Look after yourself the way you look after your business and get healthier!
By Teodora Sklayne
As a personal trainer, I would like to introduce to you 5 easy steps to better health. I have been a freelancer for over 7 years and I completely understand the struggles that come with it. Being your own boss or working in a coworking space involves so much decision making on a daily basis that other decisions fall into the “not so important” category. This is why decisions on things like what to eat or how to exercise get postponed or are never made and that affects our health. We just switch on our default setting. Also, time is precious and we often prioritize the business side of things over our personal lives because we think that is what it takes to be successful.
We often forget or flat out ignore the fact that having enough energy during the day and looking after ourselves is the best long term business investment we can make. Otherwise, who is going to look after your business when you are unwell or low on energy?
Over the years of personal training and experience in nutritional programs written for people in the business world, I have discovered that there are a few ways to take charge of your health without sacrificing too much time – or in business terms: the low investment, high return actions to improve your health.
To that effect, let’s take a look at 5 easy steps to better health:
Step 1. Drink more water
Drinking water is the most essential element on your steps to better health and yet it is so easy to ignore for most people. Just get a 1 liter bottle of water and fill it up 2 to 3 times each day and drink it up. All your bodily functions, including your brain, which you use so hard for your business, will flourish with enough hydration. I know that as a self-employed person it can be difficult to create the habit, but try using reminders or having a bottle always within your reach.
Step 2. Eat your veggies
I dare say that vegetables are the most important food ingredient for your health. They provide most of the vitamins and minerals your body needs, some slow release carbohydrates for energy, fibre (essential for digestion and satiety) as well as plant proteins which are easily digestible and broken down in your body. Simply put: eat your veggies like your mama told you years ago 😊
Step 3. Cover your essential protein needs
Proteins are essential for making enzymes, hormones and other essential chemicals in your body. They are also an important building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Basically, without sufficient protein in your body, your health will slowly deteriorate, especially with age. Having sufficient protein is essential to your health.
Sufficient in this case means having two to three meals a day each containing a protein source. It can be fish, poultry, meat, eggs, vegetables, legumes or grains such as lentils, barley, quinoa etc.
A way to simplify this is to choose a palm size of a protein source for each of your meals, add two palm sizes of veggies and you will have covered the basics.
Step 4. Sleep is the best medicine
Sleep is another essential component we often disregard, especially when we are working long hours. Self-employed people don’t often have regular schedules or shifts, which is very unfortunate because sleep really is a powerful tool. It reduces stress, improves memory, increases creativity, helps maintain/achieve a healthy body weight and makes us overall happier people. Keep in mind that an extra hour of sleep a night can be ten times more productive than an extra hour of work a day, so make sure you invest your time right.
Yin and Yang is a concept of dualism in ancient Chinese philosophy, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary. We often focus on the yang – work hard, be productive and active, do, do, do. However, the opposite is just essential in reaching a healthy balance in our body and mind. And let’s remember that Balance = Better Health. When was the last time you invested in a good relaxing massage? Or did a stretch routine that makes you feel you have gotten your body back. Investing 10-15 minutes daily to stretching can massively improve your physical and mental health.
So, if you have gotten this far in the article, great! You must be interested in helping yourself get healthier. Next think about the way you systematize and set your business goals; maybe it’s worthwhile to do the same for your personal life as well.
- How are your energy levels through the day? Would you like to improve them?
- Would you like to lose body fat or put on some muscle? Or maybe both?
- Do you have an exercise/sports goal you have always wanted to achieve but never figured out how to?
Here is a checklist that you can print and put on your fridge door to hold yourself accountable for the 5 easy steps to better health.