Your health – a building block for success
Content provided by a guest contributor.
Your immediate reaction may be: “I can skip reading this, I am fine” or “yes, I know my health isn’t perfect, but there is no time to deal with that now.” So if anything, see this article as helping you with a quick assessment to determine if you need to take action soon or change some habits.
What is the typical lifestyle for the average business owner: you may leave home either with an empty stomach or on a quick cup of strong coffee. Perhaps later in the morning close to lunch time, you pass close to a café and will buy a coke or chocolate or pie – either because you are hungry or because you need a quick “pick me up”. And then it is action till home time.
What happens to your body during this process? Your blood sugar levels become totally unbalanced. In fact they may spike quickly as you feed yourself with something that boosts your energy.
The problem though, is that this energy drops just as quickly as your blood sugar levels drop. In essence, your body is being challenged continuously in this way, with your glucose levels being like a seesaw – up and down the whole time.
This kind of eating pattern is a massive contributor to Type 2 diabetes, which can largely be prevented through proper eating habits. Apart from upsetting your blood sugar levels, poor eating habits also have a negative impact on your mood and make you irritable.
So what habits would be preferable: start with a good breakfast (haven’t we heard this before?) that includes Low GI bread (readily available at all supermarkets) and some form of protein eg egg. Snacks to nibble on while the run include fruit, raw vegetables like carrots, nuts (rather not peanuts), 100% natural fruit juices with no preservatives (limit these though as too much fruit sugar can also contribute to diabetes), low fat yoghurt.
Lunch time you can have more sandwiches with either tuna, meat, chicken, fish or soft cheeses like feta and cottage cheese. Avoid ALL junk food as they are high in calories, additives and contain added sugar and salt.
A great deal is written these days about following a Low GI diet which is aimed at eating foods that slowly release glucose into the blood and brain. How does this affect you? Well your energy levels will be more consistent, you will feel less hungry and your mood will be more even.
Another aspect you need to consider is your Body Mass Index. Your weight is important. Being overweight, puts strain on our body processes and immune system. Check your BMI (Body Mass Index) which is one way to measure your health risk.
You work this out by determining your weight and your height. Once you have this detail you can google “body mass index calculation” and enter these 2 totals. The ideal BMI is 24 or below. A BMI of higher than 24 is associated with an increased risk of all kinds of diseases. If your total is above 24, a full medical check up as well as some health intervention, is recommended.
Some form of physical exercise or activity is also beneficial, as activity has physical and psychological benefits. Doing exercise gives you more energy and boosts your immune system enabling you to handle pressure more effectively. Exercise helps with weight control, overall fitness, muscle strength or cardiovascular conditioning. The more you stay active, the more calories you burn.
As we age our bodies process our foodstuffs more slowly and so exercise is often the only way we can manage our weight. Exercising generally also reduces your appetite and improves your ability to concentrate. It is a known stress reliever and enables the body to release higher levels of the "feel good" endorphins.
An added bonus is that exercise gives your mind a break from work or from the daily challenges – it gives you a welcome breather. Some signs that you may need to introduce some form of exercise may include: being over-weight, irritability, depression, anxiety, always feeling tired, sleeping too much, a sedentary life style.
In the end, our health determines whether we will be in a position to run a business. Take heed of the small warning bells, as life has this habit of making the warning bells stronger should we ignore them!
Take care of your body – it works 24/7 to give you a life!
Written by Linda Germishuizen, Executive, Career and Life Coach