Why healthy lifestyle habits are the driving force for high performance at work

woman stretching before exercise, workout

If I told you there was a simple way to get more energy, higher motivation, better focus and attention – would you take it?

As a former HR & Talent Consultant, now Founder of a fast growing fitness coaching company, I’ve always focused on high performance. Over the years, I started to realise that there was one area that was key to driving high performance in the workplace that was always overlooked.

We think about building our skill set so that we are able to contribute more – in both quality and quantity of work. Which drives that high performance. It’s not wrong – it’s just missing something HUGE. We spend so much time thinking about how we make the most of the time we have at work that we forget to focus on how to turn up on top-form each day.

If you had more energy, higher motivation, better focus and attention do you think you would perform better at work? Of course. What if I told you it could also help improve your mood and memory – would you be interested? Definitely!

Yet it’s not something many businesses give any thought to, and in my experience it’s not something that most people think about. It’s a massive area for improvement for nearly everyone, both employee and leader alike, and it’s really simple to get started. So simple in fact, that it gets overlooked.

We call them our Healthy Lifestyle Guidelines. A few super simple things you can do to transform your energy levels:

  • Move more (especially aerobic exercise)
  • Quality sleep
  • Get more sun
  • Drink enough water
  • Lower your stress

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I’ve presented on this topic quite a few times now and the same question comes up each time: What is the minimum viable effort I need to put in to start to see positive changes, in both personal and professional life?

I would advise a minimum of 3 x 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per week. This could be fast walking, cycling or running. Anything that gets your heart rate up and a light sweat on for 30 minutes.

Once you start to do that consistently, everything else is much easier. You’ll get more sleep, which will give you more energy. With more energy comes more productivity, which increases performance at work. You’ll also be more likely to make good decisions with your nutrition and that will help even more with sleep, energy, focus and motivation.

Now you are building momentum. If you stay consistent, each element of the Healthy Lifestyle Guidelines will get easier and easier each day. You’ll form positive habits which will last a lifetime.

If you are a leader in your business, I would highly encourage you to consider how you can help to educate and inspire your employees to take this action. It is transformational for the individual and will have a really positive impact throughout the business.

To get started, it’s important to explain the benefits to employees. In my experience, people know they should get enough quality sleep, they know they should drink more water, but often can’t tell you why. There’s a lack of understanding about how significant the impact is and that’s why it’s not prioritised by most. This could be done through companywide training, team training or adding health / healthy habits as a discussion point in check-ins with employees. 

Additionally, encourage individuals to walk and talk for calls that don’t require note taking. Make sure they have a set up that will allow them to get up from their desk or even walk around the block if possible. You could start a walking / running group that meets weekly – make sure you are clear that it is for all levels! 

Finally, employees will take action if they see the leadership embracing it. The best way to inspire is to start to take action yourself. If you do so consistently you’ll see it start to embed in the company culture. 

The best way to inspire is to start to take action yourself.

About the author

Michael Walker is a professional motivation consultant, body transformation coach and founder of game-changing fitness and lifestyle coaching platform Kapla Fitness Elite-14.

Michael Walker

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