The life of an entrepreneur can be very stressful. Challenges in business cannot be avoided, and at times, they may feel overwhelming. The problem is that a stressful life increases the risk of cardiovascular illness. Heart attack remains a leading cause of death in the U.S., and the best way to prevent it is to make a series of lifestyle choices that eliminate or reduce stress and other risk factors.
Consider the following steps for a healthier heart:
- Quit smoking – If you smoke, work with your physician to develop a plan to quit. Approach your resolution as you would a business plan—with deliberate and specific steps and a firm deadline. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease.
- Move around – Just as smoking contributes strongly to cardiovascular disease, so too does inactivity. Many chronic diseases have been linked to a sedentary lifestyle, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, dementia, and obesity. There are many ways to be active, such as standing up and moving around the office every 30 minutes, doing aerobic routines at home, or walking for a few miles every day.
- Revamp your diet – As an entrepreneur with a packed schedule, it can be hard to find time for well-balanced meals, but it’s imperative to eat right. Make it a priority to consume more than five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Avoid instant, processed foods that can be high in calories, salt, and preservatives. When you are attending business lunches, opt for light, healthy menu items.
- Watch that waist – There’s an adage that the longer the belt, the shorter the life span. The accumulation of fat around your waist can have a negative impact on your overall health. Watch what you eat, and exercise to burn the extra pounds you have accumulated.
- Get enough sleep – Surviving on just a few hours of sleep may seem like a point of pride, but it can wreak havoc on your body. Sleep allows your body the opportunity to re-energize and repair itself. Skip sleep long term and risk illness.
Your business success is important, but not as important as your well-being. Take good care of your health, and you’ll be better equipped for success at work.