This blog post was originally published on August 12, 2018, and it is updated with fresh information.
Life is demanding and when faced with limited time, busy people tend to sacrifice their self-care. Here are 5 health tips for busy people so that you can prioritize your health and ultimately become even more productive.
# 1 Get adequate sleep
When you have a lot of work to complete, it is tempting to cut back on sleep, but that is not advisable. Adults typically need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. By reducing your sleep, you actually squander your precious time, and here’s why:
Sleep deprivation impairs your memory and drains your mental abilities. When you’re fatigued, tasks take longer to complete. You’re more prone to mistakes and errors in judgment.
Fatigue increases your chance of causing a serious accident. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 21% of fatal motor vehicle crashes involve driver fatigue.
Long-term, you may be literally disrupting your life, since inadequate sleep significantly increasing your risk for diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, and depression.
#2 Eat breakfast at home
Do you often grab breakfast on the go? Take a look at the nutrition information of breakfast sandwichs and sugary lattes, and I promise you will think again. Not surprisingly, some breakfast combos contain about the same nutrients as a cheeseburger and milkshake. Sugary beverages taste good, but sugar can cause a blood sugar crash that leaves you feeling fatigued within just 30 minutes. You might be working on a key project, or trying to conduct an important meeting and suddenly you feel the energy being drained out of your brain.
Eating breakfast at home saves time and makes you more productive. This is one of the most overlooked health tips for busy people. Breakfast fuels your body so that you can get more things done. Skipping breakfast might lead to a midday slump and reduced productivity.
An example of a quick and energizing breakfast is green tea, microwaved oatmeal, fresh berries, soy milk, and a handful of raw walnuts.
# 3 Drink more water
The human brain is composed of 80% water. Busy people frequently forget to drink fluids and they develop dehydration. There are serious risks with dehydration that you may not realize are placing your wellbeing at risk.
Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, impaired cognitive function, memory loss, and decreased productivity. Your day doesn’t have to be this way.
#4 Minimize fast food
Does buying fast food save time? Not necessarily. More importantly, you are likely to eat high calorie, nutrient-poor food that increases the risk of illness Once you learn to prepare a few easy meals, you’ll realize that cooking takes no more time than it took to grabbing fast food.
#5 Exercise in short intervals
Instead of deciding that you don’t have time to exercise, do short mini-workouts. Exercise for 15 minutes in the morning and again in the evening. Try 10 minutes three times a day. For example, you could briskly walk, take stairs, jog, do jumping jacks, or jump rope in without going to a gym. Gradually increase the duration of your workouts as tolerated.
Of course, you’re super busy, but don’t make decisions that ruin your health. In the long run, your healthy choices add years to your life and make you much more productive today.
Without the right health habits, you and your colleagues don’t have what you need to perform at your very best. If your organization seeks an engaging corporate wellness presentation to help improve the performance and productivity of your team, contact Dr. Carla Hightower at [email protected] to schedule a free 30-minute strategy session.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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