To get a small business off the ground, small business owners need to be passionate, dedicated and healthy. In particular, founders need to prioritize their health as illness can hamper even the most driven founder. To that end, here are five all natural things owners can do to boost their immune systems and optimize their productivity.
Don’t smoke and only drink in moderation
Smoking and excessive drinking can actively undermine your body’s immune system. Medical research indicates that tobacco and alcohol can also increase your risk factor for contracting debilitating ailments like bronchitis and pneumonia.
Maintain a well-rounded diet
While it can be difficult to resist the temptation of junk food, your immune system will reward you for maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. As immunologist Timothy Mainardi explains in this Health article, a diet that is heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low on sugary drinks, red meat and processed foods will help your immune system stay strong.
Get regular exercise
A 2015 study published in Scientific Reports found that getting regular aerobic exercise can boost the body’s immune response to infection. That means doing simple things like running, swimming, walking and dancing a few times a week can make you less susceptible to catching colds and the flu, and help your immune system fight off viruses more effectively.
Keep a consistent sleep schedule
Although the responsibilities involved with promoting and managing a small business can make owners feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, they should never skimp on sleep. As this Mayo Clinic piece states, failing to consistently get seven to eight hours of sleep a night can interfere with your body’s production of cytokines, a substance that fights off infections. Additionally, long-term sleep deprivation has been shown to increase your risk factor for everything from diabetes to cardiovascular disease.
Make relaxation a priority
While stress is part of running a small business, not managing that stress effectively can have a deleterious effect on your health. Left unchecked, stress can interfere with your sleep cycle, pumping blood cell-damaging cortisol into your system and weaken immune function. That’s why it’s essential for founders to regularly engage in relaxing activities such as yoga, hanging out with friends and family and meditation.