By Adam Mendler, CEO of The Veloz Group and founder of Beverly Hills Chairs, Custom Tobacco and Veloz Solutions.
While my education in science is limited to a degree in political science, I know enough to know that your heart helps you get the most out of a workday. Dating back to my time in college, I recognized the importance of health and exercise in order to keep my body and my mind sharp as can be. And as an entrepreneur, I have observed first-hand just how vital it is to consistently operate at or near a peak physical level. In the spirit of heart health and February, I put together a list of simple tips I use to help keep my heart healthy even while I'm at work.
Eat Healthfully Throughout The Day
It is important to keep your blood cholesterol in check by selecting healthy food choices during your meal breaks. The American Heart Association (AHA) explains how dietary fiber from whole grains can help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. I opt for unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, beans and vegetable oils as I pound through my fair share of tuna, salmon and the catch of the day. I also eat a lot of fiber, found in fruits, vegetables and other plant foods. Dietary fiber also helps me feel full, which represses a desire to overeat. While people I work with often tease me for my dedication to eating healthy, the benefits, from increased energy to fewer sick days, are worth the trade. Establishing a routine and developing good habits are key. While a new diet may divert your focus from your business for a few days, in the long run, healthy eating becomes second nature and so do the perks that come with it.
The American Heart Association also recommends getting at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. That works out to about 30 minutes of moderate exercise on five days of the week. I personally try to work out every morning for at least an hour, with the exception of the days in which my body is recovering from the strenuous activity of the preceding several days. I find that my energy levels are much higher on the days I work out. I also move around a lot throughout the day and try to take the stairs whenever possible -- something everyone should try to do. If you have a desk job, try using a standing desk or a walking desk to facilitate more movement throughout the day.
Hit the Sack
Research presented by the National Sleep Foundation shows that people over the age of 45 who sleep fewer than six hours each night are about twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke than are those who sleep six to eight hours nightly. On the nights I don't sleep well, I feel it the next day. And needless to say, I am not the only one. A productive day starts the night before, so even if you find yourself overloaded with work, do not skimp on the requisite amount of time you need to give yourself each night to stay fresh. Rather than sleeping less, identify ways you can be more efficient with your time while awake and eliminate activities that are sucking time and not adding real value to you.
Consider Meditation to Address Stress
As a business owner, stress is an unwelcome but inevitable part of the game. There is and always will be something to stress over. Effectively managing your stress is key and consistently engaging mediation is a great way to proactively address and combat the pressure that comes with business. People can meditate in different ways, but it is vital to dedicate time each day to taking a step back. It will make your performance the rest of your day all the more effective. Meditation is incorporated into yoga classes, can be accessed on demand through numerous apps and can even be as simple and informal as shutting yourself off from the chaos around for just a few minutes.
Making heart health a priority both at home and at work can improve your cardiovascular fitness and reduce your risk for heart disease. Keep your heart healthy while working so you can have the chance to enjoy a vibrant and healthy life.
Disclaimer: The above content should not be perceived as medical advice. If you have specific questions regarding your health, please consult a medical professional.
Adam Mendler is CEO of The Veloz Group and founder of Beverly Hills Chairs, Custom Tobacco and Veloz Solutions.