Despite having all the modern comforts, very few of us can lead a productive and healthy life. No, I am not talking about just controlling your weight. Though weight loss is an essential aspect of your health, the benefits of leading a healthier lifestyle stretch well beyond physical appearance. Together physical, mental, and social fitness will boost your productivity.
The sedentary lifestyle which involves spending hours pinned to a desk, eating comfort food, working late hours, and watching TV for hours before going to bed is primarily responsible for negative impacts on your performance and wellbeing. To maximize your performance and wellbeing, you will need to replace this sedentary lifestyle with a salubrious one.
The following four principles will help you in this regard.
1.Trade Your Screen Time for Physical Activity
Too much sedentary screen time and too little physical activity can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even the chances of a stroke. It also adversely affects your sleep cycle, resulting in lower concentration and performance levels at work and home.
Unfortunately, the more time you spend in front of the screen, the more tired you feel due to lack of sleep. You are too tired to get enough physical activity in the day, while you are not tired enough to get a sound sleep every night. You need to break this vicious cycle as soon as possible. The best way to do that is to minimize your screen time.
Try to trade as much of your screen time for physical activities as possible, especially long hours watching TV and mobile use. You can join a gym, start cycling, running or brisk walking. Instead of watching the morning news for half an hour and driving to your office, take the subway and walking the rest of the way to work. You can read a newspaper to catch up with the news.
At work, you can take periodic screen breaks. You can simply visit the rest room and splash some cold water on your face or simply take a stroll for a few minutes. Though it will not improve your physical fitness, it will certainly provide your mind with a powerful cognitive boost.
2.Get Your Five-A-Day
It simply means eating five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. A healthy lifestyle needs both physical activity and balanced diet. The junk food will not provide you with enough nutrition required for daily physical and mental activity. If you eat breakfast cereal, mix it with at least two types of fruit such as apple, grapes or berries. Try different variations so that you don’t get bored.
You can eat vegetables for lunch and dinner. You can combine fruits and vegetables with proteins such as cheese, peanut butter, yogurt, boiled chicken or even boiled eggs. You can find several different healthy recipes online. So, trying a new recipe every week isn’t impossible. If you are going to eat out or at the office restaurant, make sure to pick up healthy dish such as a salad.
Never eat at your desk. If possible, eat lunch with your co-workers. If you like eating alone, find a quiet spot where you can eat mindfully without any disturbances. Pay attention to what you are eating.
3.Improve Your Sleep
Physical exercise, balanced diet, and adequate amount of sleep is the holy trinity of maximizing your health and wellbeing. Fortunately, healthy sleep habits are more under your control than you might think. First, you need to stick to a fixed sleep schedule, even on the weekends. It will help maintain your biological clock. An average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep daily.
Avoid drinking stimulating drinks such as coffee or tea before going to bed as they will keep you awake. Create a sleep-inducing environment in your bedroom. Make sure your bedroom is free of any noises and light and the temperature is cool. Keep computers, laptops, TVs, and work materials out of the bedroom.
Usually, a relaxing activity will help you transition from wake time to sleep time. So, create a bedtime ritual such as doing relaxing exercises or reading a book to soothe your senses. Better sleep leads to increased focus, which in turn, improves your productivity.
4.Mind Your Stress Levels
Most people have to deal with a lot of work-related as well as personal stress every day. Unfortunately, stress can reduce your focus and negatively affect your productivity as well. You can’t eliminate the stress from your life completely. However, you can find healthy ways to cope with it.
One of the best ways to deal with stress is to meditate or practice yoga. You can join a yoga class or watch online yoga videos to learn different asanas. Morning yoga is usually the best. However, you can also practice it in the evening. Just make sure to stick to a fixed schedule.
Alternatively, you can also maintain a diary to record the day’s stressful events. Write down how the situations made you feel and how you dealt with it. It will help you find better alternatives to deal with such stressful situations in future. If you are not fond of writing, you can simply record the events on your phone or talk to someone about it. The purpose here is to let it out of your system.
Taking up your favorite hobby such as painting, craft, singing, and hiking among others can also help get your mind off stressful conditions. Sometimes, however, things are beyond your control. In such situations, you just need to wait patiently and let things unfold. So, be patient and keep calm.
Physical fitness and mental well-being are necessary to lead a productive and happy life. Unfortunately, the modern society leaves little room for both and instead encourages a sedentary lifestyle. Hopefully, the above four principals will help you lead a more active life and break away from your work-related stress. Approach them with an open mind and try them out as soon as possible. Which tactics have you used to improve your productivity and lead a healthy life? Share your experiences in the comments below.
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Korie a full-time writer who writes about living and lifestyle, she likes getting perspective on various topics of interest, which range from bullet journaling to creating the perfect terrarium! Find her on Twitter.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.