Working for yourself – keeping healthy and fit for business

keeping healthy and fit for business

As a business owner I focus on the nuts and bolts of running a business but, as a Dad, partner and a person of a certain age (hum-hum), I also look at the health of the business owner. A lot of business operators will ensure the health of their business, but fail to look after their own well-being. This does not mean you have to spend hours in the gym but it does mean being conscious of the need to stay fit and healthy.

The business may be running well and profitably with many customers generating lots of cash but, in the event that you fall ill or develop a medical problem, what will happen to your business? Is someone able to cover you in the event of chronic (long term) illness? If you are a sole operator then the answer is probably no, which may put the future of your business at risk.

Reports suggest that at least 80% of the population will suffer from un-diagnosable back problems at some point in their adult life, which may cause on-going issues. Obesity is a particular cause for concern at the moment. It can lead to serious problems such as heart disorders and diabetes as well as impeding general functional movement, including back and other joint problems.


Why do we have health problems?

There is no single answer but a multitude of reasons. The main problem is that we do not look after ourselves as well as we could. There are many contributing factors, among them things like pressures of work, long hours, sedentary working environment and driving. As a result we are sitting for longer and longer periods behind a desk or in the car.


Here are some simple tips to become more healthy and active:


  1. Get up from behind your computer after one hour and walk around for 10 minutes (go and make your own tea!!!).
  2. Keep changing position on your seat even if this may seem a poor posture position; it only becomes a problem if the position is held for long periods.
  3. Set your computer screen at eye level.
  4. Make sure when seated that your legs are bent less than 90 degrees
  5. Stand up straight. Remember what your mother said about shoulders back and head up; you will gain height immediately. This will take a conscious effort until it becomes normal practice. What this does is train your core muscles to do what they are supposed to do: support your body and help with effective movement.
  6. When driving try and take a break every hour as you will feel less tired.
  7. Always take a lunch break, you will be more productive.
  8. Get into a habit of raising your heart rate for at least half-an-hour a day, whatever that takes. Try walking in your lunch break.
  9. Most people can run, and this is a cheap form of exercise, but problems may arise if you run badly. Seek professional advice and guidance to change defects in running technique. Don’t pay excessive amounts for running shoes that do not deal with the root cause of poor technique but merely mask the problem. If you have a bike (me) make sure it’s roadworthy and get out for an hour.
  10. Make sure you drink water regularly to stay hydrated, and cut down on fizzy drinks. Take a look at the label of a well-known drink and see what the calories are, it may shock you! Diet drinks can be addictive if drunk too much because of the artificial sugars they contain.
  11. Eat appropriate food regularly and avoid fast food. Fasting may lead to an increase in fat retention because the body goes into hibernation mode. Do not eat too late – before 8pm is best.
  12. Make sure you sleep continuously for at least seven hours. If you don’t, seek help.


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