This February, show some love for yourself and those close to you by observing National Heart Month. More and more a sedentary lifestyle is becoming the norm, with people working long hours and coming home too exhausted to do much more than watch TV on the couch with some takeout. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and it’s never too early to start taking preventative measures. Some of these measures can easily be incorporated into your business and throughout your work day to promote healthier lifestyles for both yourself, your coworkers, or your employees.
- Food in the Office
- An unhealthy diet is one of the main contributors to developing hearth disease, as well as a number of other health conditions. While at work, it’s much easier to grab whatever will fill you up fast and efficiently rather than take the time to eat something nutritious. Providing healthier alternatives can help both you and everyone you work with make better choices without a lot of hassle. If your business typically has snacks lying around to munch on throughout the day, replace any unhealthy options, such as potato chips, candy, or cookies, with nutrition bars, nuts, or fruit. Have office potlucks or lunch ordered in? Encourage everyone to bring in their favorite healthy and wholesome dishes to share or order from the new vegan café down the street. You might be surprised by what you end up really enjoying!
- Move More
- Inactive people are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are active and running a business often involves long hours of sitting at a desk staring at a screen. Incorporating more movement into your day, no matter how small, can help you reduce your risk. Have tasks to run during the day, such as going to the bank or meeting with clients, that take you outside your business? If they’re relatively close by then you can get some mild exercise in by walking there rather than driving. Your lunch break is also a great time to go for a stroll, and is a great time to grow closer with your coworkers or employees if you encourage them to join you. Even if it’s just standing up and stretching once every hour, any movement you make is beneficial for your health.
- Stress-less Activities
- Running a business can be extremely stressful and anxiety inducing, both factors that also play a role in heart disease. Not only do stress and anxiety cause you to crave cigarettes and foods high in fat and sugar, they can actually trigger your arteries to tighten. Playing calming music, practicing deep breathing techniques, and reducing your caffeine intake are all easy ways to reduce your stress levels throughout the day.
It’s important to remember that your health should take priority over everything in your life. Without it you’ll be unable to put your all into your business and both your work life and your personal life will suffer. Make this month the beginning of your journey to a healthier lifestyle and the prevention of heart disease.
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center
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