Triple Bottom Line for your Health
Mary Bacon | On 14, Jan 2017
Whether I am working with Olympic athletes or corporate clients, the demands on the body, mind and emotions are similar to achieve results in all facets of life.
Peak performance is just as important to the sales executive as it is to the elite athlete.
But how many of us think of applying the same motivation and discipline to our health and work life balance?
In my previous article, I talked about setting up a good foundation with clear intentions to achieve a healthy lifestyle for the entire course of your life.
It’s more important to set intentions that will improve your health and work-life balance than to set those that will over-tax your body and potentially lead to damage or problems. So, remember to listen to your body!
Working with driven people such as sales executive and CEOs, it is my experience that they require reserves of mental energy, physical stamina and stable emotions to achieve their targets and KPIs. But they are also inclined to set unrealistic goals that would overtake their life and may actually be detrimental to their health.
It is imperative to have a holistic approach to your health and wellbeing. It’s really a non-negotiable – like a triple bottom line for your health!
Many people simply need some help to find regular time for exercise and healthy lifestyle activities.
As the New Year starts and you get back to work and training, why not make some decisions that this year will be different, better, bigger, healthier and wiser!
Here are six tips for peak performance – and you don’t have to be an elite athlete!
Mindset – Optimism!
We don’t pay attention to boring things.
Get excited about living a big life, a full life. Start by depositing healthy thoughts, empower yourself with positive, uplifting and results-oriented mantras.
If meditation does not work for you, perhaps go into a focused stillness. Visualize an end result to something your heart desires. It could be a financial goal or it could be a health goal.
On a subconscious level, you are programming your brain to achieve more. Every morning you will wake up energized and ready to go.
Sleep – Nightly nourishment!
Adrianna Huffington (Huffington Post) in her book ‘Thrive’ talks about re-defining success and the nightly nourishment of sleep.
Her metaphor of ‘sleeping your way to the top’ can’t be any closer to the truth. Scientific studies now show that sleep deprived bodies lead to weight gain, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and some cancers. It is well proven that excessive fatigue reduces performance and leads to poor decision-making.
Your aim should be to get 7 hours of good quality sleep.
Exercise – Cognitive benefit!
Exercise has an enormous effect on your mental, emotional and physical state. A fit body requires less sleep and less stimulants such as coffee or caffeinated drinks.
Research shows that exercise prevents many diseases including cancers, Alzheimer’s and bone density disorders. Strength training also provides cognitive benefits, however, too much exercise can hurt cognition.
Exercise can also have a negative response on the body. It is a stressor, increases the adrenal pump and the workload on the heart.
Choose activities you enjoy that also cover the key areas of aerobic, strength training and therapeutic exercises.
Nutrition – Eat for performance!
You don’t have to be an athlete to be eating for performance. Mental clarity and energy is required every day in decision-making, combating stress and disease.
Don’t focus so much on only creating, cooking and choosing the foods that are healthy. It’s often simpler to eliminate the foods that are not good for you. Most of us know that a bottle of wine, too much coffee, high sugar fix foods and junk food are not good for our bodies. Eliminate those and you automatically improve your nutrition.
Stress – How much is too much?
Stress helps drive us to peak performance. But adrenaline and cortisol build up over a long period causing harmful effects on our mind and body.
Men and women respond differently to stress, as do different personality types. Some need stimuli with the right amount of adrenaline, however others need total ‘Zen moments’ that clear out emotional, mental and physical drain.
Find stress release mechanisms that work for you to keep your stress at manageable levels.
Hydration – Body
The average human body is approximately 60% water. Some obese people have as little as 45%.
The digestive system of a hydrated body functions better with the absorption of nutrients and elimination. Another key factor is improving blood circulation and avoiding headaches.
Typically, you should drink 0.033 x your body weight in kg. For example, a 75kg person should drink about 2.5 litres per day (more if exercising). Buy a 1.5 litre water bottle to keep at your desk and remember to refill it once during the day.
You should be able to identify some changes from this list that will help improve your health. I recommend relatively small changes that you can stick with for the long term – because that delivers results for life.
And for my highly-driven people who are thinking, That’s pretty easy! – my challenge to you is to choose an improvement in every one of these areas and do them for two weeks. Watch the results and stay with it for life. Challenging enough?
Whether you are an athlete, corporate executive or whomever, the Triple Bottom Line is this: continuous and sustained improvements lead to peak performance.