Making healthy decisions for ourselves can be tough. It’s not that we don’t want to, but often it feels like we’re so busy we just don’t have the time. And that’s just the average person. Now let’s consider all you badass babes out there starting up or running your own businesses. Thought you were busy before owning your own business, eh?
As entrepreneurs, we tend to share a few character traits. You may have heard people describe you as motivated, strong work ethic, disciplined, passionate… and the list could go on. While these are all fantastic traits for starting a successful business, they can often give us tunnel vision as we become so focused on our work lives. Healthy choices can start to be easily overlooked in place of just grabbing a quick ready-to-go snack or skipping meals altogether. Pulling yourself away from your productive streak to hit the gym? Unlikely.
Staying healthy is not just about looking good. Recent studies have shown that eating healthy and getting the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week can strengthen your immune system, sharpen your minds, and increase productivity. It’s a winning combination. Just as important is getting quality sleep. Poor sleep habits can lead to decreased mental abilities like problem-solving and memory, and even overeating. Increased stress and anxiety have been linked to poor health as well.
You may be seeing the big picture by now but, if not, there are many factors to consider when it comes to your health. Exercising, eating healthy, and getting sufficient sleep are your three pillars. With one, the others come easier. And, vice versa, neglecting one will make the other two harder to maintain.
Knowing all this information is great but actually being able to apply this to your lifestyle is what counts. There a few ways to help prioritize healthy choices in your busy schedule. Keep in mind everyone is different and you will have to develop your own routines in order to be successful. Take things in small steps and gradually build onto your routines.
If you only take away one point from this post, let it be this. Staying hydrated throughout the day is fundamental to your health and is often overlooked. Water benefits your heart, your brain, your muscles, your skin, your sleep, and cleanses your body. It even helps keep bad breath away! If it’s not already, consider water your new best friend.
If you’re constantly on the go, pick yourself up a reusable water bottle. Add this to your bag before you go anywhere so you always have water with you. It even helps at home to just put your bottle on your desk to remind yourself to drink water. Did you know that often when we start feeling hungry, we’re actually thirsty? Drinking enough water can help cut back on unnecessary and unhealthy snacking! When our bodies are hydrated we don’t crave as many salty or sugary snacks either.
Aim to drink between 1-1.5 litres of water a day to maintain healthy organs and stay hydrated.
Quick tip: Buying a reusable water bottle vs. single-use bottles will save you money in the long run AND will reduce plastic waste in our environment. Let me hear a “heck yes!”
It can be tempting to reach for ready-made snacks while we’re rushing around or not wanting to pull ourselves off of our laptop for too long. But have a good look at the labels of those foods and they’re often packed with refined grains, sugary flavour enhancers, and way too much sodium. But, what’s a girl to do? Well, it starts with a little bit of planning.
Being aware of your eating habits is important. If you know at 3 o’clock you always find yourself reaching for a little something to boost your energy, prepare for it. Have a little bag of nuts or fruits in your bag. Not a breakfast person but end up hitting up the local coffee shop for something sweet by midmorning? Change it up by baking your own morning energy balls and popping a couple in your bag before heading out for your day. You can also prep freezer bags of fruits and veggies to make morning smoothies quick and easy. You can go as far as meal prepping your lunches on Sunday evening for the whole week with our super helpful Meal Planner + Guide inside the Rebel Office Resource Library.
Whatever it is you decide should be helping you to avoid reaching for those mindless snacks and being more aware of what you’re putting into your body on a regular basis. By taking the guessing out what you’re reaching for and having prepared snacks or meals should help you be more mindful.
Thinking about squeezing a 60-minute gym session into your day might sound crazy. Where is that 60 minutes coming from or what would have to be sacrificed in order to have that time? Fear not, babe. There are many ways to add activity to your day and it is a lot simpler than you think.
If your current routine includes close to no physical activity, start small. That ambitious entrepreneurial spirit may want to introduce a whole set of daily exercises right off the bat, but the key here is to make gradual, long-term adjustments to your routine. Setting the bar too high the first week could lead to giving up altogether if you’re overworking yourself.
Start by waking up 15 minutes earlier to meditate or practice yoga. Before getting into the hustle of the day, you can clear your mind and increase focus.
At this point, I’m sure you’re all quite familiar with multitasking. Why not work that to your advantage when it comes to your fitness as well? While you’re brushing your teeth, you can do a 2-minute wall sit or calf raises. Feeling a bit of a creative block or can’t seem to solve a problem you’ve been having? Try taking a 10-minute walk around the block. Not only are you adding healthy activities to your day, but you’ll also likely come back with a refreshed mindset and ready to smash down those walls.
As you find yourself repeating these activities, you can add more to your routine. There are plenty of at-home exercises that don’t require any equipment you can start. Before you know it, you’ll be doing these exercises without thinking of them as chores.
You’ll have days when you absolutely would rather unwind by sitting on the couch with your favourite bag of chips than go for a run. I feel that, girl. It’s so easy to hide away and tell yourself you’ll go for a longer run tomorrow. Maybe.
If you find yourself ditching your healthy routines for whatever reason, find yourself a workout buddy. Committing to someone else will hold you both accountable. On those days you just really don’t want to, you’ll have each other to encourage you or kick your butt into gear.
Similarly, you could sign up for a weekly class at the local gym or yoga studio. Committing and paying for a class ahead of time will you give you more reason to get there when the day arrives. Lots of gyms will allow you to register for specific classes without buying a full membership or offer you a trial membership at a discounted rate. Take advantage of these!
The important bit here is being accountable for yourself. Start telling yourself that your health is a top priority and that nothing should compromise that.
Track Your Progress
If you choose to use your phone to help you track your health, there are so many apps out there for you. Apps like MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun and Sleep Cycle all make user friendly and easy to input your meals and snacks, physical daily activity and your sleep cycle quality. You’ll be able to literally see the improvements your making. You can choose to connect with friends on the apps for that extra bit of accountability if you need it.
You can do all the same tracking in a journal if you choose not to use your phone, too. I’m not a huge fan of calorie counting myself, but tracking healthy meals and activity will help you balance your calorie intake vs how much you are burning in a day. You can also make a note of when you’re feeling fatigued, cranky, motivated… your health and nutrition all play a part in affecting your mood and hormones. You can start to see patterns that may need improvement or adjusting.
Ultimately? Do what you can, celebrate the small wins & keep working towards your health, your dream life and your big goals. Cheers to your best YOU.