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A lengthy to-do list, non-stop interruptions, mind in overdrive and the constant feeling of not quite being ‘on top of it’, sound familiar? It may be okay in the short term but it is far from conducive to good health.
You may feel the pressure to be constantly busy, but busy does not necessarily equate to productive, and should not mean sacrificing your health. Here we discuss small changes you can make to achieve a healthy, sustainable work-life.
Too Busy to Be Healthy?
Your first reaction might be that you simply cannot fit anything else into your day. Evidence shows making fitness and health ‘routine’ makes you happier, healthier, and more productive. It doesn’t need to be time-consuming or costly- there are easy ways to get into good habits. Increasingly, businesses are appreciating the benefits of workplace wellbeing, not just to employees, but to the business as a whole. While employers do have a responsibility for employee health, there are easy wins you can adopt as an individual.
Replacing Bad Habits
We are creatures of habit. Think of the daily things that you do because that’s what you have always done. Skipping meals, unhealthy snacks, copious amounts of coffee, no exercise, unhealthy menu choices, it all becomes normal, but it doesn’t have to be permanent.
Prioritise Your Wellbeing
These health hacks can be factored into the busiest schedule. They do require some dedication and a commitment to prioritising your health. It is easy to begin with determination yet quickly allow things to slip as work encroaches. The easiest way to stay on track is to have some accountability. Find someone you can check in with, knowing you are going to be discussing progress is a powerful motivator!
Easy Health Hacks to Better Health
1. Sleep - Sleep impacts health and performance. If you must put your body under the strain of ‘running on empty’ in the day, commit to 1x extra hour of sleep and hit the pillow one hour earlier.
2. Nutrition - How you fuel your body directly impacts energy levels. Nobody expects you to be a saint, moderation is key, but there are ways to make healthy eating your first choice. Eat regular meals and have healthy snacks within easy reach, keep sugar intake low. If you dine out regularly, make healthy choices ‘normal’ and avoid overeating.
3. Hydration - Dehydration can cause tiredness and fatigue. We expect our body to perform in a dehydrated state and although your body will allow you to functioniIt isn’t optimal. Drinking enough water is not a chore, it has massive health benefits. Have fresh water readily available all day and aim to drink at least two litres. Hot water is a great alternative during winter months.
4. Movement - Exercise is medicine. Building more movement into your day could quickly benefit your mental and physical health and improve your sleep patterns. Factor walking into your day: park further away, get off the stop before, use the stairs, walk and stretch regularly, join a fitness session to boost mind and body. If you spend hours at a desk, there are some great desk based exercises to improve posture and mobility.
5. Take a break - Mental breaks stimulate creativity and boost mental health, clear thinking and productivity. With a packed schedule and a mind crammed with information, you might think time out is impossible, we challenge you to give it a try. Begin by choosing a couple of slots within your week. You are used to high level, fast-paced thinking, this may not come easily but ‘getting there’ is part of the process. There are many Apps out there to support you, some free of charge (e.g. Headspace, Calm, Insight Timer).
If you would like more of the research, more practical tips and even some accountability, then get in touch!
Chris Pinner worked as a Strategy Consultant in a top US investment bank and for a sports marketing agency. After seeing the effects of poor wellbeing on mental and physical health as well as performance, Chris created Innerfit. Innerfit supports businesses across London to provide effective workplace wellbeing, boosting individual and corporate health. Contact Chris for support with accountability, motivation or fitness activities.
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