As a busy professional, it’s easy to prioritize your career over yourself and your overall health. As your dedication to work dominates your time, you may find yourself making poor health choices, such as skipping workouts, defaulting on unhealthy meals, or forgetting to properly hydrate. These small choices can quickly turn into a pattern that negatively affects your health in the long- and short-term.
When you deprioritize your health, it can catch up to you — potentially interrupting your goals. Poor health decisions can lead to more serious complications. To avoid these outcomes and reprioritize your health, consider these health tips for working professionals.
Health Tips For Working Professionals
Reevaluate Your Schedule And Plan Your Days Strategically
As with your career, it is important to balance your health priorities in a way that is personal to you and your goals. This includes making time for exercise, proper rest, eating nutritiously, and, of course, making time for your doctor. Excess stress can lead to a weakened immune system, leaving you susceptible to illness, and if you continually push yourself to or past your limits, your body will take a break for you, regardless of your busy schedule.
To prioritize your health, you should manage your schedule around your wellness priorities. This will prevent you from defaulting to unhealthy habits such as snacking instead of eating nutritious meals, watching TV instead of exercising, or skipping necessary medical appointments.
Creating a wellness schedule can be challenging on your own, but concierge medicine could eliminate the stress associated with managing your health. Concierge medicine practices accept only a fraction of the number of patients typically cared for by primary care physicians, making it possible for physicians to provide attentive, highly personalized care. That’s why we created Devine Concierge Medicine — to work alongside our patients to ensure health is always top of mind. We work with you to create a personalized, long-term healthcare plan built around your lifestyle, ensuring that long-term health goals are achievable, no matter how busy you are.
Make Time To Exercise
Physical activity has a long list of benefits that positively affect your health. If you work at a desk most of your day, you can easily fall into a sedentary lifestyle. Or, if you're on your feet much of the day, you can notice a build-up of aches and pains. To increase your body’s mobility, consider adding time for physical activity directly into your routine.
Your preferred exercise may be a few minutes during the day to take a walk, an hour at the gym, or signing up for a yoga class that helps you stretch your body and ease the mind. If your schedule allows little room for adjustment, small increments of exercise, like high-intensity interval training, as one example, are better than none. Adding exercise to a routine is different for everyone. It’s important to consult your physician to understand what exercise routine and options suit your lifestyle and will lead to the best results.
Manage Stress and Anxiety With a Balanced Diet and Adequate Sleep
Achieving and maintaining a healthy body and mind can feel impossible when you have competing priorities. Key factors that are often overlooked and contribute to increased stress are a lack of intake of important vitamins and minerals and a lack of high-quality sleep. By ignoring these two important needs, you’re contributing to your stress and general feeling of exhaustion.
Fuel Your Body and Mind With the Proper Vitamins and Minerals
While choosing healthier food options and hydrating can greatly improve your health, it’s important to ensure that you consume foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. Besides keeping your body healthy, they also protect you against a variety of illnesses which could lead to long-term complications.
The most effective approach to ensuring you get the nutrients you need, and in the proper amounts, is to adopt a healthy diet that features a broad range of foods. If you find yourself eating the same meals day after day, you may be missing vital nutrition. Some sources of vitamins and minerals include lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Achieving and maintaining your health can be challenging. However, not eating properly can lead to a number of mental, physical, and emotional health issues such as low energy levels, lack of focus, and even sleep issues. It’s important that you consult your physician as they may prescribe supplements, and further testing to see what vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Maintain A Sleep Schedule And Avoid Sleep Disruptors
Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Whether you are up late working or can't settle your mind, a lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, trouble concentrating, and increased stress levels. To feel focused and awake during the day, a consistent sleep schedule, nighttime routine, and avoidance of sleep disruptions can help you stay on track.
It’s important to maintain a regular bedtime and wake-up routine to ensure that you consistently achieve restful sleep. Though this schedule will look different for everyone, the benefits include an improvement in your mood, reduced stress, and an increase in your ability to focus throughout the day. To better relax and settle into your routine, consider reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditation, yoga, or simply dimming your bedroom lights to promote relaxation and sleep.
Beyond establishing a healthy sleep schedule, it’s important to identify factors within your daytime routine that may be disrupting your sleep. Common factors are consuming caffeine and alcohol too close to when you’re ready to sleep. Both caffeine and alcohol can keep you awake and interfere with your ability to remain asleep. To prevent these interruptions, we recommend abstaining from caffeine at least six hours before bed, and alcohol for at least four hours before bed.
If your difficulties achieving quality sleep persist, consult your physician for additional strategies. To ensure that you receive the support you need, Devine Concierge Medicine can connect you with specialists who will evaluate factors such as your sleep quality, and sleeping disturbances to identify the next steps in improving your sleep.
Create Healthy Eating And Hydration Habits
As a busy professional, it's easy to deprioritize meals during the day and opt to eat a quick snack or skip a meal altogether. An irregular eating schedule can deplete your energy levels quickly and leave you unfocused and sluggish. The simplest way to make sure you are eating properly is by preparing meals and snacks ahead of time. If three meals a day seems implausible, some people find that having 5 smaller meals throughout the day rather than the traditional 3 is easier to manage and increases energy levels.
If you spend most of your day in one place, consider keeping healthy snacks near your workstation to ensure you are eating something that will benefit your body and mind, rather than a quick, processed food choice. If you don't have time to make a whole meal, some healthy snacks to keep at your desk include dried fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grain crackers, peanut or nut butter, popcorn, trail mix, and granola.
Staying hydrated is an essential — and often overlooked — aspect of maintaining good health. In addition to headaches, migraines, and nausea, dehydration can lead to dizziness, poor concentration, and reduced energy, making it difficult to perform day-to-day tasks. By properly hydrating your body each day, you can improve brain function, stabilize your emotions, ensure proper digestion of food, and increase your energy levels. To remain hydrated, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day.
Starting and maintaining healthy habits is easier when working with licensed health professionals. To make it easy, Devine Concierge Medicine can help you create a plan and develop healthy habits that are specific to your needs. Additionally, we take care of all the scheduling for you, so all you have to do is show up.
Use Wearable Technology To Monitor Your Health
Using wearable technology, such as a smartwatch, can track a variety of elements of your health such as oxygen levels, heart rate, sleep habits, and movement and exercise throughout the day. Smartwatches can connect to health-tracking applications on your phone to provide a detailed report of your chosen variables. You can also set timers or alerts on your smartwatch to remind you to get up and move around, exercise, and even hydrate.
Certain smartwatches can also aid in preventative care measures by detecting issues and abnormalities early that you can then bring to your physician. Prevention is the most effective way to maintain good health, and creating a plan with your physician can help you reach your healthcare and personal goals for the future.
By utilizing wearable technology, we can more closely monitor our patient's daily vital signs. By taking an in-depth look at your health, Devine Concierge Medicine can identify anomalies that may indicate chronic disease or acute disease, which allows us to provide comprehensive preventative care.
Consider Concierge Medicine
Reprioritizing your schedule to include your health and wellness can be difficult on your own. However, having a dedicated health physician who knows you, and has the time to develop a custom-tailored plan that focuses on you and your goals can make all the difference.
By offering convenient, around-the-clock availability and unrushed appointments via house call, Devine Concierge Medicine makes prioritizing your health easier and more convenient than traditional primary care. This method of proactive, preventative care promotes disease prevention and healthy aging, ensuring that health issues don’t interrupt your life. With a personalized wellness plan and our ongoing oversight, you can optimize your health without compromising your busy schedule.
No matter your career, your health needs a place in your schedule. Ignoring your health can lead to serious issues and illnesses that can not only affect your daily health but the rest of your life. By maintaining your health, you can reduce stress, increase your energy, and stay in better control of your life.