This year, I decided that I wouldn’t make any resolutions until spring. Basically, it’s all about getting into the right frame of mind but if you’d like more detail than that you can read my previous blog post here. I’m also keeping it simple. I’ve made one business resolution and one health related one. I’ll be talking about my business resolution in another post, but for now I need to get down to brass tacks with the health one.
My health goal
I’m aiming to run a 10k by the end of this year. For some of you that will sound like an epic challenge, I know others who do that distance as a warm up. I’ve done a few 10k races before but the last one was on Boxing Day 2015. My last run was a Santa Run for charity at the beginning of December 2016. When I ran, it prompted me to make other good choices. I’d still have a drink but not so many that I couldn’t get up and go out in the morning. I lost weight and had more energy for my kids.
I can give you all sorts of excuses about the slow decline in my running performance. My kids won’t be among them though. I ran my first official 10k at six months pregnant and I’ve only slowed down as they’ve got older. The main reason is pain. My back started to seize up during runs and at first I struggled through, then gave up completely thinking I would do some yoga and stretches and start again when things improved.
They got worse. As you might expect for a writer, I spend a lot of my day sitting down. Reducing my activity level meant that I seized up even more. I eventually went to see my local acupuncturist (I can sense some of you clicking away already). She asked me how old I was and told me that realistically, I was probably halfway through my life. I know. Ouch. If I don’t do something about it now I’ll be a creaky old lady before my time.
What has this got to do with my business?
I’m a sole trader. If I’m out of action the work doesn’t get done and I don’t get paid. There’s no sick pay. The action I take to improve my health now means that I’m less likely to retire early because of a chronic condition. It also lessens my chances of needing time off for illness in the short term.
If you own your own business you’re used to looking at the bigger picture. Your health could be an important factor when it comes to your business’ bottom line. Of course, this also extends to your employees. If you promote a culture where people are encouraged to take proper breaks or go for a walk at lunchtime their health outcomes could improve to. Unless they’re only walking as far as the chip shop.
But maybe you’re an employee. Maybe the estimated £16billion lost to the UK economy through sickness absence is no concern of yours. It could be if your employers are going through a sticky patch and need to consider redundancies. I know, that sounds harsh, but it’s certainly something to think about.
I’m starting my 10k quest with some short early morning runs to get my legs used to the idea. What one thing could you aim for this year that will help you to improve your health in the long term? Share your thoughts in the comments!