Are you still looking for the secret to becoming successful in life and business?
It all starts with how healthy you are. And that means that you're eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily. After all, if you're tired and just feeling blah, then how do you expect to stay focused and energized each and every day?
With that in mind, here's a closer look at why food, sleep, and exercise can impact your success and what you can do to become a more healthy, and successful, individual.
You Are What You Eat
We've all come across this cliche at some point in our lives. But, when it comes to our productivity, it's actually spot-on.
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Ron Friedman states, "Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon."
"Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert," Fredman continues. "When we're running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it's hard to concentrate on an empty stomach."
Certain foods like pasta, bread, cereal and soda, "release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump." High fat meals, however, "(think cheeseburgers and BLTs) provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy."
Even though these types of foods are affordable, convenient, and sometimes alluring, they aren't going to provide you with benefits like;
Replace that junk food with options like kale, blueberries, fish, walnuts, and green tea if you want to give your cognitive functions a boost.
Also, don't let those hunger pangs dictate when you eat. Research has found that the best times to enjoy breakfast is between 7 and 7:30 a.m., lunch between 12:30 and 1 p.m., and dinner between 6 and 6:30 p.m. It can be difficult to keep a tight eating schedule some days, but try to plan your days so that you can follow that schedule as close as possible if you want to make sure that you remain healthy and have the right amount of fuel to get you through the day.
Get a Good Night's Sleep
We all know that getting enough sleep is important. That's not always possible - ask any parents of a newborn or a startup founder. However, the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, reminds us just how essential a good night's sleep is. "Lack of sleep exacts a toll on perception and judgment. In the workplace, its effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents. Sometimes the effects can even be deadly, as in the case of drowsy driving fatalities."
Here's the interesting thing. While sleep is important, it doesn't have to be eight hours. In fact, only 27% of highly successful people sleep between 7-8 hours. Another 27% get 6-7 hours, while 32% only sleep for 5-6 hours. Most of these individuals sleep from the hours of 11pm to 5am as well.
To get a good night's sleep, make sure that create a schedule and stick to it. You can also avoid drinking alcohol and coffee, keep you room dark and cool (between 60 and 67 degrees is ideal), have a comfortable mattress, and as I personally do each night, have a relaxing ritual before you go to bed, such as reading or meditating.
Get Your Sweat On
One habit that successful individuals, such as President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson, share is exercising daily. Besides keeping off unwanted pounds, exercising daily can help with;
Daily exercise also decreases stress, boosts your immune system, keeps you productive, and helps you sleep better at night.
Even if you can't go to the gym for an hour everyday, you can always start taking baby steps. For example, you could start using a standing desk, taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.
That doesn't sound like much, but these small actions add-up and ensure that you stay at your best physically, mentally, and emotionally.
While there's denying that food, sleep, and exercise can impact your success, it can be challenging, like when you're traveling for work. But, once you make your health a priority, it's not as complicated as it first appeared.