You have to be in reasonable shape if you want to become a professional success. A reasonable level of fitness will help you deal with the inevitable stress that accompanies creating a successful life and career. Diet and exercise are the keys to living a healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic, but you do need to get some exercise and pay attention to what you eat.
I’m not the best role model when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. I’ve battled weight my entire life. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more serious about living a healthy lifestyle. I exercise more and pay attention to what I eat.
I have found that the US government revised food pyramid provides great guidance on how to eat healthy. Here are some of the highlights. I try to follow these guidelines. If you follow them, you will be doing well from a nutrition standpoint.
Eat at least three ounces of whole grain bread, cereals, crackers, rice or pasta every day. Look for the word “whole” before the grain name on the list of ingredients.
Eat lots of vegetables every day. I’m lucky here. I love vegetables – even brussels sprouts. Dark green and orange vegetables are the best for you. Dry beans and peas are also good for you.
Fruits are also good for you. Raw fruit is the best. On the other hand, it’s best to limit your intake of fruit juice. It’s often very high in calories and sugar.
Milk is a great source of calcium – something we all need for strong bones. However, whole milk is very high in fat, so it’s best to drink low-fat or fat-free milk. Yogurt and cheese are also good sources of calcium.
Eat protein (meat, fish and poultry) in small quantities. Bake, broil, or grill – don’t fry – your protein.
The Mayo clinic suggests eating at least three fruits, four vegetables, four to eight servings of grains and pasta, three to seven servings of protein or dairy, three to five servings of fat and no more than 75 calories of sugar a day.
In general, you can eat healthy by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Reduce your intake of saturated fat, trans fats and cholesterol. Limit sweets and salt. Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation, if at all. Control portion sizes and the total number of calories you consume.
Exercise is the other important component of a healthy lifestyle. It’s best if you can exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week. Fitness experts suggest that, of the 30 minutes, 20 should be spent in some form of cardio exercise, five in stretching, and five in resistance training.
I find that it’s best to choose a time to exercise and build your daily schedule around it. Some people like first thing in the morning. Others like the evening. I prefer mid-day. I find that if I exercise around noon, I am less hungry and consume fewer calories at lunch.
Hydration and circulation are important too. Drink plenty of water. It keeps you hydrated and helps combat hunger. If you spend a lot of time at your desk, take a few minutes every hour to get up and stretch. You can do leg lifts and stomach squeezes at your desk. A little bit of activity can give you a burst of oxygen that will energize you and keep you feeling good.
You don’t have to become a fitness fanatic to be a high performer. However, eating well and exercising will keep you sharp and on top of your game. It will keep your stress in check. And while a little stress is a good thing, too much stress can knock you out of the game.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are high performers. They follow the career advice in Success Tweet 91. “The better you feel, the better you’ll perform. Live a healthy lifestyle. Eat well. Exercise regularly. Get regular checkups.” You don’t have to be a fitness junky to become a high performer. But if you take care of yourself you’ll be more likely to become a high performer, and high performance is a key to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.