second jog in place can get your blood flowing and your heart pumping.
If you’re feeling ambitious, go up and down a stairwell at a brisk pace to really get your heart and lungs working.
Want to work on your muscle strength? Try alternating between reps of squats and push-ups to build up leg and arm muscles.
There are even more great at-work exercises to keep you from getting sedentary, but make sure not to keep them to yourself! Encourage your employees to join you by introducing a daily 2-5 minute break specifically for getting active. After stretching their legs, your employees will be ready to redouble their work efforts.
4. Run (or walk!) a 5K for a good cause.
This one’s a little more time consuming, but if you’re able to devote a weekend morning to running a 5K race, you’ll find the benefits are three-fold.
On top of getting in an excellent workout and supporting a cause that’s important to you, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and expand your network. Getting the word out about your business is always important, and doing so in a fun environment is all the better!
Remember, you shouldn't feel obligated to run the entire 5K; walking gives you great exercise without being harsh on your joints. So leave your competitive side at home and come ready to finish the distance in any way that feels comfortable to you!
Check out Houston’s list of upcoming 5K races and choose one or two that you’d love to support.