Entrepreneurs face a lot of problems, but running a business is the least of them.
Their biggest enemy is staying healthy in the face of too much in the way of junk food, carbonated beverages with lots of sugar, poor lifestyle choices, and remaining immobile for long hours on end. It is common for budding entrepreneurs to pump several hours into work without respite, and stay glued to their chairs.
This behaviour inevitably takes its toll on the human body, and the result is a tired, depressed and often ill entrepreneur.
These observations are of course backed up by dozens of studies which reveal that a sedentary lifestyle is equivalent and sometimes, worse than smoking. This explains why many entrepreneurs remain unhealthy even if their diet is healthy enough.
Unfortunately, our words of caution fall on deaf ears as many entrepreneurs continue to ignore their health in efforts to scale up their businesses. The startup community isn’t doing much to oppose sedentary lifestyles either, placing utmost emphasis on unrelenting entrepreneurs that work their bodies to the bone.
Studies reveal that successful entrepreneurs make healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating more fruits and vegetables, working out in the gym, and being more responsible at work. Entrepreneurs who want to boost their overall health should consider adopting the following habits.
Basics to Being a More Productive Entrepreneur
Spending One Hour on the Outside
While the majority of your time will be spent working, it is a good idea to spend an hour or two outside every day. The fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D are good for your health. If nothing else, just walk around the neighbourhood a couple of times if you can’t get yourself to move too far from responsibilities. Who knows you might find solutions to several issues at work by just taking a stroll in nature.
Improving Your Diet
What you put into your body plays a pivotal role in keeping you healthy and strong. In order to perform at your peak levels, you need to have a diet that combines natural and unprocessed ingredients that are nutritionally balanced. If possible, try to get organic variants of meats, vegetables, and spices. If you don’t know where to start, a good place to begin your search for organic whole foods is search engines. Just type in ‘organic food in my area,’ and you will see dozens of results come up.
Scheduling Your Eating Times
To maintain a healthy weight, boost your energy levels, and develop a positive outlook on life, it is important to set fixed eating times and eat healthy foods. A good strategy would be to eat right after you wake up and establish a strict schedule for eating times. This way, you won’t be distracted by junk food that comes knocking on the door intermittently.
Fixing Bad Body Posture
Many people, especially entrepreneurs, are in the habit of sitting for several hours on end without any movement. This isn’t good for your body’s posture which tends to get distorted due to muscular imbalances. To compensate for these distortions, the head stoops forward, causing undue strain on the neck and upper back.
While sitting for a long stretch cannot be helped by busy entrepreneurs, they can always correct their posture. Start by sitting with your back straight, shoulders facing back, keeping both knees at a right angle, and shifting sitting positions every 30 minutes or so. Repeating this behavior in frequent intervals will integrate the correct sitting posture into your muscle memory.
Did you know that the correct posture also helps you breathe easy? It eases the tension in your muscles, allowing more oxygen to enter into your system. Make sure to take deeper breaths, which can activate the parasympathetic nervous system to lower stress hormone levels and stimulate the process of recovery.
Get Up and Open a Window
Sitting in a tight enclosure has a big impact on your health. And entrepreneurs are in the obscure habit of spending quite a bit of time indoors navigating through complex charts and reading growth metrics.
Here’s the interesting part. Research says that opening a window – or any outlet to the outside world, may facilitate the growth of healthy gut microbes. The increase in microbes goes a long way toward addressing immune deficiency disorders, low metabolism rates, and digestive issues.
Making a Sleep Schedule, and Sticking to It
The haphazard world of an entrepreneur doesn’t operate by normal rules. Any time of day can be work hour, and just as easily, sleep hour. Having irregular working hours isn’t good for your health, and it doesn’t accomplish positive results. Research has shown, in concurrence with common sense, that sleeping for eight hours a day is beneficial to health. Another good idea is to stick to a fixed sleep schedule.
As an entrepreneur, it would do you good to just take a breather and walk outside before you start work for the day. This prepares you for the challenges that lie ahead and gives you a fresh perspective on overcoming obstacles. The early morning breeze is good for your brain, which starts oozing with fresh ideas that you couldn’t have come up with on your own by sitting in a small office room.
It cannot be emphasized enough just how important it is to distance yourself from your work every now and then. As is the case with many entrepreneurs, they give too much time to their businesses without taking any time off. While it is not realistically possible to take long-term vacations when your business is still in its early stages, it is still a good strategy nevertheless, to take the weekends off to yourself.
Go to the beach, a club, an exclusive resort, or even a favorite restaurant and just relax. Any activity that pulls you away from the computer and those mindless business models should do the trick.
Many people believe that exercising is reserved for those with too much time on their hands. And while that is true for certain segments of society, such as professional bodybuilders, it isn’t for the vast majority of people. Exercising isn’t just about sculpting your body, but it’s also about relieving stress, losing weight, and moderating the brain’s response to stress.
Studies have even shown that when done right, exercise can actually create new brain cells, which goes a long way toward improving productivity levels. Sweating profusely during intense workout sessions increases the production of cells in the hippocampus. These cells strengthen your ability to learn new concepts, improve your memory, and become more vigilant in your business dealings.
Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and refuel it with nutrients and vitamins you need to maintain optimum efficiency. Just make sure you don’t compensate dehydration with excessive amounts of caffeinated, aerated, processed, or chemically enhanced drinks. Hydration is also good for your skin, making you look more confident, presentable, and impressionable.
Having a confident and radiant look is especially useful when you’re pitching to prospective clients and venture capitalists. In the world of entrepreneurship, your looks do play a big role.