Yes, we have all heard it many times before, “exercise regularly, eat in moderation and see your doctor once a year.” Some of us follow this advice, but if you are like many small business owners, investing the time to do so, especially when you are self-employed, often seems impossible. Everyone is busier than ever these days, and small business owners are no exception.
However, consider the consequences:
- Heart attacks, while always a concern for middle-aged men, are on the rise for middle-aged women
- Due to an obesity epidemic, rates of diabetes have increased for both sexes recently
While finding the time to exercise and eat right is not always easy, as Nike so aptly puts it – “just do it.” You’ll benefit in the end.
Here are five easy tips that can help you make time to maintain your health:
1. Schedule it: So maybe your Outlook or Google calendar does rule your life. Use that to your advantage. Studies show that people who actually schedule their workout time in their calendars are more effective at following through with their commitment to exercise regularly.
It doesn’t really matter when you schedule your exercise time. It could be three days a week for 45 minutes at lunch or every morning for a half-an-hour. The important thing is that you actually schedule it. This achieves two things:
- It reminds you to do it
- It prevents you from scheduling something else at that time
2. Mix it up: As long as you are scheduling it, know this too: Mixing up your exercise routine offers the best chance of long-term success. Doing yoga one day, cardio the next and shooting hoops the day after increases the likelihood that you will stick with your routine than if you head to the treadmill day after boring day.
3. Eat smart: Maintaining a healthy diet may be easier than you think. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness puts it this way:
“Balance your food choices - don't eat too much of any one thing. You don't have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins. Balancing food choices and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.”
4. Drink up: It used to be thought that if you wanted to be healthy you needed to cut a lot of great things out of your diet. Recent research indicates that the opposite is actually true:
- Drink red wine: A glass of red wine a night is actually good for you. Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, which, in moderation, has been shown to reverse aging, help with your heart and ward-off cancer. Cheers!
- And have that latte too: The health benefits of coffee are many: It fights depression, lowers the risks of cancer Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and more.
- Don’t forget your water: Do you really need eight glasses a day? Maybe not, but drinking plenty of water flushes your system and helps with weight control.
5. Get ergonomic: These days so many people work in front of a computer that health problems stemming from bad posture have almost become epidemic. Having the right tools and not overworking muscles will also prevent the onset of repeated motion injuries. Consider purchasing an ergonomic chair and positioning your monitor at eye level. Also, make sure to take frequent breaks to avoid eye and neck strain.
Bottom line: A few changes in your health habits can have long-term beneficial results. Dr. Steve says that’s an order.
What do you do to maintain a healthy work life? Share your thoughts below with the SBOC community.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.