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The workaholic CEO’s guide to staying healthy 

Mark Zuckerberg just won a gold medal in a jiujitsu competition. For a billionaire obsessed with the future of Meta, he has found time to pursue other passions and take care of his body. You can, too, with the tips below.

May 19, 2023By Bjorn Biel M. Beltran, BusinessWorld

As a good business leader, we know that you think that the time and efforts you give to your company’s day-to-day operations is a precious investment. It is not hard to see that as the one helming the ship and making all these decisions, you are an integral part of the operation.

Therefore, investing in your own health and well-being not only is a wise choice for you as a person, but it is also the most logical one for the continued success of your business.

Suffice it to say, your health is the most important thing you have. If you take care of it, nothing else matters. Here are three easy ways to make sure you are healthy and able to keep up with all the demands placed upon you by your career and life.

Be more mindful about what you eat.

As a high-powered CEO, chances are that your schedule is packed, and your eating habits might be suffering as a result. To maintain your health and energy levels, important to make sure that what you put into your body is as good for it as possible.

That means avoiding processed foods and sugars whenever you can. Processed foods have been stripped of nutrients during the manufacturing process but still contain lots of salt, fat, and sugar, all of which are delicious for sure, but can negatively impact your health over time if consumed regularly.

This also means cutting back on alcohol consumption. Time to take account of your daily sip of your favorite brandy at the end of the day. Although there is no hard evidence linking casual to moderate drinking with heart disease risk–with some studies even suggesting the opposite–consuming more than moderate amounts of alcohol can contribute to high blood pressure and obesity—both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Eat a healthy breakfast — Starting your day with a balanced meal is not only important for your overall health, but it is especially crucial if you are a busy executive who rarely has time to sit down and eat. A good breakfast will give you energy throughout the morning and help curb cravings later in the day, which could lead to unhealthy snacking.

  • Eat protein and healthy fats at every meal — Protein can help build muscle mass and reduce fatigue, while fats give lots of energy. It is a combination that is perfect for executives who spend hours each day on their feet making deals or reviewing reports from subordinates. Such diets would typically include some type of meat at each meal. For instance, chicken breasts, eggs or fish fillets are both excellent sources of protein and healthy fats.
  • Consume more greens — It is also possible to have vegetarian and even vegan diets with plenty of the macronutrients you need. Tofu makes for great, healthy vegetarian dishes when paired with vegetables like spinach or kale, which also contain plenty of vitamins, and grains, nuts, beans, and other legumes, make for excellent sources of nutrition.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day – Sometimes you might forget to take a glass of water. At least eight glasses, or about a liter of water per day, is recommended. Water keeps you hydrated, allows for your body to properly transport nutrition to your brain, maintain body temperature, and much more. You especially need water when dealing with high stress, high intensity situations like during long, important meetings or working out. Keep in mind that while about three to five cups of plain coffee a day is perfectly normal and can be part of a healthy diet, it is no substitute for a tall glass of water.

Make your workout a priority.

You probably know you should be moving more. The benefits of exercise have long been repeated over and over, in books, magazines, TV, and the internet. But busy as you are, it simply is not that easy to make time for it.

There is no other way to go about it. You need to schedule your workouts into your calendar as though they were meetings or appointments and treat them as such. The only way to make time for your workout is to make it a priority, equal in value to any other business meeting you have. It can be argued that it is even more important, as exercise can ensure that you will be able to keep healthy and capable of leading your company for years to come.

Once you have decided when and where those workouts will happen each week, stick with that schedule no matter what happens. If necessary, block out some additional time during the day so that nothing gets in between you and working out. After a while, the results will speak for themselves.

Get enough sleep.

Like exercise, getting more sleep is as important to your performance, mental and physical health as your diet.

Sleep helps with creativity and productivity. Without enough sleep, you are liable to make poor decisions, your memory can suffer, and you can have trouble absorbing critical information and solving problems.

Make sleep a non-negotiable part of your schedule, no matter how busy you are. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule is paramount to staying healthy, and it helps you deal with the stress of daily life and deal with other people much better. It helps if you can also invest in better sleep by buying a better mattress, or by making sure you sleep in a comfortable room with good ventilation.

If you are a workaholic CEO, it can be hard to find time to take care of yourself. But if you make it a priority, there are lots of ways for you to stay healthy without sacrificing your career. You just need to realize that choosing a healthy lifestyle is as important as any other meaningful business investment—and then stick with it!

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