Good health, proper nutrition and fitness are important for everyone, but as a Practitioner in the healthcare field, your patients hold you to an even higher standard. It’s a matter of perception. More importantly, they are essential to your personal and professional success — and that’s a science-based fact.

We all have the same 24 hours in our day, but some people have a lot more energy than others. That energy level is what determines how productive you are during those 24 hours… and it’s nutrition and fitness that determine if you’re one of those people with all that energy. Your health and fitness has a huge impact on your life… and on the success of your business.

Have you heard of a“hydrostatic body fat analysis?” It’s a really accurate measure of a person’s percent of body fat and lean muscle in relation to their age — a great assessment of how healthy a person is. The results can be very surprising. As an example, there was this one guy I know who worked out 4-5 times a week and thought he was in great shape. But he was totally  shocked to learn his body fat percent was more than twice what it should be for his age!

Turns out, the guy was skipping breakfast most days. Despite hearing over and over that breakfast is by far THE most important meal of the day, a LOT of people still skip breakfast. It literally stands for “break the fast,” and makes or breaks your energy level for the entire day. You cannot — repeat, you CANNOT — make up for the energy loss that results from skipping breakfast. And if you think a donut and coffee puts you at your best mentally, physically or emotionally, think again!

Besides skipping breakfast, the other top “energy drains” are alcohol, caffeine, ineffective exercise, eating just three meals a day (vs. 5-6 small meals), boredom and dehydration. I could get on a real soap box about this last one — dehydration. It’s not only a huge drain on energy, but affects you in so many other negative ways. Here’s a scientific fact for you — the average person needs to drink a gallon of water a day. And, that by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and have depleted your ability to remember things by about 30%!

Here are some other facts that might surprise you, but you really need to know:

  • 75% of your health is determined by nutrition — what you eat and drink on a daily basis. And the older you get, the harder it is to overcome poor nutrition with exercise.
  • 20% is determined by exercise, which needs to be done in the right ways. An effective exercise program needs to include full body aerobics, resistance, and flexibility/ stretching.
  • 5% is supplementation. Despite relentless advertising, you cannot replace nutrition and exercise with pills!

A depleted energy level will dramatically limit your productivity. If you’re eating right and exercising properly, you should be able to hop out of bed at 6:00 in the morning, do your “early morning success ritual,” then start being productive. You should be able to continue being productive — with real mental clarity, mind you — until about 9:00 at night.

As Coach Vince Lombardi said — “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” If you’re feeling mentally and physically sluggish during the day, you’ll avoid tackling important business activities, and confronting difficult or complex issues… which will only make them worse. You’ve got to have the energy to make the breakthroughs in your business life, and if you don’t take care of yourself physically, you won’t have the energy to do that. Moreover, if you typically get home with little energy left over for your family,… you need to “fix” your nutrition and fitness routines!

If you don’t already have healthy nutrition and fitness habits, start with these three, then add more over time:

  1. Sufficiently HYDRATE by drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of pure water every day
  2. Eat a healthy, balanced BREAKFAST — one with essential fats, lean protein and low-glycemic carbs
  3. Exercise AEROBICALLY at least 30-45 minutes, four times a week

These should be easy enough starting point to get you on a healthy path moving forward. But, just like with your Practice, don’t let your exercise plateau! Keep challenging yourself physically, and you’ll be seeing success in your health — and in your life.