Contributed by Gerry Morton, the president and CEO of EnergyFirst, which is located in Manhattan Beach, California.
I’ve found my fellow entrepreneurs to be some of the most energetic people around. Some maintain that energy more healthfully than others, but most of us wouldn’t have achieved our success without being able to tap into a high level of energy when we need it. The trick, I believe, is to figure out how to generate that energy in a way that is self-sustaining. Here are a few behaviors that I’ve found to help us perform at our best.
I try to drink at least half my body weight in ounces of water every day. Water is a primary detoxifier, transports nutrients to all tissues of the body, regulates body temperature and increases metabolism. Water also increases our overall blood volume, and thereby increases the delivery of oxygen to our brains and muscles. Dehydration is a leading cause of daytime fatigue, and is often mistaken for hunger. I believe that staying hydrated is one of the most important things I can do to stay energized and mentally alert.
We all know that we need to exercise. Most of us put it on our list and find that it gets lost somewhere between preparing for our next board meeting and playing with the kids. I’d like to offer this analogy: What percentage of your income do you save for retirement? Five percent? Ten percent? Would it make sense to invest that same amount of time into yourself—in the form of exercise—so that your body continues to take care of you while you’re drawing on that retirement savings? If we invest just five percent of our waking hours in exercise, then we would invest an hour a day, six days a week. I expect that investment to provide a better return than all of my other investments combined.
Our brains can only burn glucose (blood sugar), it cannot store glucose. Therefore, our brains, which control all physiological functions, are totally dependent upon the level of glucose in our blood at any given moment. For optimal health, fat burning and consistent mental clarity, it is essential to keep our blood sugar stable at all times. We do this by limiting refined sugars, eating balanced meals and not allowing our blood sugar to fall to a point where we begin to make poor decisions.
As entrepreneurs, we live fast-paced, dynamic and generally exciting lives. If you make time for yourself each day to hydrate, exercise and eat well, it will help you be more focused in business and in life.