There’s a young person. There’s an idea. And there’s a startup.
Young entrepreneurs with great zeal, hustle, and spirit often overcompensate to make up for the experience we lack. Startup life is romanticized in the media. We’re easily blinded by the headlines and possibilities of “being our own boss.”
The problem is this: with all of the possibilities of success ahead, we often leave our health far behind. Many young entrepreneurs are, simply put, unhealthy. As David Aston of Income Diary writes, “As entrepreneurs, we often treat our bodies terribly in exchange for success.”
Here’s a look at 5 health mistakes that most young entrepreneurs make.
1. Unhealthy diet
Skip breakfast. Chinese take-out for lunch. Redbull for a late-night pick me up. “Who ordered the pizza? Starbucks run, anyone?” Sound familiar? No wonder young entrepreneurs find themselves sluggishly recovering from highs and lows and consistent brain fog during the day.
When your time is your own, it’s easy to get sucked into 18-hour days. Food becomes an afterthought. A poor nutrient-to-calorie ratio leads to weight gain and malnutrition– and related health problems.
What we forget is that our unhealthy food habits only lead to fatigue, decreased concentration and memory problems. Over time it fuels heart diseases, diabetes, high or low blood pressure, high cholesterol, premature death and loss of muscle mass. Instead, make better healthy eating choices so you can actively enjoy your success when it comes.
2. Put off exercise
Every day, we say to ourselves: “Today is the day I’ll start exercising.” For many of us, “today” never comes. Then we ignore the eventual effects of lack of exercise, like visceral fat, arthritis, cardiac decline, and intestinal problems in our body.
Globally, 1 in 4 adults isn’t active enough, according to World Health Organization. A sedentary lifestyle hurts your heart, makes you fat and also leads to an increased risk of cancer, poor memory, spiking blood sugar, improper sleep, backaches, et. Exercise more and your body will thank you for it later.
3. No sleep cycle
We forget the difference between working hard and over-working. This directly impacts our sleep cycle. We do not listen to our bodies and hence, pay little attention when we’re tired (Starbucks anyone?).
Entrepreneur insomnia is a very real thing. Startup culture doesn’t play by 9-5 rules. Jason Freedman at humbledMBA notes his theories on why entrepreneurs can’t sleep. “Normal ‘office hours’ in our startup are 11am to 3am’ish. At my buddy’s startup, they started offering really good lunches to encourage people to get out of bed and come into the office. Want time with the founders? Join them at 11pm when the office is in full gear.”
It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep is essential to being your best–entrepreneur or not.
4. Awfully high caffeine intake
Raise your hand if you’ve often replaced a balanced diet with caffeine! (Guilty.)
While we often need it to keep pace, high caffeine doses are accompanied with unpleasant and dangerous side effects. Anxiety, digestive issues, muscle breakdown, addiction, high blood pressure, insomnia, rapid heart rate, fatigue, frequent urination, and urgency are the common problems associated with too much caffeine.
5. No health insurance
We may be young, but unexpected medical events do occur. Today, our busy lifestyles pave the way to even more health related issues than ever. Physical health is important, but so is your mental health. Stress, depression, anxiety and the impact of poor health decisions can (and will) eventually take a toll on your health. The best insurance policy is one that meets your requirements, will give you financial security and tax benefits alongside the best medical care.
It’s not easy being a new entrepreneur. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the process. But that doesn’t mean you need to repeat everybody else’s mistakes! If you neglect these basic pillars of health, medical issues are bound to creep up. And who care’s how successful you are if you’re unable to reap the rewards of your effort.
This article has been edited.
Arushi Mehta, born and raised in Delhi, India, loves the moribund city life as much as she loves to leave the road and take the trails. A digital marketing enthusiast, logophile and someone who believes in finding authenticty and purpose in her journey. Connect with @arushimehta8 on Twitter.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.