We all know the importance of staying healthy. But when you’re working in a demanding job, it’s easy to fall into unhealthy patterns. Did you stretch this morning? If not, you may be at greater risk of injury. Are you eating takeout again? That may catch up with you, too.
But we’re not here to nag at you. It’s Men’s Health Month! That means it’s time to focus on self-care, preventative health screening, and healthy habits that will have huge benefits down the road. Whether you work a physically demanding job or spend your entire day stuck at a desk, there are lifestyle changes that can help you create good habits for long-term health.
In this article, we'll explore some of the biggest health risks for business owners and strategies to help you take charge of your health. Let’s dive in!
Every June, organizations, healthcare providers, and individuals come together to raise awareness about health issues affecting men. Since 1994, Men’s Health Awareness Month has aimed to promote healthy lifestyles, regular screenings, and early detection of men’s health conditions. This month presents an excellent opportunity to bring these issues to the forefront, since men are often reluctant to discuss their health issues.
As a small business owner, your job can take over your life. You’re working long hours, racing to meet deadlines while chasing down new business. Your health is probably the last thing on your mind. But when you’re overworked, physical and mental stress can take a toll on your body, that can lead to serious health risks.
Whether you’re working in construction or crunching numbers all day, here are some of the potential health issues to look out for:
Running a business means long hours, endless responsibilities, and constant uncertainty. Even when you’re keeping up with the daily grind, you may not realize you’re overwhelmed. It’s easy for stress to creep up on you, putting you at risk for developing more serious issues such as depression, anxiety, and heart disease.
Pulling an all-nighter to get more work done may feel like a win, but it’s not. The CDC reports that adults who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are more likely to have chronic health conditions than those who get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation also makes you irritable and stressed, which is never good for business.
It’s no surprise that heavy lifting puts you at risk for back injuries, but sitting at a desk all day can contribute to back problems too. Chronic back pain can affect your concentration and may limit your ability to get your work done, so the sooner you address it, the better.
When you’re busy, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of eating on the run — and not running. An unhealthy diet combined with a lack of exercise can lead to weight gain and a variety of other health issues. Obesity affects approximately 75% of men 40 years or older in the United States, and it’s a huge risk factor for developing prostate cancer.
Many small business owners work independently, which can create a lonely environment. And if you work from home, it may become even more socially isolating. Loneliness is linked to depression and anxiety, and one study claims the effects can be as damaging as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
If you’re feeling the strain of trying to balance work and health, there are many things you can do to reprioritize. We have some easy-to-implement lifestyle tips that can help keep your mind and body strong and healthy. Incorporating the following into your daily routine may improve your well-being and help you avoid burnout.
Adding physical activity to your daily routine can help you stay flexible, strong, and fit. Squeeze in a quick 30-minute workout before starting your day, or hire a personal trainer if you need more motivation. Regular exercise is essential to good health since it can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Eating junk food can have a negative impact on your health, especially if you work long hours and have a relatively inactive lifestyle. Try to eat a balanced diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean protein, and whole grains. Nutritious foods can provide you with the energy you need to stay productive and focused throughout the day.
You’re running a business, so eliminating stress is almost impossible. But you should take stress seriously and find ways to reduce it. Incorporate stress management techniques into your day, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Consider seeking professional help if you're experiencing depression, anxiety, or any other mental health issues.
It may be easier said than done, but take a break during your workday. Try setting a daily reminder to take a walk, listen to music, or read. And remember to take a vacation! It’s crucial to prioritize time away from your job to avoid burnout. Schedule time off in advance and ensure you have someone to handle your business in your absence.
Regular health checkups are one way to detect early signs of serious conditions, but men are less likely than women to have preventive screenings. Recommended health screenings for men include cholesterol, blood pressure, skin cancer, and colorectal checks. Even if you feel healthy, a yearly appointment with your healthcare team keeps your overall wellness in check.
Take care of your personal health and you’ll thrive. The same can be said for taking care of your business’s health. Insurance is an important investment that can protect your business from many risks. Even if you already have business insurance, an annual checkup is always a good idea. At Simply Business, we’ll help you find the insurance coverage you need to protect your hard work.
Your health is an important asset, and it’s up to you to take care of it. Prioritizing a healthy lifestyle may be challenging, but simple good habits like eating better, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in improving your overall health and well-being. Start a few good habits during Men’s Health Awareness Month, and set yourself up for a better quality of life.
I've always loved to write and have been lucky enough to make a career out of it. After many years in the corporate advertising world, I'm now a freelance writer—running my own show and contributing to Simply Business. Fun fact: I have three desks in my house, but I still do my best thinking walking in the woods.
Susan writes on a number of topics such as workplace safety, customer sales, and workers' compensation insurance.
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