OK, so it’s January and we’re all feeling a little worse for wear after one too many mince pies and an overload of festive gatherings.
Christmas is a busy period where time stands still and so do we. The gym takes a back seat and attempting to diet is almost impossible. Thus said, skipping your usual exercise leads to negative habits that impact your overall happiness and productivity. Similarly, ordering fast food instead of cooking to save time cooking and cleaning hurts more than it helps.
As we ease into 2017 with a pocket full of New Year resolutions, here are three arguments that will convince you to pay more attention to the way you eat, sleep and exercise.
1. Exercising the body also refreshes the mind.
It’s no secret that exercising will improve your health, but studies also show that exercise keeps the brain functioning well and can double your daily productivity! Daily workouts are a necessary ingredient to long-term success. In fact, President Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Richard Branson all make a conscious effort to stay in shape.
We’re all super busy and it can be difficult to implement a consistent workout routine. First, remember small changes can make a huge difference in the long run. Start off by taking the stairs instead of the escalators, brush the dust off that standing desk and maybe even walk to work. You will quickly realise that these minor adjustments help reduce stress, build confidence, boost energy and edge you one step close to success. Soon enough, the gym may not be the last thing on your mind, you never know, you might even start enjoying it!
2. Good food powers a strong mind and nourishes the body.
Did you know there are certain foods that make you smarter and more successful?
Any food high in omega 3 such as oily fish, walnuts and flax seeds is great for improving concentration and motivation as they improve cognitive function, which means they help the brain’s ability to think and process.
Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alerted. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This is why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.
Avoid letting your hunger dictate when you eat, timing is critical. Research suggests the best time to have breakfast is between 7 and 7:30 a.m., lunch between 12.30 and 1pm, and dinner between 6 and 6:30 p.m. Sticking to a strict meal routine can be difficult with impromptu meetings and commutes but having a rough guideline for meal times will provide structure to your diet and produce you enough fuel to conquer your day.
3. Sleep more and get more done.
One of the most unhealthy habits professionals have today is working late and not getting enough sleep. Whilst working long hard hours may seem like the best way to get a lot done, it isn’t. According to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the consequences of sleep deprivation are arguably disastrous to your health and work performance. “In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality.”
More often than not, workers working on a low tank, find themselves staring at a blank screen, making mistakes or forgetting to prioritise and complete important tasks. The risks of sleeping less in order to sneak in an extra hour or two of work outweigh the rewards! To sleep well, try things like MCT oil, krill oil or raw honey before bed.
If you’re working at a computer, it’s important to take regular breaks as this will boost your energy, improve your concentration, keep you healthy and drive productivity.