Health and fitness conversations are usually a struggle for people with busy work schedules. Indeed, we get so swamped with all the chaos of our daily life that we forget to pay attention to the signs that our body keeps communicating to us. But while making money is important, maintaining good health should be a top priority.
Six years ago, my buddy, Sola, lost his dad. The man didn’t die though, he isn’t dead yet. He wasn’t paying so much attention to his health, so his body had to force him to hibernate. He woke up to the paralysis of an entire side of his body. The day wasn’t supposed to go that way, it was supposed to be a great day.
It was a very important day for Sola, the day he would write the most important examination of his life – at the time though. He would write the exam well and come back home to chat and have drinks with his dad, who somehow created time for him that day after such a long time away from home. But man only proposes when he has done what Heaven cannot do.
He did write the exam well but what was supposed to be a great day turned out to be one of the saddest days of his life. A few hours after Sola had left the house, my mum got a call that his father had slumped. He was unconscious for about a month after this day. He was a business owner, who used to take contracts from the government and other organisations. His business crashed since he could no longer manage it. From that moment onwards, Sola and his siblings had to take responsibility for themselves, they had to take on odd jobs, learn new skills to pay their school fees and pay the necessary bills while also studying hard to get good grades.
Sometimes, the decisions we make and how we choose to live our lives affect the people around us in ways that we cannot imagine. Sola’s dad got so busy making money that he forgot what health and fitness sounded like, so ended up relatively useless to the people around him. They had to take on more responsibilities than they could handle. And, so many other families in Nigeria are in type of situation or even worse.
Situations like this could be avoided if we would just be cautious and pay more attention to the signs because they are always there.
Here are a few tips to maintain health and fitness, no matter how busy you get:
- Make a list. This is a little cliche but making a to-do list is very important. It helps keep you on track, so you don’t spend more time than it’s needed on a particular task. Write the things you have to do in a day according to their level of importance. There should be a time on your list to take a break from work related activities, it should be prioritized.
- Try to eat healthier. Sometimes, we get so consumed with work and other activities that we forget to eat and even when we do eat, we are eating junk because that’s what is available to us at that point. You should try as much as possible to maintain a healthy diet, eating fruits and never missing breakfast. Eating healthy foods helps to keep us healthy and aids our body system in fighting diseases.
- Travel away from home and work. It is very hard for a lot of us to stay away from work, especially entrepreneurs. We are always looking for new ways to make money, we never take time off. To be healthy, you need to take some time off work to relax and have fun. Take a sabbatical and don’t take work with you, travel to a new place with your loved ones- children or your significant other, take pictures, spend the money that you are working so hard to make.
- Learn how to relax. Create some time for yourself, treat yourself nicely, shop for new things, try out new activities like meditation, take a warm bath, listen to music, anything that puts your mind at ease and helps you relax. You could even make it a habit to exercise for ten minutes in a day no matter how busy you are. Watching funny videos could also help you relax.
- Health check. A lot of us in Nigeria do not go for checkups, we don’t even see a doctor when we are sick, we just treat ourselves at home with drugs gotten from a roadside chemist. This could have a detrimental effect on our health because most times we wouldn’t know what the real problem is, we would just get drugs based on some of the symptoms that we feel we are accustomed to because we have been treated that way a few times. How do we know if we are treating the right sickness, what if our body is communicating something else? Sola’s dad must have felt something before that day but he didn’t take it seriously, he could have treated himself for malaria while he probably needed a bed rest because of his blood pressure as a result of stress. So prioritize your health, your job would suffer anyway if you are unfit.
- Spend some time with your loved ones/ significant other. There is no need to dwell so much on this one. Spend time with your loved ones, period. You are happier and healthier.
- Sleep. Develop a good sleeping routine. This is very important. Try as much as possible to sleep early and wake up early too. You should have a bedtime. Once it’s time to go to sleep, turn off your phone so no one disturbs you, don’t work in your sleeping area and work time must not creep into bedtime.
Good health and fitness is an underrated asset until you find yourself selling everything you own to get it.
by Aderonke Adebayo.