Maybe you’re an entrepreneur. Or perhaps you’re a freelancer. Or maybe you’re just one of the legions of people trying to take their income and their livelihoods into their own hands in the gig economy. In any event, you don’t expect the kinds of safety nets that many of your salaried counterparts in salaried corporate jobs enjoy.
Sick pay and medical benefits are likely unavailable to you. Your livelihood is intrinsically tied to your ability to work. And any risk to your health can throw you off your game in a number of ways. At best it can make you less productive, more prone to distraction and therefore make your working days less profitable. At worst, ill health can render you unable to work, unable to earn money, and unable to guide your business in the right direction. Time is money in your game, and illness can rob you of both.
But when it comes to protecting our health, the threats we must guard against are myriad. We not only need to be aware of little things like colds and other viruses but serious health risks like cancer and heart disease. The good news is that you don’t have to make sweeping lifestyle changes in order to protect your wellbeing and safeguard your productivity and profitability. It’s simply a matter of making small changes here and there and being aware of the potential dangers to your health that may be less obvious…
Go Easy on the Overtime
If you’d wanted an easy life, you’d have stuck it out in your day job. But you’re not looking for an easy life. You thrive on challenge. You’re at your best under adversity. And there’s no satisfaction purer for you than looking back at the end of a long, hard day and knowing that you gave it your all. What’s more, in the current climate you’re probably going above and beyond to try and keep your operations running under trying circumstances, with consumer confidence low, and the morale of your workforce shaken.
While this is very admirable, it can also be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Especially if you’re frequently working long hours, stressed throughout much of your working day, and failing to get enough sleep because you spend much of your day looking at one screen or another. The blue light from smartphones, tablets and laptop / desktop screens can wreak havoc with your circadian rhythms.
So, as important as it is to keep your operation profitable, you’ll be the last person to profit if you burn yourself out. Go easy on the overtime, know your limitations and master the art of delegating.
Get up and Moving Frequently Throughout Your Day
We all know how ruinous smoking, drinking alcohol and living on a diet of fast food and processed snacks can be ruinous to your health. But did you know that spending all day on your butt can also prove a huge health risk. Believe it or not, sitting is referred to by some as “the new smoking”. While our 21st century lifestyle compels us to sit, sitting is actually a relatively new configuration for the human body. And not one that we’ve evolved to cope with particularly well. Especially if we’re sitting with our ankles crossed and our backs bent while we peer into a computer screen. It’s essential that you take at least 5 minutes out of every hour to get up and move around, even if it’s just to grab yourself a glass of water or chat with a member of your team. Otherwise, the cumulative pressure on your internal organs and circulatory system can result in a range of health problems which could impede your performance at work. From back and neck pain to digestive trouble, weight gain, depression and lethargy or even an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Eat More Plants and Less of Everything Else
More and more people are switching to a plant based diet for ethical, ecological and health reasons. It’s true that plants require far less water, land and energy to produce than meat, dairy, eggs and fish. What’s more, the plant kingdom has all the complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, proteins and amino acids the body needs. The only thing missing is vitamin B12. Something that most omnivores don’t get which is why it’s always important to consider supplements (more on that shortly). Most importantly, plant based foods like fruits, veggies grains and pulses contain phytochemicals which help to combat the damage done by free radicals and keep your immune system in fighting form.
Of course, you don’t have to go fully vegan to enjoy the health benefits that can keep you at the top of your professional game and prevent you from losing money to ill health. Just try and eat more plants and less of everything else.
Remember – Even the Best Diets Benefit From Supplementation
Every day can prove a struggle to get the nutrition you need to keep you in good health and avoid the heavily processed “treats” that are so readily available when our blood sugar drops. But it’s important to remember that even the best diets benefit from supplements. Most of the produce we buy in stores today lacks the nutritional value of its organic counterparts. So you should always make a multivitamin, iron supplement, vitamin B12 supplement and omega 3 oil supplement part of your day. Many people also use a range of peptides to support healing. Some occur naturally, while others are made in labs. It’s important to do your homework before taking any vitamin, mineral, protein or peptide supplement, and be aware that conclusivity is often hard to come by. For instance, when it comes to BPC-157 and cancer, there’s a lot of seemingly contradictory evidence. Some studies indicate that it could contribute to cancer risk while others suggest that it can help to prevent or treat cancer.
Make Time to Exercise… but Do It Right!
Finally, if you want to look after your mind and body, exercise is pretty much non-negotiable. But don’t make the mistake of rushing through your lunch break workout or jog for the sake of getting back to your desk earlier. At best, you’ll find that rushing through your workout doesn’t give you the engagement that you need and you won’t see the benefits. At worst, you could risk pulling, straining, spraining or tearing something. And that could seriously incapacitate you while you heal. If you’re going to make time to exercise, make time to do it properly!