Last Updated on October 9, 2016 by Tim
Starting a business can be incredibly stressful and in the midst of dealing with the day to day complications of being an entrepreneur, forgetting to eat well and exercise is easily done.
However, while it might not feel like it in the moment, taking care of your physical and mental well-being should always be high on your agenda.
Health and Fitness is Really Important
The physical benefits of a healthy diet and exercise routine have long been known, but it is only relatively recently that people have begun to look more closely at the secondary benefits.
It is now well understood that exercise in particular has several benefits that will positively impact your business including:
- Reduced stress
- Improved self confidence
- Improved productivity
Exercise should therefore make up a key part of the daily routine of any successful entrepreneur, particularly when things aren’t going as planned.
When the initial enthusiasm for starting a business wanes and the reality starts to set in, it is easy to find yourself in a downward spiral. Stress from the business leads to lack of exercise and poor diet, which leaves you feeling sluggish and unmotivated.
Proactively setting aside time to exercise and eat properly can help to overcome this. Even a gentle stroll can yield significant benefits.
Going for a walk often provides much needed thinking time to mull over the problems that you’re currently facing. Multiple studies have shown that walking helps to improve creativity, so you may find solutions that simply wouldn’t have occurred to you while sat behind a desk.
This just one of many reasons why it is a good idea to make regular walks part of your lifestyle.
Corporate Wellness is Becoming Increasingly Important
Big corporates have woken up to the benefits of having a healthier workforce and are looking at ways to help employees get more active including:
- On site gyms or corporate gym memberships
- Standing desks
- Company sports teams
There are a number of companies who are looking to take this trend even further. For example TrekDesk offers a treadmill desk so that you can exercise while working.
Some companies have also started offering fitness trackers to employees in a bid to improve their physical activity. Fitbit is the market leader in this space, and their corporate wellness platform boasts clients such as Adobe, BP, Box and Diageo.
As a startup or solo entrepreneur you might not have the resources to assess the impact of these technologies across your workforce, but simply making an effort to be more active during the working day is a great start.
Trial and error of different approaches and techniques is often the best way to find out what works for you and your company.
Innovators in the Wellness Space
Developments in technology have made new health and fitness devices commercially viable, which in turn have made it easier than ever to track and improve your all round wellbeing.
Several interesting startups have created solutions initially aimed at the retail market, but that could ultimately form part of a package that helps entrepreneurs and employees keep on top of their health and fitness.
- Tracking your current status is an import part of staying on top of your physical health, and mPort have seized on this, building the mPod 3D body scanner. In just 7 seconds the mPod scans your body and calculates a number of metrics including body fat percentage, BMI and hip-waist ratio.
- Poor sleep quality has seriously detrimental consequences for your productivity. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine estimates that workers lose an average of 11.3 days per year due to sleep deprivation. The Sense sleep tracker from Hello, tracks how well you sleep, but also provides you with information about your environment such as temperature and light pollution to help you make adjustments.
Wellbeing is not all about exercise; it’s also about nutrition and getting the right foods to keep your energy levels up, without consuming more calories than you need. There are a number of interesting companies that are working to address the challenges in this area, including BreadnPulp who have been profiled here previously.
Another interesting startup in this space is Lose It. Their Snap It app lets you take pictures of common foods and automatically tells you approximately how many calories it is likely to contain.
Lots of Exciting Opportunities for New Tech Companies
This space is continually evolving, and there are lots of exciting opportunities for companies who are combining the latest developments in technology with traditional knowledge of health and wellbeing.
By proactively experimenting with these tools, you can easily create a healthier, more active work environment which will help to reduce stress and improve productivity.
As you start your company, make sure you keep your health and fitness in mind, and as you grow, start to think about how you can support your employees and encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle.
Building this type of awareness into your company culture from the outset could differentiate you from your peers and help to steer you through the difficult times.