There is a vast amount of readily available information on how you can increase your health and improve your energy levels, so much so that it can become confusing or in some cases controversial.
An article published by the Australian Institute of Company Directors caught our attention, as it explores how a few simple lifestyle hacks can improve your energy at work. The article features Dr Joanna McMillan who explores the idea of “lifestyle medicine” and how it has the power to make a real difference to how you feel, your performance and energy levels for work and leisure, your mood and mental health, and, of course, your long-term health.
Here are Dr McMillan’s 5 lifestyle hacks to improve your energy at work:
1. Eat well
Dr McMillan suggests to focus on the key foundations of an optimal human diet. That is, making sure you eat predominantly plant rich, wholefoods with a sufficient variety to get all the nutrients you require.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercising not only makes you feel good, it’s scientifically proven to increase health and prevent aging of your brain. Whether it’s going for a walk, run, gym, dancing, swimming – anything that gets your body moving and your heart rate up is good for your mind and body.
3. Move more, sit less
In the modern working world, many of us sit for most of the day – whether it’s at a desk, a coffee meeting, boardroom meeting, lunchtime catch up, you name it! So, when you get an opportunity, stand up and move around. Next time take the stairs, walk/run/ride to work, stand up when you’re on a long phone call. There are so many things that we do in our day to day lives that could be substituted for something that makes us move.
4. Quality sleep
According to Dr McMillan, most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep a night. And no, you can’t just catch up on the weekend or the week for that matter. Getting a good sleep is sometimes hard, however there are a few things you can do to help and no screen time an hour before bed is one of them. Instead, try to read a book or do something that doesn’t involve looking at a screen that emits blue light – as this reduces the brain’s levels of melatonin (the hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle). You need to give your brain time to relax from your busy day.
5. Manage stress
A little stress is good and is what brings excitement and drive into our lives, but you can reach a point when the stress becomes too much. Stay on top of this and know your limits. Take some time to yourself, get away from the hustle and bustle, go on a retreat, turn your phone off and redirect your emails. Sometimes just a day or two to relax can allow your mind and body time to recover from the stress and when you come back to work, you’ll be feeling more motivated than ever.
Read the full article, 5 Ways Busy Directors Can Boost Their Health, from the Australian Institute of Company Directors Health and Wellness October Edition.