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Your health is paramount to your business

The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for small businesses, and as the economy begins to slowly open, business owners will be forced to adapt quickly to a very different business environment. However, some business owners may not have considered what might happen to their businesses should they themselves be hospitalized.

1. Be aware of the benefits of good health
By focusing on personal health, one can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Less sickness
  • Better self-image
  • Reduction in body weight and its resultant benefits
  • Improved oxygen intake
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Improved disposition
  • Reduction in cardiac risk factors

Is this not a strong and compelling case for personal health and fitness?

2. Get a regular checkup and fitness assessment
Pay particular attention to the warning messages your body sends you. These messages may come in the form of migraines, palpitations, stomach upsets to name a few. If you experience any of these over a prolonged period of time, I suggest you see a doctor immediately. In fact, a regular medical checkup (at least once a year) should be part of your personal self-care responsibility. Knowledge of health and fitness is expanding daily and a regular assessment means that you are ensuring that you are at least physically prepared for the challenges your business throws at you.

3. Keep a check on your diet
The old adage "You are what you eat" is much truer than many want to believe. Most of your exercise time and effort can be negated by what you eat and drink. It is generally recommended by nutritionists that you work on your diet before you get serious about exercising. Eat well balanced meals as regularly and mindfully as you possibly can. Encourage your family to also be health conscious by maintaining a nutritionally sound diet. Literature on this topic is available everywhere.

4. Exercise regularly
Exercise several times a week. Find a program that is enjoyable, convenient and appropriate for your age and fitness level. YouTube offers many options for this, perhaps walking, jogging, swimming, golf or cycling. Self-discipline will be challenged! For this reason, some people prefer a specifically designed programme with a fitness instructor, others choose a gym partner they can pair up with to hold each other accountable as they keep fit together. The important thing is that exercise should be fun. The moment regular exercise becomes drudgery, it is time to vary your routine. Physical exercise is an important component in your physical health and work performance.

5. Get enough sleep
Sleep recharges our batteries. Some people worry about the amount of sleep they get - some think they sleep too much, while others worry that they don't get enough sleep. Research has shown that the average sleep period is seven to eight hours a day. However, in the end, sufficient sleep seems to depend on the individual. Make sure you get as much sleep as YOU need. What is more important is that you sleep soundly.

6. Cut back on unhealthy habits
The health and social consequences of excessive use of tobacco, alcohol, energy drinks, drugs and medication in the form of sedatives, headache pills and sleeping medication have been well documented elsewhere. Overuse of these substances can affect personal health and, subsequently, productivity in the workplace.

7. Maintain a balanced lifestyle
Ancient Chinese sages stressed the importance of balance by keeping all things in perspective: Family, friends, finances, faith, fun, formal and informal education, and fitness - often referred to as the "7Fs". Apparently overemphasizing any one of the seven to the detriment of another can result in disharmony and imbalance.

As a final thought to ponder, I leave you with this... Your body is the baggage you must carry through life. The more excess the baggage, the shorter the trip.

By Futhi Cabe, WesBank Head of SME Segment

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