Health Hacks for the Busiest of Business Leaders

Summer is hitting hard this year, and for many of us, that means wanting to feel our best. Every morning, you see the joggers outside, hitting the pavement, and the pool is full of people getting their laps in, taking breaks to sunbathe and get a tan. But as a business leader, it’s hard to join in: you’re one of the busiest people you know, and in the summer, consumers are often in a good mood, which means more business. So you’re even busier than usual. Whether you’re busy growing your business with a new social media strategy or opening a new storefront downtown, it’s hard to make time for your health.

Luckily, some great hacks work especially well for business leaders. It’s all about using that same creativity and ingenuity you use in the office already, and applying it to your health. Because at the end of the day, good health is good for you and business. Here’s how to make it happen.

Schedule in exercise time

When you’re busy, one of the first things people usually give up is time for exercise. And if you’re also waking up every morning and checking up on your business first thing, it can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of answering important emails instead of getting out of bed and going to the gym. But exercise is incredibly important. Not only because strength-training will boost your metabolism and aerobic exercise like bike-riding will make your heart stronger, but also because it’ll energize you. And being energized first thing is a huge deal for anyone coming into the office facing new challenges every day.

We’re not saying you have to become one of those “gym people.” You don’t have time for it anyway. But scheduling in time, three times a week, is just as important as scheduling meetings with potential clients and partners. And if you truly don’t have the time to spend an hour at the gym, there are other strategies you can use, like an online exercise app. These apps are created for busy people and will give you a series of routine twenty-minute workouts you can do instead of watching Netflix on the couch. Additionally, ClassPass is great if you’re always traveling. They give you access to gyms in most American cities, and you can take all kinds of classes, from pilates to weight-lifting to spinning.

Obesity is rising in the US, and the last thing you want is to not fit into that business suit that guarantees you sales and partnerships. So get some exercise, and improve both your body and pump those endorphins that’ll make you shine the next time you’re giving a presentation.

Get off of social media

Chances are, you waste a lot of time on social media. That time that could be going to exercise, relaxation, and sleep–all things that we desperately need to be healthy. And if you’re spending time in front of any screen before going to bed, that’s ruining your sleep and your productivity the next day. According to a study released in 2016:

“On average, participants used their smartphones for a total of 38.4 hours over a 30-day period. Individuals with a longer average screen time were more likely to have poorer sleep quality and less sleep overall: About 35 percent of those who used their smartphones for shorter amounts of time than average had sleep difficulties, compared with 42 percent of those with average or greater than average use.”

But it’s not just sleep that’s ruined by being on your phone. Social media is designed to be addictive, and even though you get a tiny bit of happiness anytime someone likes a photo or status you’ve posted, it’s temporary. It can develop into an addiction. And if you’re already busy, it’s eating time away from your life and your business. If you think you’re having trouble letting go, check out this guide on how to detox from social media. And if you need social media to run your business (who doesn’t?), then use it only for your businesses, a few hours a day, during business hours–or hire a social media manager.

Know your stressors

Finally, it’s important to think about your mental health. As a business person, you’re probably very good at functioning well, even when you’re super-stressed or busy. But do you ever find yourself reaching for an extra donut, or smoking a cigarette to ease the anxiety? It’s important for you to know your stressors because once you know what they are, you can face them head-on. That means a healthier life, both in terms of your relationship with yourself and with the people around you.

Considering that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, and you’re so busy all the time, it’s worth doing some soul-searching or speaking with a professional to focus on your mental health. Don’t have much time? Get an online therapist, and schedule sessions when they work for you.

These are some of the best ways to stay healthy, even when you’re so busy. What other strategies do you use to stay healthy? What are your greatest health challenges?