Today’s business climate can be so incredibly exciting and challenging that we overextend ourselves, both physically and mentally. Many, if not most, people run themselves ragged by going, going, going and not taking time to recharge their batteries.
The constant pressure and fear of failing to meet targets and customer expectations, together with long working days, drains much of our energy. We are often too busy to pay attention to keeping both body and mind fully functional. One of the first signs of a lack of energy is over-breathing – “feeling somewhat fatigued” – which is a common problem that often goes undetected. This can accelerate unconsciously to the point that it becomes a learned and accepted maladaptive pattern, and it increases one’s risk for errors, illness, and burnout.
The outcome of physical, mental, and other health-related issues can be that we are less than 100% mentally engaged on the job. The evidence that overwork, fatigue, mental health issues, and burnout are prevalent in the work place is overwhelming, but too many of us neglect the early signs due to lack of knowledge or because we think they are a sign of weakness.
Early warning signs can be physical (such as fatigue, shallow breathing, low heart rate variability, indigestion, tight muscles, tiredness, increased blood pressure, etc.), mental (such as low concentration, negative thinking, low work motivation and performance, poor judgement, errors, etc.) and/or behavioural (such as anxiety, irritability, isolation, difficulty in working with others, inappropriate leadership, lack of self-confidence, etc.)
What’s one thing that can lower your risk of prolonged fatigue and has no side effects?
If you guessed exercise, you’re right!
Exercise has the power to keep your body and mind in sync and prevent high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer. In fact, exercise boosts your well being on all levels – physical, mental, and emotional – and sharpens your memory, trims your waistline, boosts your sex life, and preserves your independence. Regular exercise together with some multi vitamin is a great way to go.
So why isn’t everyone exercising?
Two of the biggest reasons that people don’t exercise are that they believe it takes a lot of time, and they don’t know where to start.
On this blog we want to give you an easy summer boost and some first ideas to get started.
· Start with a brisk morning walk of 15-20 minutes (or jogging if your prefer) after having drunk a glass of water or morning tea together with some fruit that is easy to digest.
o Before beginning your walk, do a little warm up and some stretching movements of the arms, upper body, hips, and legs.
o If you have a smart phone you can monitor how long you walk by starting up the accelerometer or using a free run keeper program.
o When you walk, gently swing your arms in rhythm with your gait, keeping your head up, and smile.
o When you smile and laugh, the whole wide world smiles at you – it makes you feel good and freshens the day.
· Once you have completed your walk or run (complete with happy smile) and the body’s “feel good hormones” (endorphins) have been released, you will feel great.
· Give yourself 5-7 minutes to sit quietly before taking a shower.
· After a couple of mornings of this activity you will feel stronger, happier, and more engaged.