Eat, sleep and exercise your way to success.

Let’s Face it. We don’t always take care of ourselves as well as we should. It’s more do as I say, not do as I do approach don’t you think? We will be more than happy to offer advice to another, but will we follow through ourselves?

It’s tough sometimes, as work and pleasure gets in our way and we become distracted on what really should be simple and easy.

But whether it’s convenient or not, maintaining our health(physically, mentally and socially) should be a priority, even before our work. Why? Because if we aren’t healthy, we can’t be successful, we are no good to ourselves, our family or our work colleagues.
Related: 4 Healthy Habits You Already Know but Aren’t Doing

Let’s look at—food, sleep, exercise—and why you can’t ignore them:

Food
It’s lunch time. You’ve been in the office early and been at the desk the whole time. Maybe you move to go to the loo or have brief chat to you boss or colleague.

When those hunger pangs strike, the most appealing option seems to be greasy, ultra-convenient fast food. The aroma triggers your hunger even more. That does not compare to a freshly made sandwhich or a salad. But do you know what those excessive calories found in fried foods actually do to your post-lunch productivity?

What you eat affects your productivity in different ways, so eat smart.

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Ron Friedman lays out the facts about how different foods affect work performance. He cites a study where participants reported “food consumption, mood and behaviours over a period of 13 days.” The participants who ate less high-fat meals and more fruits and vegetables were “happier, more engaged and more creative” than those who opted for high-fat, high-calorie lunches.

We tend to think too simplistically about food. Those who are always on the go and on task without taking a breath as you power though the day see what they consume as “fuel.”

A little misleading, however. As Friedman points out, you can expect a certain level of consistency with fuel. Food, on the other hand, is less predictable. What you eat affects your productivity in different ways, so eat smart.

Sleep

When your work life is demanding(as it does happen on occasion. Some more than others) you keep erratic hours. Early starts, late finishes. When you are at home At home, you sit down to “tie up some loose ends” and before you know it 200 minutes later you fall into bed. Routine repeated over and over again throughout the weeks.

It might be your job. Even if you burn the candle at both ends, there are still steps you can put in place to make sure you’re getting adequate rest. So why is rest so valued?

Sleep deprivation has been linked to higher levels of stress, higher blood pressure levels and lower brain function. I’s almost guaranteed that your performance and productivity performance will suffer if you are not sleeping enough. Despite what others say. Sleep in not something you can catch up on.

So, how does one combat chronic sleeplessness? Finding a regular schedule definitely helps.
Create definitive work hours, making sure you give yourself enough time to unwind after finishing work.

If work is still on your mind when you go to bed, you’ll probably find yourself lying awake for a while. W
When your alarm clock goes off, get up no matter what. Don’t use the snooze button and which will upset up your sleep cycle.

Exercise
Stress can get the best of us at times, and what’s better than eliminating your problems (and fat) away by get up and active? Choose an activity you enjoy on your own, with friends or colleagues. Maybe you workplace has a program(s) in place. Working out is a great stress reliever and will take the focus off your daily pressures—as well as get fit at the same time. Regular exercise wards off depression and a host of other mental blocks that make success hard to achieve.

Talking about being active and exercising is one thing. Actually committing to it is another. The important thing is that we actually get out and do it. Commit to 20-30 minutes of activity into your day to start. Make an appointment with yourself as you would a client.

Be honest with yourself. Are you a morning, lunchtime or evening exerciser? Which do you prefer? Don’t schedule your activity at a time of day which you will find even harder to commit to. Look at being fit as your pathway to success. It’s not just something you should do; it’s something you must do.

Self-maintenance is essential to your success because it allows you to go further, get more done and most importantly, be happy doing it.