Whether you work for yourself or you're a worker-bee, a recent study from the Journal of Occupational Health and Medicine determined that the more hours someone worked per week, on average, the more likely he or she was to be diagnosed heart disease. On average, entrepreneurs work anywhere from 52-60 hours a week, which is 63% longer than the average worker.
WHAT THE STUDY ACTUALLY SAYS...
"After controlling for factors including age, sex and income, the researchers determined that, over a 10-year period, participants who worked a 55-hour-week were 16 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease diagnosis than those who only worked 45 hours per week. As the number of work hours per week increased, so did this relative risk. Participants who worked 60 hours per week were 35 percent more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease than those who worked 45 hours, while those who worked 70-hour-weeks were 74 percent more likely."
Obviously working long hours isn't the only thing that is tied to an increase risk of heart disease. Stress, of course is a biggy - And what entrepreneur doesn't feel stress? After all, it taxes every aspect of your being - often all at once. Your physical, mental, emotional and psychological factors are all working together to keep you and your business running on all cylinders.
I'm exhausted just thinking about it, which brings me to the most important thing long hours and stress do to us. Loss of sleep! Sleep is the most important underlying factor to help you manage stress and maintain good overall health. That means staying up until 1am to finish a presentation for a prospective client, and then waking up at 6am isn't about to lead to a healthy heart!
Of course genetics play a role. Believe me, I live it. Both of my parents, who exercise and eat right, for the most part, are walking around with stents in their arteries. My Dad actually had a cardiac arrest while he was working out in the gym 5 years ago in his late 70's. That means, his heart literally stopped! Thank goodness he was revived by some quick-thinking trained workers who performed CPR on him (to whom we are forever grateful), but it was a close call. And, both of my parents had parents who died at a very young age from heart disease. We're talking age 56 for my Mom's Dad and 45 for my Dad's Mom!
(Disclaimer: Before you begin any exercise program, please get permission from your Doctor first)
- Love yourself. If you don't think you're worth saving, then who will? If your negative self-talk is stopping you from taking care of yourself, then it's time to talk to someone to find out why. Consider talking to a therapist or a Life Coach.
- Begun is half-done. Wake up tomorrow and take your first step towards health. If all you do is put on your sneakers, at least your off to a start. Then the next day you might add some workout clothes to your sneakers. If you do 5 minutes of some kind of movement (walking, dancing, etc..) you've done great. The next day, go for 10 minutes.
- It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. Transformation happens after a series of small shifts in your behavior. Be patient with yourself. Slow and steady gets wins the race.
- Do what you love. If you don't like to exercise, it's probably because you don't like what you're doing. Find some kind of physical activity you enjoy like dancing, Yoga or Pilates. My mother is 82 years old and does line-dancing twice a week. She loves it and is fully committed to it on the days she dances. No excuses.
If you are looking to lose weight, just know that success is 80% diet and 20% exercise. However, you could be a skinny-minny person and still be at risk for heart disease. Exercise is integral to a healthy heart. Your heart is a muscle that pumps blood and oxygen throughout your body. Make sure you're building that muscle strength to keep it pumping.
Eat What You Love
Yes, you read that right. I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian, so it is out of my scope of training to provide you with a meal plan. But I can offer some general tips to think about next time you sit down for a meal.
- Food is fuel. That's all. Your body is a machine that needs fuel to function. But is it an old jalopy that's ready for the junk yard? Or is it a fine (plug in your favorite luxury car here) that needs the best fuel money can by. Hopefully, for your sake, it's the latter. So that means, take the emotion out of eating. I know it's easier said than done, but if you can wrap your head around that concept, then you're half-way there.
- Eat consciously. Step away from the computer or TV when you eat! Use all 5 of your senses while your eating. What does it taste like? Smell like? Feel like on your tongue? Does it make a sound when you chew? What does it look like? If you are mindful when you eat, you will not only enjoy your food more, but you will probably eat less. Also be conscious of what you've eaten during the day. If you had a big breakfast with a lot of calories, then eat moderately during your other meals. But by all means, don't starve yourself! Remember a car will not run if it doesn't have fuel.
- Eat the rainbow. Try to have 3-5 colors in every meal. That will help assure you that you are getting the nutrition your body needs.
- Eat what you love. Salads and foods that taste like cardboard is not the way to sustain healthy eating habits. That means, don't eliminate what you love from your diet, just manage it. If you have to eat a piece of cake, then eat 2 bites and throw away the rest. Begin adding 1 nutritious food each day. After a while, every meal will have something healthy and nutritional in it.
- Not all healthy food is created equal. Visit with a nutritionist or dietitian if you can to determine if you are allergic to any foods. Almonds, for example, might be good for one person, but might cause inflammation in your body. Inflammation can lead to weight gain and an overall feeling of yuckiness (is that a word?). You might be aware that a particular food causes inflammation in your body, but you will see the difference in how you feel once you eliminate it.
Your Heart is Your Business
Your heart is more than just a pumping machine. It's what we put our hand over when we say the Pledge of Allegiance. It's your promise to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It stands for love - of others, and most importantly of yourself. We commonly say, "You put your heart into your business." Your heart stands for passion and purpose. It's who you are. Stand up for it, protect it and love it.
Created on Oct 6th 2018 00:48. Viewed 937 times.