exercise

Offset some of the stress and strain of running a small business with a healthy diet

In recent blogs we spoke about the importance of establishing good sleeping and exercise routines to help offset some of the stress and strain of our business lives. To complete this 'good habit' cycle, it's time to give a few simple tips on diet.

THERE ARE FIVE FOODS GROUPS TO ENJOY EVERY DAY:

1. Bread, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles (include wholegrain varieties) 
N.B. Eat from this group in moderation if trying to lose weight!
2. Vegetables (include 5 serves a day)
3. Fruit (include 2 serves a day)
4. Milk, yoghurt, cheese (choose low fat dairy products)
5. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and nuts.

It is also important to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water each day. Where possible, avoid soft drinks or high energy drinks including fruit juices – avoid sugar wherever possible.

Caffeinated drinks need to be kept to a minimum and alcohol avoided.

Here is a link to the government website, Eat for Health, for more detailed information on healthy eating.

Ted Beecher
BLA Director

 

The Value of Exercise When Anxious About the State of Your Small Business

There can be any number of signs that you are anxious about the state of your business, such as:

  • Withdrawing and stopping going out
  • Feeling overwhelmed, guilty and lacking confidence
  • Relying on alcohol or sedatives 
  • Just not getting things done!

Increased fitness can lift the mood. More to the point, an exercise regime is a helpful way to block negative thoughts, provide a distraction from daily worries, increase energy levels and, when mixing it with others, make people feel less alone.

Biologically speaking, exercise can increase levels of helpful neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) that may have diminished due to depression and anxiety. It can increase the endorphins which are the 'mood-lifting' chemicals in our brains.

So, where to start? 

  • Rule no. 1 : make it simple;
  • An hour's circuit training at the gym or 50 laps of the pool may be great for you but it doesn't necessarily have to be that strenuous a workout.  If you're not that way inclined, try walking, bike riding, gardening or just commit to a household maintenance routine.
  • Importantly, do what you find enjoyable (not what others may want you to do!) but, where possible, it's good to include other people and make it a group activity.
  • Make a workable plan but ensure it has sufficient flexibility so that it does not cause added stress to the distress that you may be already experiencing. 

There are a number of websites offering more detailed tips especially if we treat exercise as medicine.

Ted Beecher
BLA Director

When Running a Business You Need Sleep Discipline

When running a business, it's good to be disciplined around sleep, diet and exercise. This enables us to manage, not just the daily highs, lows, stresses and strains of our business, but helps create a buffer against the onset of more serious matters like anxiety and depression.

This week, let's look at a few tips regarding sleep: 
• Try to get out of bed as soon as you wake. Don’t go back to sleep or try to make up for ‘lost sleep’.
• Get outside during daylight hours for both the fresh air and the daylight. Responsibly spending time in sunlight helps stabilise our body’s sleep and wake cycles.
• If you are worrying about something during the night, set aside some time for problem-solving during the day; write your problems down.
• Avoid caffeine after 4pm and try not to drink more than two cups of caffeine-type drinks each day, e.g. coffee, tea, cola or energy drinks.
• Avoid taking alcohol to help with sleep.
• Make the bedroom quiet, dim and cool. Avoid all technology and distraction, e.g. TV, phone, I-Pad.
• Avoid too many blankets and electric blankets. If you’re too hot, you won’t go into a ‘deep sleep’.

There are many websites to chose from offering help and advice on the subject of sleep. Reinforcing some of the above tips, try this one on sleep education by the American Alliance for Healthy Sleep.

Ted Beecher
BLA Director