We’ve all heard the horror stories about what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur. Tales of long nights spent hunched over your computer, drinking copious amounts of coffee to stay awake.
Starting a business takes a lot of time, energy, and focus – but that doesn’t mean you need to let your health fall to the wayside. In fact, we believe you should treat your health like a business. Starting a new venture requires a lot of planning and a solid investment of time and resources, and so does your health.
Whether you run a service-based or product-based business, your health is directly correlated to how you make money. Especially in the early days, when you likely don’t have a team of employees to cover for you if you fall sick, maintaining good health is critical to launching and growing a successful business.
Here are the eight lifestyle habits you should doing daily to support your physical health and overall wellbeing.
1. Support your immune system
Have you heard the saying, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?’ It couldn’t be more true for entrepreneurs. If you’re self-employed and don’t have health benefits, every dollar you spend on emergency medical visits or prescription medications counts. Today Canadians, face the second-highest drug costs in the industrialised world, after Americans.
To boost your immunity on a regular basis, consider adding supplements like echinacea and astragalus to your diet. You’ll also want to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, B12, B6, C and Zinc. All of these herbs vitamins have been linked to healthy immune function. Check out our blog post on naturally boosting your immune system high at this link here.
2. Build a team
While hiring staff is an important step for any entrepreneur, we’re talking about your health care team. These are the health care providers that you can call on when the going gets tough.
We recommend regular visits to a massage therapist, acupuncturist, and a therapist to help you relax your body, manage pain, relieve stress and work through your emotions. Working with a naturopathic doctor can help you coordinate your nutrition, resolve any symptoms you may be experiencing, and keep an eye on chronic health conditions.
Last but not least, see a general practitioner annually for physical examinations, baseline blood tests, and to stay up-to-date on pap smears and other important health tests.
3. Eat good food
Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs to function at its best. In particular, you’ll want to up your intake of foods like blueberries, turmeric, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, ginger and garlic, which are known for their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Meditate daily
Feeling overwhelmed? Stress overload can increase your body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which over time, could lead to suppressed immune function and more illnesses. Meditating for even just a few minutes every day can help you relax and also manage feelings of anxiety or depression.
There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. For example, some ways to meditate include guided meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation and vipassana meditation. We like to start with a progressive muscle relaxation or body scan.
5. Exercise regularly
While you might be tempted to roll out of bed and immediately start working, there are lots of reasons why you might want to squeeze in a sweat session first. Regular physical activity can give you more energy, help you manage stress, make you stronger, and also help prevent chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, and heart disease. Exercise has also been linked to an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), an important protein that helps support your brain’s learning, memory, and cognitive functions.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more. If you’re really strapped for time, think of ways that you can incorporate more movement into your daily life. For example, you could bike or run to work, try the ‘7-Minute Workout’, or do exercises while you’re watching TV.