An entrepreneur can’t be half-hearted in his or her efforts, and while launching a business can be satisfying, it can also be frustrating, exhausting and even disheartening. Watching an idea blossom into a thriving business satisfies a psyche like nothing else, but so few people experience this because of the requirements: long hours, the monumental workload and constant emotional stress. It takes a strong mind to deal with that. But it also takes a strong body.
A necessity few of the “startup bibles” cover is how an entrepreneur should take care of their physical and mental health while creating a business. If a poorly-maintained body can’t climb a few flights of stairs, how can it put in twelve hours of work? This requirement should be in the ABC’s entrepreneurship, but few guides mention it. Business owners always need to weigh the cost and benefit of any investment, so what return can you expect from a good diet and proper exercise?
Business Benefits of Regular Exercise
- Increased supply of endorphins
- Increased supply of dopamine (the natural happy drug)
- Helps the body synthesize new brain cells and improve brain development
- Increases norepinephrine, a chemical that naturally decreases stress
- Improves sleep and productivity
The list goes on and on, and there is no shortage to the benefits of working out for the business man or woman. That doesn’t necessarily mean a gym membership. I workout nearly every day, but I don’t crush iron solely to improve my body image. In fact, any time I feel my work is entering a downward spiral, I head over to the gym and workout. By the time I finish, the douse of brain chemicals has put out my stress, and I am able to think clearly again. This method is so effective that even those suffering from ADD/ADHD receive a significant benefit from regular exercise. Yoga, crossfit, running, and traditional weight training…these provide the same physical and mental benefits for a businessperson.
Business Benefits of Good Nutrition
ONLY working out isn’t enough. What is put into the body matters just as much as how the body is used. Heavy drinking, fast food and fancy dinners will ruin any progress in working out. Even a child knows how beneficial healthy eating can be, but some of the wealthiest business people do not. Eliminating or minimizing alcohol and caffeine while eating more fruits, vegetables and lean meats magnifies the benefits of regular exercise.
Habits for Healthy Nutrition
- ELIMINATE energy drinks (these are only disguised caffeine)
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine intake (a 12 oz. cup is okay, but skip the 32 oz. latte)
- Start cooking at home (both to improve your eating AND save money)
- Find “fast food” that’s healthy like Chipotle, Panera Bread, etc
- Replace coffee with delicious Yerba mate (South America’s second coffee)
Healthy Habits for a Healthy Business
Even the healthiest entrepreneurs are notorious for stretching themselves too thin, and all the healthy food or exercise in the world cannot excuse a frantic life. Knowing when and how to take it easy is just as important as any mission statement or client. The irony is that adopting a habit of working less allows many to work more, or at least work better. Adopting a few relaxing habits helps the mind, body and spirit to work in unison toward business success.
Essential and Assorted Health Habits
- Sleep. Nothing is more important and nothing is more neglected. Adults should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Five or six fitful hours doesn’t cut it and after awhile, can take a severe toll on mental faculties. Those suffering from insomnia should consider melatonin or even Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Tea.
- Learn to relax. Enjoying a relaxing hobby or activity every day allows your mind to recharge. That doesn’t mean sitting for hours in front of the television (which hurts rather than helps your brain). Find or return to a beloved activity whether it’s model building or skee-ball.
- Don’t neglect friends and family. Often lost in the shuffle of a business person’s life, friends and family are not worth sacrificing for any amount of success. Every week, friends and family should always have time reserved, no matter how hectic the week. This improves emotional health, which is priceless.