Development has its own price to pay. As we get more mechanized and as the corporate sector takes deeper roots, lifestyle issues are erupting rapidly. Meeting stringent deadlines, completion of nearly impossible targets, keeping up with the competitive market are the stressors that are affecting people along with the usual social stressors like peer and family pressures and expectations. We are surrounded by situations that play “kabaddi” with us every day, at work and at home. We are getting very busy, precisely.
Today, many working men and women are in a situation where they have a decent accumulation of wealth but zero time and inclination to work towards their health. It is funny that humans work hard for a good lifestyle but then after a point have no time to even think of food! I have known professionals working 80-hour weeks without knowing that they were losing on their health and then ending up on a hospital bed, only to realize that they had pushed themselves too much and not prioritized health. I’m writing this article out of concern for our working population rather than just a sheet of advice. Many are addicted to smoking and drinking due to increased work demands which in turn is only ruining their immediate and long-term health. But just like every goal-achievement process, getting healthy too requires you to take a decision to lead a disciplined lifestyle, not just for your family and friends but most importantly for yourself! A healthy body and mind finds it easier to become fit since they go hand in hand.
- Re-consider your current job: If your current workplace/job is putting you under too much stress then it is time you rethink. People who love their job don’t find working a few extra hours stressful which doesn’t harm their health as compared to a person who is worried all the time. Try to find a job that respects your time and health.
- Make a few key lifestyle changes: There are innumerable changes that you can make to your busy schedule but here are a few important ones:
- Reduce your alcohol consumption and quit smoking: Alcohol and cigarettes are two stimulants/depressants that have no advantages to health. Did you know that alcohol overconsumption can significantly reduce cognition and also increase risks of injuries during activities? It also significantly hampers the repair-process after a good workout and messes with your sleep cycle. Cigarette-smoking significantly reduces the cardiovascular and muscular endurance capacity of the body and obviously exposes you to lung cancer. Besides, these addictions take away a huge chunk of one’s income which could be very well invested in something constructive.
- Meal frequency and caffeine: Once the body gets used to a particular time during which food is provided, it begins to naturally release digestive acids every day at the same time! If you eat irregularly, it only sends a confusing signal to your body which causes unwanted acidity that can lead to other major issues in the long term. Eat at least 3 square meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) a day at the same timings. Eating 3 square meals a day can work as effectively as eating 5-7 small meals a day as per research studies. If you are a chai and coffee lover, try to consume them along with a food item and not on a hungry or empty stomach as this causes gastric distress.
- Sleep-quality: Make sure you sleep at least 7 hours a night. You cannot compensate on this by sleeping more during the weekend because the body works as a function of 24-hour daily cycles. Try eating dinner at least 2-3 hours before sleeping and avoid using gadgets right before going to bed.
- Exercise: If you are a person who can manage to combine cardiovascular exercise and weight-training at home, you need not go to the gym. But if you need motivation and equipment then you might want to get a gym membership near your workplace or your residence. Do not fall for the fancy gyms that are a half hour drive from your home; you will only go for a while and then quit due to the extra travelling time.
If you’re new to exercising then hiring a personal trainer is a great option. Hire an experienced professional to begin with a gradual exercise program to increase adherence and reduced risk of injuries.