A bad diet kills, lack of regular exercise kills, stress kills, and lack of proper sleep kills. It is amazing that anybody with a responsible job is still alive! But, optimizing your health helps everything in your life, including your business.

The flip side of these risks is your health span: a long, productive life with minimal chronic illnesses or early death. So, wellness is about your personal risk management.

A healthy life is holistic. All those areas are interconnected, and the sum is you. So, let’s take them apart:

Diet: We all know about junk food, including instant noodles, to my chagrin. Processed food, simple carbohydrates, trans fats, and mammal meat can tear you down over time.

Carbohydrates, in general, kill. Overly processed carbs with a high glycemic index are pro-inflammatory, which leads to many health problems. Bad carbs include sugary drinks and fruit juices with additives (tip: squeeze or juice fruit at home and do not add sugar). Carbs convert to fat, which has led to the obesity population in the US. Carbs with fiber, like whole grains, are healthy. Bad news for Vietnam, white rice consumption is directly related to diabetes! Generally, “if it’s white, don’t bite.”

Trans fats include animal fats and processed vegetable oil. Healthy cooking oils are olive, avocado, canola, and coconut oils. Instead of frying, use an air-fryer.

Chicken and fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, are the best protein choices, and beans and lentils also made the good list. A whole food (not overcooked or processed), plantbased diet is best. Alcohol, like most things in life, is good in moderation: two drinks a day for men, only one for women.

A healthy diet requires discipline with our often-hedonic business lives.

Exercise: 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise is the minimum for healthy cardio–aerobic fitness. You should also include resistance training for strength and body definition. Women need weights, too. While you may never look like Sylvester Stallone, you will be well-sculpted. As we age, pumping some iron also staves off mental decline: the old myth of strong men being dumb is just that. Additionally, work on balance, flexibility, and grip strength.

Stress: This is unavoidable and part of life as a leader. The Stoics taught us that whatever gets thrown our way, we have the total freedom to choose our own internal reaction. We all know about meditation, mindfulness, and prayer. I’m not here to plug products, but MindValley offers a wide range of effective learning and life-balance programs. Jeff Bezos believes that “work-life balance” is debilitating. Our entire life is a circle with the facets of our lives making our wholeness. We need to cherish our families and private life in harmony.

Sleep: We know that lack of sleep limits toxin clearance and may kill us. My experience is that the real leader rarely gets enough sleep, but it can be engineered, like the rest of your responsibilities. 6 to 8 hours is correct, depending on the individual. Sleep apnea, where your airway narrows while asleep, is a serious health issue. If you suffer from it, wear an oxygen-saturation monitor to bed and check it in the morning. If your O2 is below 90%, get it checked out.

As a doctor, I strongly recommend a healthcare program that checks you thoroughly and offers guidance on all of these wellness areas, not just assessing whether you are sick.

These are the essentials for wellness, although there is much more. The best wellness wisdom for executives: “I am too busy not to go to the gym.” Losing your health is far worse than losing your business. Stay healthy, and you will also be a better leader, parent, and spouse. [C]

Never miss an update about our events and articles
Tim Burrill
Membership Manager & Executive Assistant
If you would like to learn more about our events and membership, or have other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.