‘Mens sana in corpore sano’ a Latin phrase, usually translated as “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Widely used in sporting and educational contexts to express the theory that physical exercise is an important or essential part of mental and psychological well-being; this same saying can translate to a happier and more productive workplace if you take the view that healthier employees = happier employees.
We all value good health and always yearn to achieve a healthy body and mind; however, we sometimes overlook the true definition of it. In a rush to be fit, we forget that good health is not just about the absence of disease or about our weight, but also involves a healthy lifestyle, healthy mental growth and healthy ways of working.
There’s no magic wand to wave to get you a healthier mind and body, but your daily routine can include several relatively simple practices to adopt as you look to attain that healthy mind and body.
Meditate to balance your body’s systems
Regular 15-30-minute meditation exercise can help in increasing metabolism of the body, lower blood pressure, provide ease from stress and anxiety and improve heart rate and breathing. Meditation does not only mean closing your eyes and saying “Ommm”, it has other forms too. For some, cooking is a type of meditation, for others cycling, reading and the like can do the work. Meditation simply means focussing on something that relaxes your brain which is the key to a healthy mind.
Add raw food to your diet
Food is the single most important factor that can directly impact your health levels. Choose nature-made food such as raw greens, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and sprouts. They are packed with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and macro-nutrients. Aim to eat at least one completely raw meal per day. Remember, it is impossible to have a healthy mind if the body is unhealthy.
Moving your body or exercising is very essential to keep fit physically as well as mentally. However, exercising does not mean torturing yourself and puncturing your body by doing excessive workouts in the gym. You can include exercise in your daily routine by climbing stairs; strolling while talking over the phone; doing laundry lifting (lifting a laundry basket full of clothes as it can be a good arm exercising apparatus); indulging in commercial break exercises (while watching TV) like doing sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks or crunches; cycling throughout your favourite TV shows and doing arm workouts with office chair with wheels.
Laughing out Loud
Laughter may be one of the most basic emotional responses but the impact it has on our mental as well as physical health is huge. A pure and simple laugh can boost the immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease, decrease stress and tension, reduce blood pressure, act as natural painkillers, help keep diabetes under control and energise mind and body. So, to keep healthy, all that you have to do is ‘LOL’!
Sleeping your way to health
Beauty sleep is not only essential for women to keep off those dark circles but for everyone. A restful sleep of 6-8 hours refreshes the mind, repairs the body, boosts the immune system, releases stress and delays the ageing process of the skin as well as mind. So, sleep your way to a healthy body and mind, quite literally!
A positive attitude
This can work wonders for your health and kill all the negativity around you. It can increase your lifespan, fight depression and stress and aid in psychological well-being.
Taking one step forward each day
To stay healthy in your mind and body, you need to work regularly on your goals and ambitions. So, the best is to set small steps that you can easily add to your daily life. Healthy mind and body is all about making the right choices like being active, eating healthy and improving your mental well-being.
You can work your way to good mental and physical health by taking these simple steps and incorporating them into your daily life. Remember, it takes a full 28 days of changing your lifestyle to form those changes into new habits, so you should plan to persevere with your new regime for a full month before it feels like normal to you.
If you’re healthier and happier, it follows that you will be happier and more productive in the workplace. It also follows that employers should be keen to see more of their staff take steps to feel better about themselves as they (the employer) reaps the benefit in the long run.
Keith Beekmeyer, of Newpoint Capital Ltd, is a big believer in the new ‘healthy mind, healthy body, healthy workplace’ mindset. Keith explains ‘It’s obviously the case that if your employees are happier and healthier, you as an employer are going to have a better and healthier workplace. As employers, we should always be looking at how we can make our workplaces more productive, and this is such an obvious one that I think it’s often overlooked: a happier employee is a more productive employee.’
There’s definitely an increasing trend for companies to recognise that promoting health and wellbeing to their staff is going to have positive effects on their bottom-line profits. If a company spends a small amount a week on say fresh fruit bowls, vending machines with healthy drinks and snacks, or even lifestyle and fitness magazines to place within the staff recreation area; then those actual costs can easily be offset against a marked improvement in staff performance over time.
Improvements in staff performance equal improvements in conversions and higher profit margins. Let’s face it, we’re all in business to stay in business and to make a profit as we go but it’s great to see an increasing trend in companies’ being aware that they can do all of this simply by encouraging, and directly facilitating, their staff to be healthier and happier.