Unfortunately, most of us don’t take care of ourselves like we should. Life gets in the way as we strive to be busy and productive members of society. Whether it’s convenient or not, taking care of our health should be at the top of our list of priorities. Why? Because if we aren’t healthy, we can’t be successful in other areas of our life. To achieve optimal health, experts recommend taking a three-fold attack: food, sleep, and exercise.
You’re busy. When hunger strikes, it usually strikes fast and hard, and the last thing you want to eat is a scrawny salad. This is when most of us fall into the trap of fast-food… food we know isn’t good for us, but it sure is convenient. Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Ron Friedman lays out the facts about how different foods affect work performance. In research studies, participants who ate less high-fat meals and more fruits and vegetables were “happier, more engaged, and more creative” than those who ate high-fat, high-calorie lunches. What you eat impacts far more than just your waistline – it plays a large part in your productivity, energy, and more. Eat smart!
Science has proven over and over again that exercise is one of the single best things you can do to reduce stress. Not only will hitting the gym relieve stress and release endorphins, it will help you get in shape at the same time. Regular exercise can ward off depression and several other mental blocks that keep success at bay.
Schedule 30 minutes to an hour of workout time into each day. Treat this time as a meeting at work – would you skip a work meeting just to watch Netflix? No! So get up, get off the couch, and exercise. You can go for a walk, do an at-home workout DVD, run, head to CrossFit, whatever gets you up and moving. You’ll thank us later.
Sleep deprivation is actually used as a form of torture. TORTURE, guys! Why are you torturing yourself by not getting enough sleep?! This leads to higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure, and lower brain function. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re performance levels suffer.
Create and stick to a regular schedule. Set definitive work hours and keep them. Give yourself a bedtime and actually get in bed at that time — that means you brush your teeth, put on your pajamas, and all that good stuff before your set time to be in bed. When your alarm clock goes off in the morning do not hit snooze — get up! This will help you reset your sleep cycle and refuel your life.
We all want to be successful, but let’s remember to not do it at the expense of our health! Focus on your nutrition, sleep, and exercise and you’ll start seeing the results you’re after!