Firstly, whether it’s meeting a business deadline or keeping up with tasks, young entrepreneurs can get so entangled with work to the point where good health becomes their last priority. Most importantly, putting healthy habits in place so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor should be a priority.
Here are five health mistakes most young CEOs make in their entrepreneurial track and how you can avoid them:
1. Eating Habits That Lead to Poor Health
Our brain depends on calories to function in full capacity. Unfortunately, the young entrepreneurial lifestyle often comes with skipping meals and eating at late hours. This can cause irregular spikes in blood sugar levels, which often leads to increased sugar cravings, fatigue, anxiety and weight gain. Increased weight gain predisposes someone to several ailments like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Solution: Create a healthy eating plan and stick to it.
The importance of eating a balanced meal cannot be over-emphasized.
Nutrition experts at Harvard School of Public health created a Healthy Eating Plate to help people eat balanced meals. “We provide consumers with an easy-to-use yet specific guide to healthy eating based on the best science available,” says Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
This healthy eating plan recommends:
- Limiting refined grains and eating whole grains.
- Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Drinking water, cutting down on dairy products, avoiding sweetened drinks, and going easy on juice.
- Picking healthy sources of proteins over red and processed meat.
- Using healthy oils like olive and canola oil for cooking.
- Staying active.
2. Gulping Down Caffeine
Aside from jump-starting a wellspring of ever-flowing inspiration that’s coupled with high energy spikes, coffee’s enchanting taste and soothing ambiance are two of the many reasons why CEOs love it. You can drink it hot or cold or add your favorite flavors. However, a little sip of coffee here and there can lead to an addiction and you end up drinking too much. High amounts of caffeine in the body can trigger nervousness, affect sleep patterns, increase heart rate, and stimulate indigestion and frequent urination.
Solution: Moderation is key.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a daily intake of four cups of coffee (which is up to 400 milligrams of caffeine) is safe for consumption. An unexpected reduction or withdrawal from caffeine may lead to withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, headaches, and low concentration span.
To devise a healthy caffeine habit:
- Reduce your caffeine intake one step at a time.
- Pay attention to coffee labels.
- Monitor your caffeine intake.
- Go for decaffeinated beverages over caffeinated ones.
3. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep too much and you end up having a depressing day. Alternatively, if you sleep too little, you become unproductive. Every entrepreneur at one point in their entrepreneurial journey will encounter sleep deprivation due to work stressors. In research carried out by Professor Charles A. Czeisler of Harvard Medical School on how sleep deficit affects performance, he deduced that sleep deprivation can affect cognitive function the same way as getting drunk.
Solution: Schedule sleeping time and stick to it.
Although the life of an entrepreneur is filled with endless tasks, the notion of scheduling sleep may sound strange. To be healthy and productive, an entrepreneur needs to optimize their sleep schedule to get the 7 – 9 hours of daily sleep recommended by the sleep foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
4. Not Working Out
The job duties of an entrepreneur have a high tendency of encouraging a sedentary lifestyle of long sitting hours. This leads to increased weight gain, weakened muscle tone, poor blood circulation, and inflammation which causes obesity, depression, stroke, and high blood pressure among other ailments.
Solution: Regular exercise for at least 30 minutes.
Additionally, when incorporating exercise into your routine:
- Pick what works best for you.
- Start gradually and build-up.
- Get the recommended amount of exercise for your age and health.
- Incorporate active habits like walking, standing up, taking the stairs into your daily lifestyle.
- Exercise at your desk.
5. Ignoring Signs and Symptoms of Poor Health
Symptoms often ignored as insignificant can be a ticking time bomb waiting to explode if left unchecked. Therefore, it is very important to avoid skipping a second opinion on a health condition.
Solution: Check in with your doctor right away when you notice an abnormal ailment.
Consequently, signs like a persistent headache, shortness of breath, pressure in the chest region, or an inflammation that refuses to go down can point to the onset of an ailment. Instead, book an appointment with your doctor immediately. You can use telemedicine to book an appointment for remote consultations.
Lastly, the young entrepreneur lifestyle is filled with endless tasks, deadlines, and meetings that’ll keep you on your toes. The best entrepreneurs are serious about their health.