The entrepreneurial journey is full of pitfalls when it comes to the pursuit of personal health. Stress, poor food choices and too much sitting are all serious on-the-job issues that can jeopardize wellness.
But what about the health risks that entrepreneurs encounter on the way to work? Even those clocking in from the comfort of a couch still have to navigate to and from meetings, events and interviews. Those commutes are rife with health hazards.
Here are eight tips to keep personal health on track no matter what the commute looks like:
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1. Pack snacks.
Train delays, traffic jams and broken-down buses can mean going from satisfied to “hangry” before reaching the destination. Always carry a balanced snack that travels well. Trail mix, fruit and nutritious snack bars are healthy options that can be stored in a purse, pocket or laptop bag.
2. Take along water.
Being even slightly dehydrated can make someone sleepy, which is the last thing an entrepreneur needs during an unpredictable commute (especially when driving). Invest in a quality reusable water bottle and fill it before hitting the road.
3. Visit the restroom on the way out.
Holding urine for too long can put someone at risk for developing a urinary tract infection -- not to mention all the discomfort. So avoid traveling on a full bladder.
4. Just breathe.
Anyone who finds a commute stressful can stay in control of his or her mood by taking deep breaths. Focus on long exhalations, then inhalations. The rhythm will relax both the brain and body, and enable an individual to feel a lot more Zenlike about the journey.
5. Find an om.
Meditation is another great way to instantly calm frazzled nerves. This may not be possible for someone behind the wheel. But even listening to soothing music and focusing on breaths while navigating traffic is a better alternative to listening news radio or top 40 tunes, which can be overly stimulating. Those who commute by plane, train or bus can try downloading an app with guided five- or 10-minute meditations.
6. Work out on the way.
Have a short commute? Consider walking or biking to work. Should that not be an option, sneak in activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and standing rather than sitting on the subway. Incorporate short walks into the day by parking farther away or exiting the bus a few stops early. These small steps can result in a big impact over time.
7. Keep first-aid supplies.
Anyone stuck on a commute with a minor scrape or headache will be grateful to have a few essentials on hand. Pick up a pre-filled kit at a pharmacy that’s stocked with the basics.
8. Play nicely with others.
When another driver cuts in front or a passenger claims the last seat on the subway, keep cool. Being courteous to other commuters -- even when they aren't -- will help promote a positive mindset.