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Staying healthy when work gets busy

Staying Healthy

As business owners we’re often told we need more work-life balance. Not just for the sake of our families and relationships, but for health purposes as well. Sometimes, work does take over a little, so it can be useful to know your vitamins and know the effects of certain situations in order to make sure you stay healthy through those busy times…

Recognising potential issues and the effects they can have:

Lack of sleep

It’s easy to end up sleeping less due to work pressures and the like. It’s useful to be aware that experts say we should get between seven and a half and nine hours sleep a night. Lack of sleep can cause clumsiness, fatigue (obviously), premature aging and weight gain.

Too much stress

Unfortunately, stress is a fact of life in the 21st Century, though too much stress without let up can cause health problems, depression, mood swings etc. There are many different ways to deal with stress, however the first step for many people is to take a step back and realise the true causes of their tension.

Snacking on bad foods

I spent a lot of my early working life on the road and, as many sales people and business people will attest, finding reasonably healthy food on the road can be a nightmare! Often we have very little time and very little cutlery. However, junk food often makes you more hungry – especially foods with high sugar content – saps your energy and leads to other issues. Easy foods to consider are snacking portions of meat, cheese etc, milk, protein shakes, bags of prepared salad, homemade wraps etc.

Long hours

It’s a fact of business life – sometimes you do need to work long hours if your business is seasonal or has a busy time of the month. Short term this isn’t a problem, but long term extended hours can mean an increase in all kinds of hormones that wreck your body and leave you open to illness.

Can we cheat?

I wouldn’t suggest exposing yourself to the above situations if you can help it, but if you’re going to and you don’t want to make yourself ill and want to avoid getting extra wrinkles then here are some ways to make short term pressures less detrimental…

Basic essentials

Water

These days many people drink fizzy drinks, coffee and tea rather than good old fashioned water without realising the important part it plays. Water is required for weight loss, brain function and fighting fatigue. So experts say it’s important to drink plenty of natural water (as in not fizzy or caffeinated or sugared) and I would say doubly so if you need to be on your game.

Breathing

As someone who has breathing problems, I probably notice more than most the effect of bad breathing habits. My airways are restricted, so I have to make extra effort to breathe properly and slowly. Taking the time when you’re under pressure to notice your breathing and breathe normally will help combat negative hormones, over production of adrenaline and help get your brain back in gear.

Sunlight

Studies on the affects of light and lack of sunlight on humans are becoming more prevalent. Theories about how much we need natural light at the right times of day suggest that it can affect everything from your sleep to absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. The basic theory is get as much natural sunlight as you can during the day and make sure that when you sleep you are in a completely darkened room. But take a little time to research the theories if you think you’re not getting enough natural light or might suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affected Disorder)

Down time

Ever heard the phrase “work hard, play hard”? Personally I prefer the “work hard, collapse harder” theory. In other words, if you like working hard (and some of us do) that’s fine. Just make sure that you have a way of switching off and giving your body time to recuperate. Some people find yoga and meditation useful. Others find low level tasks such as reading, drawing, making models, cleaning small ornaments or collectibles and knitting help keep their brains occupied whilst giving the body time to chill out. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!

Exercise

If you’re a busy type, any exercise is good for you. Experts will tell you that you have to do at least 45 minutes in order to get maximum effect from your work out, which may be true. However, no one can argue that a 15 minute walk is better than no walk at all. If you struggle to fit exercise into your day, try replacing those quick car journeys to the bank or the post office with a walk.

Other tips – Useful vitamins & minerals for busy lifestyles

Vitamin C – great for energy and helping the immune system.

Vitamin B complex – is an all round brilliant vitamin. Helps everything from combat tiredness to boosting recovery time from illness and much much more. (Hence why it’s in energy drinks!)

Magnesium – Apparently great for improving quality of sleep when taken with dinner. Also helps cell repair and to convert energy from food.

Iron – Improves red blood cell production and white cell production. Signs of deficiency can be tiredness and irritability.

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