How do we remain healthy while successfully navigating a type-A lifestyle?
I was on Park Avenue and 49th Street in Manhattan at around noon yesterday. Armies of well-dressed people crowded the sidewalks while getting lunch from food trucks and take-out establishments. As I admired their clothing, handbags, and shoes, I also noticed them wearing the unmistakable look of stress. (And carrying unhealthy food in their hands.)
Not long ago, I was one of them. Unless I had a client meeting, I would rush to grab lunch, which I ate at my desk while answering the phone, replying to emails, or taking part in team meetings. If the meal started out healthy, eating it while multitasking cancelled out many of its benefits. I knew this, but I prioritized what I believed was efficiency at the cost of self-care. It is an extremely easy delusion. Like many people, I got caught up in the pressure to be more productive.
It’s challenging to prioritize your wellness when you are on the run. My previous career as a private banker responsible for business development makes me intimately aware of the demands of a tight schedule.
U.S. Census Bureau data suggests that health is a far more powerful determinant of an individual’s happiness than income, marital status, age, or any other factor. Self-described “healthy” people are 20 percent happier than average. That’s significant.
So how do we remain healthy while successfully navigating a type-A lifestyle?
The key to maintaining your health is having your body remain in homeostasis, meaning balance. When your body gets out of balance, it creates symptoms to let you know. Remain that way long enough, and illness manifests.
During the years I worked in corporate America, I developed my own wellness interventions. It took time, but I saw the benefits. I passed my secrets on to friends and colleagues. They also had success with them. I share these secrets with my clients.
We’ve all heard that we should sleep more, practice mindfulness, and eat better. These are lofty goals. Here are six easily accessible tips to help you do all those to improve your health. Change isn’t easy, so try these one at a time:
Without enough sleep, your hormones, decision-making, energy level, and mood are severely affected. When it comes to improving your wellbeing, getting quality sleep is non-negotiable.
To increase both the quality and quantity of your sleep, try even five minutes a day of seated meditation. If you need some extra help, I recommend two pumps of Bach Rescue Sleep Spray, a natural homeopathic sleep aid, under your tongue. When there’s so much going on that you simply can’t get shut-eye, my go-to remedy is to take herbal supplement passionflower before bed. (I recommend capsules by Nature’s Answer.)
How much water people need varies, so a good starting point is to drink one half ounce per pound of body weight daily (65 oz/8 cups for a 130 lb person). When you wake up, your body is in its most dehydrated state. I recommend that you allot one to two cups of your daily intake to your morning routine.
Research shows that we should poop every day. The healthy range is typically one to three times daily. If you find yourself pooping considerably less than that, you are most likely constipated. In this case, I recommend liquid chlorophyll by World Organic (100 ml). Add one tablespoon to a cup of water and drink before breakfast each morning and before dinner to encourage more regularity.
Green juices are the rock stars of healthy juices. They have impressive benefits: They help to alkalize the body, lift energy, support gut health, maintain a healthy liver, and promote a strong immune system. Do it! My favorite green juice combo is kale, parsley, and watercress in equal portions. After straining the fiber, feel free to add ginger and/or lemon to your taste. I recommend drinking a half to three-quarters of a cup daily.
At breakfast, skip the bagels, cream cheese, and muffins. Choose eggs (a rich source of protein and vitamins including Vitamin D and choline), scrambled tofu, oatmeal, or fruit instead. Not sure if anything healthy will be available? Always keep instant oatmeal packets on you.
Be aware that though meat is usually highest in protein, some plants—such as watercress, spinach, mustard greens, broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower—also contain decent amounts. Include a good dose of them each day. As for dessert, try some dark chocolate.
Break from sitting every 30 minutes. Commit to an exercise program at your home, local gym, or yoga studio. If you find this difficult, try walking as much as you can. It’s the easiest and most effective change to implement. Can you take time out for 15-minutes each day? Try taking a walk during that period. Who doesn’t have time for a 15-minute commitment to themselves?
Your health is a lot more important than any clothing, handbag, or shoes (men included here). Invest in it.