The fitter you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, the better you can manage stress and negotiate the ups and downs of running a business, says Erika Kruger, a Workplace Wellness Consultant.
Kruger says entrepreneurs should care as much about their well-being as they do about the financial and operational aspects of their companies.
To achieve this have wellness as an objective to your strategy, says Kruger.
“Not in a fuzzy, I-have-good-intentions, when-I-have-the-time type of way, but as a strategic goal with measurable outcomes. Then be accountable to achieving those goals.”
A better, fitter you
Sam Hlonyana, known as The Habits Guy is the founder of the 90 Days Without Sugar Movement, an online wellness program which he launched after sharing on social media the results of cutting out sugary drinks and food. Hlonyana lost 13 kilograms as a result.
Hlonyana’s focus is on the impact of diet and nutrition and how it affects physical health and productivity.
Since cutting sugar out from his diet, Hlonyana says he noticed a difference in his energy levels and that he no longer dozed off during meetings or training. “Before cutting out sugar I couldn’t run, now I run about 10km.”
Hlonyana’s movement encourages people to cut out sugar for 90 days, by implementing small steps.
“Rather focus on one simple habit. It starts with one step, start small and build from there.”
Ready to make a life change? Kruger and Hlonyana on how South African entrepreneurs can start to better their productivity.
On building new healthier habits
‘Have a plan’ – You need to have a strong why before starting a new habit. You must know why you want to be fit or want to lose weight. Then set short term and medium goals. Also, planning is essential, because entrepreneurs are very busy, it’s critical for them to plan. For example, if I can’t eat lunch a particular day, I do a big breakfast. – Hlonyana
‘Write down your goals’ – Be mindful of the choices you make about what you eat, and what you do and how you react to people and situations. Just as you need to plan your day to improve productivity, plot your actions, set specific well-being outcomes and develop a daily health routine. Make the goals and write it down even if it is something as simple as ‘Drink water’, ‘Take the stairs,’ ‘Relax’. Do it every day until it becomes a habit. – Kruger
‘Healthy alternatives’ – If you don’t plan meals ahead you might get hungry and binge on unhealthy snacks. I’m on the road a lot to see customers because I’m sales executive. I keep healthy snacks like almonds and biltong in the car. – Hlonyana
On the connection between exercise and your mental health
‘Get moving’ – Motion increases blood circulation and oxygen supply throughout the body for better physical and mental performance. Walk while speaking on the phone. Rather than using the lift, take the stairs. Take lunchtime walks and walking meetings. Pay attention to your posture. Good posture improves breathing and oxygen uptake. – Kruger
‘Give yourself an hour’ – Be selfish with the first hour of your day because the rest of the day you give to other people. For example, do jumping jacks, meditate or read. Invest one hour to yourself, to your health. – Hlonyana
On your environment
‘Control what you can‘ – Make changes in your workspace to support physical comfort (visual interest, natural elements like water features and plants, quality of light, air, temperature, sound, and ergonomics); functional comfort, using the right tools and effective interaction with the work environment and psychological comfort, control over the job and the workspace. De-clutter, organise and simplify. – Kruger