Work hard, play hard.
It’s a mantra lots of today’s businesses operate by.
However, sometimes playing too hard in your “down time” can cause lasting damage to your health and your career – so how can you balance your lifestyle in order to achieve the best results?
You might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of fun, easy and exciting ways that you can lower your stress level and also improve your health at the same time.
If you’re meeting clients, no doubt you’ll have to wine and dine them. If you’re out on the road it’s difficult to eat healthily. On top of that, it’s all too simple to grab a beer or two with friends on the way home from the office to release the stress of the everyday grind. Then on the weekends, partying is almost hard-wired into our routine – usually thanks to years at college – so drinking can seem like the norm. Often drinks after work on a Friday is encouraged as a team building activity. However, for most people there comes a point when they realize this isn’t the healthiest way to live their lives and look for a way to change it.
If you’ve reached this stage it’s time to start looking at ways to play hard in a healthier way – and there are many ways you can feel exhilarated without your health suffering. In fact, in lots of ways a healthier lifestyle can actually make you more productive and less stressed, leading to better performance in the workplace. It’s why the best companies offer gym membership as part of their employment package.
When you’re working or socializing outside of work, you might be faced with a wide array of unhealthy choices on an almost daily basis – from fast food and alcohol to recreational drugs. These are all addictive substances and with the highs brought about by consuming them there are also extreme lows, so people feel the need to keep taking them so they’re in a constant state of feeling good.
If you’re caught in a cycle with drink or drugs you’ll need to detoxify your body to get rid of all traces of these chemicals. You might need the help of your doctor to do this successfully – especially if you feel like you’re dependent on the food, drink or drugs to function every day. Even if you feel like you can handle your drug and alcohol intake it doesn’t hurt to take a break every so often; this will help you assess how much you really rely on these substances.
If you’re ready to embark on a healthier lifestyle but not ready to give up the buzz, here are some ways to achieve exhilaration and let off steam without drugs or alcohol. Some of these suggestions are ideal for groups and others for doing on your own. Some businesses have even added these activities to team building courses to encourage a greater sense of community within the workplace…
Running promotes the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural happy-making chemicals. Endorphins are also known as endogenous morphine and once you get the running bug they can be quite addictive. If you’ve ever wondered why joggers persist in running come rain or shine, here’s your answer. They’re getting their high from hitting the streets rather than taking a hit, and you can guarantee they’ll look and feel better for it in the long run.
If you’re looking for the ultimate rush try skydiving, bungy jumping, white water rafting or abseiling. These extreme activities get your adrenalin pumping while making you feel “the fear” and can help you get out in the fresh air, and get to know your work colleagues outside of the office or nightclub. By pushing yourself to conquer your fears and take on experiences you never thought possible you’ll benefit from a natural buzz, and by surrounding yourself with people who share your interests you won’t feel the need to socialize in alcohol-heavy locations.
Instead of hitting the nightclubs this weekend try heading out to a comedy club. Laughter makes the pituitary gland releases pain suppressing opiates, and that makes us feel better. Laughter also reduces stress hormone levels such as cortisol and epinephrine, and lowers blood pressure too. All this is beneficial to your health because stress hormones suppress the immune system, which can mean you’re more susceptible to illness and infection. After a hard day at the office, having a laugh with your mates can make you feel more positive – and no, it doesn’t have to involve beer.
Change comes from within a business, and you can guarantee that when your colleagues see the positive effects your new regime has had on your health – and your career – they’ll want a piece of the action too.
If you are really looking to max out your fitness routine but don’t always feel like working out here is some great advice to overcome your Lack of Motivation and Start Exercising Even If You Don’t Feel Like It.
|Written on 10/11/2013 by Claire Chettle.|
Photo Credit: Eugene Dimarsky