US - Blog.
The latest news, videos and workouts from the Escape Fitness Team.
Eat, sleep and rest your way to health on the road
A couple of weeks ago we published a blog from Escape’s Matthew Januszek titled ‘How can busy people stay fit on the road?’. This was part one of Matthew’s summary of his recent appearance in a ‘Disruptive Entrepreneur’ podcast.
Now Matthew is back for part two. This time, he moves on to the importance of good nutrition and getting enough sleep and rest. Over to Matt…
A daily diet for health and performance
In the podcast, Rob asked me what my diet is like. Now I’m not a nutritionist, so my advice is personal and everyone is different, and much of the research out there is conflicting. But I can tell you what works for me. First up, when I wake up in the morning my ‘must haves’ are plenty of water and my green drink. There are a lot of them out there but the one that seems to be particularly good for me is Athletic Greens. Regardless of whether I've been travelling and what I've been eating, my green drink sorts things out.
Why are green drinks so good? One big benefit for me is that they contain probiotics, which is perfect when I’m travelling. They tackle the common problem of the ‘funny tummy’, which is caused by eating things that you wouldn't normally eat at home, as well as varying standards in water quality. Sorting this out is vital: if you’re not feeling great and your stomach is struggling you may have to disrupt your schedule. On business trips, time is usually very limited. You are flying in and out of places with little time in between, so you want to be at the top of your game at all times.
If you are interested in trying Athletic Greens, then as an Escape reader you can get 50% off your first order. To get your hands on this exclusive deal then visit their UK store (for all UK orders) or if you're based in Europe you can buy here.
Then, if I can, I’ll look for somewhere I can get or buy the ingredients for a smoothie with nuts, spinach, berries, coconut oil and good quality protein. That tends to keep me going until lunch, when I’ll keep it simple and have a salad with ingredients like green leaves, avocado, beetroot, fish and maybe some cheese.
I used to find that when I had carbs for lunch I would be craving something else when I got to mid-afternoon. Since I changed my lunch I’ve been fine until I get to 5.30pm, when I’ll have my dinner – generally fish, vegetables and rice or a baked potato – and that’s pretty much it. I'll also make sure I keep hydrated with plenty of water during the day.
A balanced view of nutrition
If you think about how people ate 50 or 60 years ago, you had fruit and vegetables that were in season. Your meat and your fish wouldn't be tampered with and free of chemicals. But now there are a lot of manufactured foods that we eat because they’re easy. There are also concerns about what seem on the face of it to be natural ingredients, including meat, milk and eggs.
A common sense approach to food is needed. Avoid the highly processed manufactured foods where they’re putting in sugars or sweeteners to make them taste nice. Quality meat, fish and vegetables from reliable sources should be the cornerstone of a good diet.
During the working week I avoid eating purely for pleasure and use food as an energy source. Sure, at the weekend, I’ll maybe eat some dark chocolate and have some good coffee. But otherwise it’s all about eating what I need to stay hydrated, keep going, keep my brain working and keep feeling good.
How much sleep do you need?
I believe that sleep and rest are also vital to health and wellbeing. If you don’t feel great in the morning, or if you’re tired by the afternoon, then something isn’t quite right. It's really important - especially when travelling - that you're getting the rest you need for optimal performance.
There’s a lot of conflicting information on how much sleep we need. But a lot of the research shows that it’s not great to rely on four or five hours’ sleep a night. With me, I find that if I’m working out hard, I need around eight and a half hours’ sleep a night.
Rest really is so important, particularly with regard to meetings. I’ve arrived at Heathrow at seven o’clock on a Monday morning and gone straight into my usual work schedule, and the tiredness has had an impact. If that keeps happening, it could have a real compound effect on relationships.
So when you’re doing a lot of travel, find some time to wind down so you can rebalance yourself. You might have to change your thoughts here – it’s not wasting precious time; it’s actually going to help you be successful and achieve even better results.
Fitness is for everyone
I hope that listening to the podcast or reading this two-part blog has given you some extra information and motivation for a healthier lifestyle, no matter how busy you are.
Whatever your age, fitness level or schedule you can get involved in exercise, especially in simple movements that can make a big difference. Revisiting your approach to nutrition and sleep can also transform how you feel and how you perform in your business.
The podcast is still available. You can download it and listen any time you want. You’ll need iTunes to listen to the podcast: click the link and then choose #068 to listen.