We aren’t just focusing on living a healthy lifestyle because it’s coming up to Christmas. We also recognise the value of being healthy to improve your job effectiveness. Managers are often under a lot of stress and responsibility, and it’s important to give your body the right fuel and exercise to be able to handle it well.


Energy-boost check list

  1. Feeling energetic and ready-to-go will be helped if you stick to these.
  2. Exercise.
  3. Diet – eat light but don’t skip meals.
  4. Go easy on caffeine.
  5. Drink plenty of water.
  6. Cut down on alcohol.
  7. Take forty winks, often – 15 minutes at a time is plenty.
  8. Sit and stand comfortably – keep your pelvis square.
  9. Think positive.

10. Choose the company of positive people.


The piece of paper

The experts tell us that, when you have a problem that simply refuses to go away, just sitting worrying about it won’t help – but this might…

Take a piece of paper and write down the worst possible outcome of your present worries. Be completely honest with yourself – this is for your eyes only. Fold the paper very small, put it in the corner of a drawer, and leave it there for two weeks. Now, try to forget all about it and get on with your life.

At the end of the fortnight, take it out, unfold it and read your thoughts. You will doubtless be surprised at what you had written. Indeed, it’s highly probably that you’ll find things turned out much better than you predicted.

All of which surely proves that worry alone never cures anything.


Caught sleeping

It’s important to get enough sleep if you are to be productive in the workplace. But if you get caught sleeping at your desk, what are you to say?

The ten best things to say if you get caught by your boss while sleeping at your desk…

  • “They told me at the Blood Bank that this might happen.”
  • “This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!”
  • “Darn, why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem.”
  • “Someone must have put decaf in the wrong pot again…”
  • “Wasn’t sleeping! Was trying to pick up my contact lens without using my hands.”
  • “Whew! I guess I left the lid off the liquid paper again.”
  • “This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about at the last management course you sent me to.”
  • “I wasn’t sleeping. I was meditating on our mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm.”
  • “Actually I was testing the ‘Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan’ (SLEEP) outlined in the latest company journal.”
  • “Amen.”


Refuel wisely – or make decisions unwisely

According to nutritionist Rosemary Stanton, food may be the last thing people think about when they’re flat-out at work. But she warns against skipping meals: “The body needs re-fuelling every four to five hours. When you’re hungry, you’re less likely to make wise decisions’

Stanton sees fresh fruit as a great snack and says it’s easy to take a few pieces to work – or nip out and buy some. She’s not a fan of fast food, but instead recommends a sandwich, bread roll, or pita bread.


Boost your energy level

Do you get tired at certain times of the day, such as mid-afternoon? According to nutritionist Ansle Hudson, it may be your diet.

She says the brain runs on carbohydrates which are quickly digested, in an hour or so, and easily converted to energy. Fats take six to eight hours to digest. They create an energy drain in your system in the short term and they tend to get stored as body fat which is hard to release as energy.

So, she advises, if your energy is sporadically low, try having a meal or snack every three to four hours on foods high in carbohydrates – such as apples, bananas, fat-free biscuits, or dry cereal. You may find that your energy level stays more constant or even increases.


Harvard’s long life findings

Forget pills and potions. The secret of living to a ripe old age may be a matter of personal choice.

A team from the Harvard medical school have tracked the physical and mental health of 724 men over more than 60 years to identify the eight factors that, they conclude, are the key to a long life – and few of them are beyond an individual’s control:

-Drinking moderately

  • Not smoking
  • Having a stable marriage
  • Taking exercise
  • Maintaining the right weight
  • Receiving a good education
  • Having the ability to look on the bright side of life and not suffering depressive illness.

Only the factors concerning education and depression do not have a large element of personal choice, the researchers say.


Psst! Wanna live longer?

There’s a growing literature on how to live longer. Here’s a summary of some recent findings from researchers around the world. Application of some of these findings to your job should prove interesting.

  • Eat chocolate and sweets. Harvard School of Public Health research found that those who ate chocolate or sweets lived almost a year longer than those who abstained.
  • Work for free. University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research showed that seniors who volunteered for up to 40 hours over the past year were less likely to die over the next seven and a half years.
  • Become a believer. According to a study by the National (US) Institute of Healthcare Research, regular attendance at a church, synagogue, mosque, or Buddhist monastery is related to longer life.
  • Stub it out. According to The Netherlands’ Erasmus University people who do not smoke, and smokers who quit, have longer life expectancy and less time lost to disability than smokers,
  • Lose the spare tyre. Scientists from the University of North Carolina revealed there were fewer premature deaths among those who were their ideal weight.
  • Go city. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that the health of people living in rural and remote areas of Australia is worse than those living in capital cities and other metropolitan areas.
  • Move and keep moving. The Journal of the American Heart Association said benefits were more evident in long-term exercisers.
  • Turn on the waterworks. According to the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine, men and women who cry develop far less heart disease.
  • Develop a drinking habit. University of New South Wales researchers found that male moderate drinkers could expect to live an average of 7.6 months longer (2.7 months for women) than abstainers.


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