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Why Healthy Living Makes Better Startup Founders Only when your body is healthy, your mind can be healthy.

By AJ Agrawal Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Healthy startup founders often have stronger personal goals, work harder to be able to perform their job duties, and are more focused. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and allowing employees to see it can help them strive to make themselves healthier to achieve more success. Instill values within your employees to improve their lifestyles and discuss how staying healthy has improved your mindset when it comes to business.

More Focused

When your body is healthy, your mind can be healthy too. A healthy mind is more focused on business and the overall functionality of your company. You can display your healthy lifestyle nonchalantly by eating a healthy snack at your desk for brain food or walking the company treadmill to induce creativity. This displays positive leadership skills to your workforce that you are more focused because you live healthy and your mind is able to process information faster, think sharply, and solve problems faster.

Teaching Stress-Reduction

Business owners and startup founders need to have relaxation tactics in-place. Employees can easily sense when the boss is agitated. Teaching your employees how to reduce their stress with memos, company meetings and one-on-one discussions, can help increase the productivity and efficiency of your staff. Discuss the importance of taking a break when a task is frustrating as increased frustration makes the task seem impossible. Consider creating a green outdoor relaxation space for both yourself and employees to enjoy when things at the office seem out of control or too much.

When employees see the boss taking a break, it may be a good opportunity for a one-on-one discussion where the boss can express the importance of taking a break to regroup and refocus. About 45-percent of entrepreneurs/startup founders report being stressed at work.

Implementing Incentives for Healthy Workforces

Expressing the importance of movement, exercise and breaking up the boredom of a typical work day is healthy. As the founder of a startup, it is your duty to instill core company values within your workforce. Part of that starts with explaining why it is important to be active at work, walk to the next department instead of making a phone call, and taking walking breaks to clear your mind. Increasing the steps walked by your workforce is instilling healthy living values within them without it seeming like you want them to exercise to be as productive and efficient as you are.

Incentives such as catered lunches, gym memberships, vacations and paid time off, may just help your workforce get into the habit of adopting healthy lifestyles. While it may seem like you are bribing your employees to be healthy, you are simply instilling your core values regarding life within them. As they see how being healthy has helped you maintain energy, focus and drive, they will follow suit and rewarding them may be the driving force needed.

Increased Self-Esteem

Living a healthy lifestyle does help improve your overall self-esteem. As a startup founder, failure is not an option. You have to keep your confidence level up and your mind sharp. Entrepreneurs and business owners have to experience small failures in order to make necessary changes to make the next time around a success. The increased self-esteem from living, acting and looking healthy gives you a "can do" attitude instead of feeling like you just cannot win no matter what changes you make. Positive attitudes are contagious. Take time to pay attention to your employees' demeanor, if someone seems a little down and their efficiency has been lacking, have a discussion with them and make some helpful suggestions. Showing compassion and having a general concern shows employees that they do matter and it does increase their self-esteem – reducing company turnover rates.

Longevity in Running a Business

You have to eat right, exercise, reduce stress, and get enough sleep to be ultimately successful. Reducing health-risk factors by adopting a healthy lifestyle can mean that you can work later in life and run your business for a longer period of time. Longevity in business helps create long lasting working relationships that create strong workforces and stronger brands. The longer you can work, the more it inspires your workforce to achieve the same success.

Closing Thoughts

Some workforces offer workout rooms and gyms within the walls of the business. This promotes a healthy lifestyle and will encourage staff to take a much needed break to exercise and reduce work-related stress. Exercise releases adrenaline and endorphins that give employees a energy boost to complete a task or pick up the pace to complete a project on-time. Founders leading by example are more likely to employ those that stay with the company for longer periods of time.

AJ Agrawal

Founder of Verma Media

AJ Agrawal is the founder of Verma Media, a marketing agency that focuses on emerging tech, like blockchain and AI, and on cannabis companies.
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