Executive Health Optimisation – Look After Your Biggest Business Asset

Some of you may have seen me on TV in the past few weeks in a re run of “Inside Harley Street”, broadcast originally in 2015 and shot in 2013/14. It’s a documentary on how stress affects lives and the benefits of investing just a little time and effort into looking after the best business asset you have in life – your health and well being.

Life in the fast lane can get pretty stressful and overwhelming at times, at any age, and in any walk of life, so how do we manage our way through poor sleep, rush hour, poor eating habits and the enormous stresses of a job and family life in the bargain, without burning out and reaching for some aid whether it be pills, alcohol, comfort food or some other distraction?

Making change is really hard when it comes to personal habits whilst managing a career. I should know. I was averaging a 14-16 hour day in 2012 and began to feel, well quite frankly lacklustre and grey. I just couldn’t put my finger on just exactly what it was, as I lived life to the full and didn’t drink or eat excessively.

On yet another train journey I spotted an advert in the Times for a Health Optimisation programme designed for busy Executives. I was curious to find out more because at that time even managing a 20-minute break in the day was impossible and I was feeling trapped.

The company, Viavi located in Harley Street, had really done its research on executive stress triggers and understood the challenges very well. I signed up to a 2-day evaluation which involved a range of tests covering every possible health indicator. It was efficient and educative, ending in an individually tailored annual programme of what I needed to do to achieve optimal wellbeing, and thus enable me to give my very best to each day without too much intervention. All I had to do was adjust my diet, increase certain vitamins and minerals and increase exercise. Simple. I just had to change the first hour and last hour of my day.

I am not going to sugar coat it – It took a lot of focus to re-plan my day and make time for myself to embark on a new eating and exercise regime whilst ensuring I took the necessary prescribed supplements each day too. At the time I would rather have taken my own kidney out with a spoon than add yet another set of new things on the to do list. But I stuck with it and it paid off. The returns have been enormous – I lost weight, slept better, vastly improved cholesterol levels and increased my energy ten fold, and as a result was able to perform far more effectively during the day and the evening. It took more than 6 weeks to get used to the new routine but the health programme, which I went on to develop for a further 3 years with Viavi, has taught me three very important lessons which I constantly remind myself of when pushing the envelope that bit too much: –

  1. Treat your body like your car – maintain it and fuel it.

You wouldn’t fuel your car with 2 star petrol and let it run on low oil – so why fuel your body with poor food and skip meals? Make time to eat during the day to maintain your blood sugars and energy.

  1. Listen to your body – it does talk to you.

If you place your body under constant pressure and demand extraordinary pace from it without balance it will begin to tell you of its issues. If ignored it will shout at you by introducing niggling ailments, persistent infections and ultimately disease (dis – ease of the body).

  1. 30 Minute Exercise Rule

Do some form of exercise for 30 minutes each day – so long as you break a sweat. It doesn’t have to be the horrendous gym routine which takes more time to travel to and get ready for. Try taking the stairs at work and a brisk end of day walk to relax and unwind.