There’s no mistaking 2020 was a hard year for all business leaders, whether in boom or defence, the challenges that faced us didn’t just need knowledge or experience. In a year that asked so much of so many, businesses would have benefited from experience as well as strength in body and mind.
Just as an athlete doesn’t win by strategy alone, or an F1 driver because they have the best racing team, biological factors play a huge part in achieving peak performance both in sport and in business. Whilst the brain controls our ability to perform, the way we treat our body impacts on how powerful our brain performance can be.
At BBI, we have seen the benefits of exercise and nutrition for mental health, cognitive capability, memory and stamina, having invested in our own nutrition and activity coach since 2019.
We have experienced healthier happier teams, a reduction in sickness, improvements in speed, effort and output as well as benefits to collaboration from sharing challenges and success stories that fitness and nutritional coaching can bring.
Launching a support network for business leaders
As an agency that helps businesses to gain and maintain a competitive advantage, we are also passionate about supporting UK and international business leaders to achieve peak biological and business performance in 2021.
In 2021, we will be offering business leaders information and valuable guidance, aimed at optimising performance for businesses and brands. From the CEO, the CMO, the CFO and beyond, we will cover a range of topics that not only inspire brilliant marketing performance, but they will also support the body and mind too.
By signing up to our updates, you will receive regular guidance and advice, from nutrition to drive success, exercising for cognitive clarity, or digital strategies that will accelerate your business performance beyond your competitors.
Our first share for 2021 is from our inhouse nutrition and wellness coach Jack, who’s identified 21 steps towards peak biological performance for this year.
21 steps towards peak performance for 2021 by Jack Sharples
Health should be a priority but unfortunately, in recent times due to workload, stress and many other factors it’s easy to have become the forgotten hero in our day to day lives.,
As with most busy lives the first areas that are likely to need some focus are:
The above areas are all in sync with each other and improving one of them will likely improve another and have a knock-on effect across all four.
To power performance for 2021, there are some initial markers we should work to towards improving our overall health.
- Build a sustainable exercise routine – figure out the time you can spend exercising each week, then put together a list of what you enjoy doing. Spend your time doing something that makes you happy. Dislike HIT? Join a virtual dance class! Hate running? Go hiking! Find what makes you happy and start there.
- Build sustainable eating habits – Nutrition is a very personal thing, it’s like a fingerprint, no one is the same. Build your routine around your available time and foods you enjoy eating, stop eating what you think is right for your ‘diet’ and make the foods you enjoy work for you.
- Drink more water – Do you drink enough water? But do you REALLY drink enough water? if you don’t enjoy drinking water, add a bit of flavour with lemon or lime, it also increases the nutrients and reduces insulin response by up to 30%. If the option is to drink water with juice mixed in or drink nothing at all, drink the juice.
- Eat 7 portions of fruit and veg per day – Are you getting your 5 a day and did you know it should be more like 7 per day? Fruits and vegetables contain vital vitamins and minerals, they also fill you up and stop you snacking on the bad stuff.
- Eat more protein – It fills you up and provides your body with the building blocks it needs to recover. Recover faster and you will be ready to train again quicker.
- Cut down on processed foods – Remove the calorie dense, processed foods. Replace them with unprocessed alternatives.
- Stop treating every day like a cheat day – If you have been cheating your whole life. Make it this year the year to stop it.
- Reduce alcohol consumption – Empty calories, reduces sleep quality, increases stress levels, increases risk of numerous health conditions, increases your chances of binge eating to aid recovery. Just reduce it. no one is asking you to stop, just improve on what you were doing last year.
- Reduce caffeine after 4pm – Caffeine stays in your system for up to 6 hours, if you are having trouble falling asleep, this could be the cause.
- Work on your mobility and flexibility – If you find yourself getting sore while sitting at your desk? Start stretching, there is no downside to this.
- Take up a hobby, ideally an active hobby – We know a hobby is great for mental health, reducing stress and keeping us happy. If we combine this with exercise, we have the perfect recipe for a healthy body and mind!
- Increase general daily movement – Most of the calories you burn on an average day comes from general movement, little things like walking up the stairs or taking the dog to the park. This will also improve sleep and reduce stress.
- Don’t stress the things out of your control – Take the pressure off and learn to go with the flow, stop stressing so much about the things you have no control over.
- Take a break, have an actual lunch break – Today’s work ethic seems to be ‘more is better’ but when you look at productivity, taking your lunch break, stepping away from work for even 30 minutes and enjoying your food can give you the mental recovery needed to keep productivity high and reduce anxiety and depression.
- Spend time with people you value – Go out of your way to spend time with the people you love and value, no one will be around forever and you only regret the things you don’t do.
- Create a bedtime routine and go to bed earlier – Trouble sleeping? Stop with the electrical stimulus before bed, turn off everything electric one hour before bed and take the time to read a book, have a bath or do some yoga. Turn off everything electrical, remove your mobile phone from the bedroom and black out any artificial light entering the room. Depending on your activity level, you could require up to 9 hours sleep per night.
- Set your goals – Goals help give you focus, they don’t have to by aesthetic related either, they can be anything you want!
- Track your progress – Want to hit your goals? Seem to always fail? Try tracking your progress, every little increase or improvement you make will be highlighted on paper but overlooked and forgotten in your mind. It will provide the motivation you just might need on those days where you feel like you are not getting anywhere.
- Breathe – Feeling stressed, upset, angry or overwhelmed? Take 10 seconds, breathe deeply, fill your lungs and see if you still feel the same.
- Figure out what works for you and stop doing what social media tells you – Everyone thinks that that they need to be following the latest diet or the latest exercise routine. This is incorrect. Having said that, you do need a plan. Tailor what you enjoy to your goal and stick to it consistently over a long period of time. no short cuts, no quick fixes. Having someone hold you accountable is a key factor to success when it comes to health and fitness.
- Educate yourself – Education is the key to long lasting health. the more you can learn about how your body works and what makes you feel at your best, the easier all of this health and fitness stuff gets, start taking an interest in yourself, look after yourself, treat your body the way it deserves instead of using it as a tool to slump through your days in an unproductive manner.
- Bonus Tip! You can learn something from everyone – This one is related to #21, Try having a conversation with an actual human being, not over the phone or a computer, I mean face to face, look at someone and engage with them. It doesn’t matter how much you know or how intelligent you think you may be, you can learn something from each individual person that you pass in the street, you just have to be willing to listen.
How to gain a competitive advantage and accelerate performance
At BBI we believe performance goes way beyond experience and knowledge. It’s about finding the right way for your businesses and brands to gain and maintain a competitive advantage over others.
If you would like to learn more about ways to accelerate your performance, sign up to our Peak Performance Programme to get regular updates from our experts or contact us today to discuss how we can work together.