The gig industry is the place to be, and millions of people have already made the switch to self-employment. You’ve joined the ranks or are thinking about it, and the benefits of leaving the daily grind are endless.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that your problems change when you own a business. Your physical and mental wellness become a priority. If you’re not healthy, you can’t make an income, and the bills don’t get paid.
Staying in good shape when you head out into the world of self-employment starts with the inside out. Use these three simple but essential ways to get and remain healthy as a business owner.
1. Focus on Nutrition
When work is booming, and your schedule is full, it’s easy to forget to eat or grab something on the go. But these little unhealthy choices have a compound effect that adds up.
Fueling your body with junk or neglecting to eat is like not taking care of your car. At some point, the sludge you put into the engine, or the fluids you didn’t add, will cause the vehicle to break down, usually at the most inopportune moment.
Your Body Needs Premium Fuel, Not Unleaded
Imagine the same thing happening to your health. The junk food you eat each day or skipped meals mean your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to keep you going.
Lack of nutrition shows up in little ways at first, like restless sleep and irritability. Over time, it turns into problems you can’t ignore: cardiovascular issues, diabetes, depression, and more.
Many of these health conditions are preventable with nutrition. If you’re not sure how to get started fueling your body better, take baby steps. Swap out the soda or tea for water. Meal plan your snacks and lunches for the week on your day off.
You’ll notice these little steps help you feel better, and pretty soon, you’ll prefer eating healthier over other yummy but dangerous options.
2. Don’t Skip the Preventative Care
Nutrition helps your body get the vitamins and minerals it needs. It’s part of the preventative care package, but not the whole thing.
Problems can still crop up unexpectedly. With wellness checkups and preventative testing, you can catch these issues before they become major obstacles.
Yes, that means heading to the doctor, but you left your health insurance behind with your last employer. It’s okay. You still have options.
Invest in Your Health
As we said, the gig industry is huge, which means there are millions of people just like you who need health care coverage. This immense market is why companies like Gigly exist. Gigly gives its members access to large group insurance policies at discounted rates.
Most of the coverage options include preventative care, so you’ll be able to go for free (or inexpensive):
- Annual blood work and wellness visits
- Dental cleanings and exams
- Mammograms and other diagnostic screenings
- Vision exams
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. Invest in your healthcare coverage and go to your wellness visits. It may save you from being surprised with a serious and expensive problem later.
3. Get Moving Every Day
How active are you with your business? If your job is pretty sedentary, you may have to find creative ways to get moving throughout the day.
As a freelance writer or graphic artist, you’re sitting at a desk in front of your computer all day. Lack of movement will catch up with you the same way unhealthy food does—when you least expect it.
If you aren’t moving enough, your circulation is impacted quickly. You get less oxygenated blood flowing through your veins, and you’ll feel sluggish and sleepy.
Your muscles start aching more. You don’t sleep as well, and you’ll probably gain weight.
You Don’t Have to Be a Fitness Guru to Be Fit
This is another preventable problem, though. No matter what kind of job you have, you can force yourself to get active in little ways.
Try these small changes to get some movement into your day:
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to time your work. Set a timer for 25-30 minutes and do your work without any distractions. When the timer goes off, set it again for 5-10 minutes and go for a short walk or do a few of your preferred exercises. Then, reset your 25-30 minute clock and get back to work.
- Wake up ten minutes earlier each day, and add a short exercise routine to your morning. The burst of energy you get from this minor tweak will carry you for hours.
- When you run errands or visit clients, park as far away as you safely can. Use those extra steps as part of your daily movement.
- Write your grocery list out in alphabetical order. Don’t shop when you’re in a hurry, and buy each item as it shows up on your list instead of by the section it shows up in the aisles. You’ll get lots of extra steps in this way.
A little bit of movement every day goes a long way toward keeping you in shape.
Being self-employed can be amazing if you do it right. Staying healthy gives you the mindset and physical ability to live your best life on your terms with your new entrepreneurial career.