We’ve all had that night or two where we toss and turn watching the clock unable to sleep. But for some, a restless night is routine. While sleep deprivation is an issue that is often overlooked, it can have a major impact on our minds, bodies, and even careers.

While we sleep, our brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons. This process can only be done while we’re asleep. When we don’t get enough sleep the toxic proteins remain in our brain cells, impairing our ability to think. Lack of sleep slows our ability to process information and problem solve, weakens your creativity, and heightens your stress levels and emotional reactivity.

Check out these eight common sleep problems below along with tips to overcome them in order to get the quality sleep that your body needs.

Anxiety

If you suffer from an anxiety condition or even find yourself feeling anxious from time to time, chances are you’ve had trouble falling asleep. It can be challenging for anyone to relax their mind after a long day, but when you’re combating anxiety on top of it, you may find yourself struggling both physically and mentally to convince your body to fall asleep.

If anxiety is causing you to miss out on ZZZ’s, trying using a meditation app before bed. There are many wonderful meditation apps out there that can help curb your anxiety by relaxing your mind and bringing about more mental peace. Stretching is also a great way to reduce anxiety before bed because it helps combat tension caused by anxiety or stress by loosening up your body.

Busy Mind

Mental over-activity is a big problem and more and more people are reporting that they just can’t turn off their brains at night. When you’re stressed, your mind races with thoughts at night rather than shutting down. With each passing year, our societal demands get ever greater leading us to be “on” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This results in greater rates of insomnia.

In order to set the stage for sleep, we need to unwind and dim our mind. Make time to relax and unwind at least one hour before bed. Keep the lights dim and put away all electronic devices. Try reading, sketching, or journaling. Once you discover what works best for you, develop a nightly bedtime routine consisting of these activities. This will help create closure for the day, allowing your brain to begin the process of shutting off.

Discomfort

Pain is hard enough to deal with in the light of day, but when pain at night robs you of the sleep your body has been craving so badly it can be downright exhausting. According to the National Sleep Foundation, two out of three people with chronic pain have difficulty sleeping. This is because no matter what the cause of it is, pain can disrupt sleep architecture and affect sleep positions.

Sleep is the only time that our muscles, spine, and ligaments can completely relax. Sleeping on a mattress that is not suited to your body can actually cause or increase body aches and pains as it creates bad sleep posture, strained muscles, and unnatural spinal alignment. Foam layer mattresses are a good option because they fit to your body shape and maintain the same natural spinal alignment we have when we are standing. This evenly balances out the weight of our body, creating no pressure points and allowing our muscles to relax at the correct positions and lengths.

Hunger

It can be difficult to get a full night’s sleep if hunger strikes during the night as hunger pains have been shown to keep the brain mentally alert. On top of that, not getting enough sleep can both lower metabolism and increase levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone” that boosts appetite and can even encourage weight gain.

To avoid hunger pains at night, eat small meals throughout the day. Skipping out on meals can slow your metabolism while eating small meals throughout the day causes your body to obtain energy from fat stores overnight. Late-night eating has been linked to weight gain so if hunger does strike before bed, eat a light carb-heavy snack before bed rather than doing an all-out fridge raid.

Not Tired

One of the most frustrating things is trying to fall asleep at night and not being able to because you are simply not tired. We’ve all had those nights where we keep checking the clock to calculate how many hours of sleep we will get if we fall asleep at a certain time and next thing you know it’s time to start getting ready for work.

If you’re having trouble sleeping due to not being tired, try putting away and turning off all electronics. The artificial blue light emitted by our electronic devices delays your body’s internal clock, suppresses melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone) and makes it more difficult to fall asleep. Rather than watching your favorite show before bed, try reading a book as it will help your mind relax and prepare for sleep.

Sunday Night Insomnia

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to fall asleep on Sunday nights? For most of us, Sunday is a “lazy day” lacking in physical and mental activity. When it’s time to go to bed at the usual bedtime our body is not ready to because we haven’t actually been awake long enough. This common issue is known as Sunday Night Insomnia.

To prevent Sunday Night Insomnia, you need to maintain a consistent sleep pattern. If you go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 6am during the week, try sticking to a similar pattern over the weekend, especially on Saturday night and Sunday morning. This will help regulate your internal body clock, allowing you to fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day and night.

Temperature

Restlessness and an endless night of tossing and turning are often the result of being too hot or too cold. This happens when our external temperatures aren’t optimal because our bodies have to work harder to self-regulate. When our external temperatures aren’t ideal, our body will repeatedly switch back and forth between shivering and sweating, except during the REM stage of sleep. At this point, our body’s shivering and sweating mechanisms are impaired, forcing our body to adjust to whatever the room temperature may be. Once out of this stage, you may be too hot or too cold depending on your bedroom environment.

Sleep experts recommend that you keep your thermostat between 15 and 19 degrees to prevent this from happening. Keep your room at a cooler temperature if you tend to use more blankets or pillows when you sleep. If you prefer fewer blankets, opt for a higher room temperature.

Noise

Whether it’s a home appliance, pet or storm, sound has the potential to affect your rest. Sounds that have little impact during the day can become bothersome at night, especially when they are sudden or unexpected. While these noises may not fully wake you, they can arouse you slightly affecting your sleep cycle.

Sound and noise are often out of our control. White noise is a great way to mask and drown out background sounds and achieve better sleep. If you are still finding it difficult to sleep, try using ear plugs to cover up any noise disturbances.


Kelly N. is a Sleep Enthusiast from New York. When she’s not daydreaming about her next nap, she can be found browsing the shelves of her favorite bookstore.


In modern times, leaders are burnt out and living overscheduled lifestyles. Stuck in cycle of overwhelm, never accomplishing enough, and living in acceptance that this is the way life is. People are drained, emotionally exhausted and stressed. Many women tell themselves to “suck it up, princess” rather than rest and reassess.

Often people are redirected to manage your time better, prioritise, make better to do lists, delegate unnecessary tasks and then when you find the extra hour, you fill it up with some other task. Time is not what we should be tracking. Instead, you need to manage your energy.

Time is inevitable, infinite and unchanging. You schedule your day around timed activities, plan dates with friends and measure your knowledge based on the amount of time that you have been doing something. Yet many people focus on time management to only ever spend numerous hours doing projects and spending little time on themselves.

In a culture of ever-constant burnout, it’s time to shift our focus from managing time to managing energy. Let me share with you 8 tips on how to transcend the time management myth to boost your energy.

Build awareness

To create a shift in thinking requires you to build awareness of your energy. Asking yourself quality questions to expand your thinking –  Identifying what drains you the most? What activities increase your energy? What contributes to a life worth living?

When you have a clear picture of what the picture looks like, you are in a better position to appreciate the activities that elevate your energy or what sucks the energy out of you. Self-reflection is the key to gain clarity and the platform to make different choices.

Identify your natural high energy

You will have a favorite time of the day where your energy levels feel effortless. Some limitless energy in the morning whereas others come to life after lunch. The key is to identify you highest energy levels and exploit them.

Unplug from work

The Harvard Business Review tackled the topic of energy management back in 2007. Eleven years later, their words still ring true. Altering the course of your energy, especially when depletion is on the cards and burnout around the corner. When you can recognize the costs of energy depletion behaviors, you can change them.

Refocusing your energy by practicing de-stressing activities such as meditation, yoga or going for a walk creates a space for you to unplug and feel rejuvenated. Developing rituals before and after work, creates a preventative energy strategy that when you need to intently focus your energy on a project, your energy can be sustained longer term.

Be present in the moment

Presence is the key to building strong relationships as true connection only happens when you give your full attention to others. When you let go of the multitasking attitude and break free from technological distractions, you are more likely to experience a state of flow. Incorporate practices such as mindfulness, meditation or yoga that nurture being in the moment.

Relearn the basics of taking care of yourself

Adequate sleep, healthy food, exercise and deep breathing are the necessities of life. In today’s modern world, people move from stressor to stressor, not allowing their bodies to calm naturally for repair and healing. Bodies remain in a constant state of tension, rather than in a practice of deliberate calm. Calm and energy intertwined create productive work and a happy life. Rest and free time create moments for new ideas to come to surface. Inspiration strikes in moments of idleness.

Lead the way with compassion

Self-compassion inspires you to learn from failures and try again. Self-compassion gives you the energy to progress forward. Self-compassionate people have less anxiety and stress, exhibit more curiosity, creativity and will power. In today’s workplaces, compassion is the driving force that connects people. A go-giver attitude, clear boundaries create a compassionate culture, happier and more productive people. When you do the hard work of cultivating qualities that nurture compassionate environments, the chains of stress and overwork start to break down.

Manage your focus

Instead of taking action, people delude themselves into a false sense of achievement as time is invested in planning the day with a time-management calendar or app. Time is wasted as you spend all your time planning, reading and plotting to manage your time. Ultimately the only thing that really matters is execution. Consistent action, to produce real results.

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is creating rituals that match your peak energy. The most successful entrepreneurs created rituals to maximize their energy opportunities. Warren Buffet wakes up at 6.45am and spends 80% of his day reading. Richard Branson wakes at 5am, exercises and spend time with his family first thing in the morning. Oprah begins and ends her day with stillness.

Successful people execute habitually when their energy levels are at their peak. This creates a platform where they don’t manage their time, they allow themselves to perform consistently at their best.

Humans are not robots

Human factors drive productivity, not traditional time management practices. Humans cannot perform efficiently and perfectly 24/7. We are not machines or robots. When you invest your energy into scheduling your most important activities around your highest energy levels, book in regular down time and create rituals that you stick to religiously, you are leading you. Manage your energy, not your time.

 

Going against the grain can be challenging. It requires creativity, a willingness to explore and reshape the systems that we operate in. If more people start to reclaim their energy, new realities are created, and new visions are brought to life. Isn’t time? If not now, when? If not you, who?


Angela Kambouris is a highly-valued leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma. She is super-passionate about unlocking human potential to deliver extraordinary results and has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in the areas of self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business.  She has master-minded with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world.


The biggest disease in the 21st century is not diabetes or cancer – but rather, your self-loathing. Jack Kornfield once reported that the Dalai Lama did not understand the idea that one could dislike oneself. Cultivating inner peace is supported by self-compassion. Buddhists talk a lot about the importance of compassion and you must care about yourself before you can really care about other people. That advice probably sounds familiar from all the airplane safety announcements!

Self-compassion involves becoming aware of the presence of suffering in our bodies, emotions, thoughts, and actions, and then taking steps to diminish the suffering. Kristin Neff, a psychologist, was the pioneer in defining self-compassion as kindness toward self in good times and bad; being gentle, supportive and understanding even when we make mistakes. When you embrace self-compassion, you understand that your self-worth is unconditional. People who are self-compassionate have a greater social connectedness, emotional intelligence, happiness and overall emotional well-being. Nurturing self-compassion allows people to flourish and appreciate the richness of life, even in the hard times. When we consciously choose to soothe the mind with self-compassion, we can orient ourselves towards joyful moments.

Even though research supports the claim that showing self-compassion promotes greater health and wellbeing, for many, self-compassion carries a whiff of many bad labels. Selfish, self-centered, self-serving – and let’s not leave out self-pity. Our culture promotes blame and shame as though it wins us awards. There are many misgivings about the idea of self-compassion, as many do not know what it looks like, let alone how to practice it.

Self-compassion holds wisdom that many do not see. There is a commonality across humanity that every individual is flawed and imperfect. Brene Brown reminds us in The Gifts of Imperfection that every person experiences misfortune, though that’s something we often forget.We take on the burden of feeling things “shouldn’t be happening”, which stirs feelings of shame and isolation and drives us to bury ourselves further in our own suffering.

So, what is the answer? Stop judging, being critical, labelling yourself as entirely good or bad. Remove the blame-filled self-evaluation altogether. Open your heart and treat yourself with the same kindness and compassion you would show another human being.

Neuroscience suggests that self-criticism shifts the brain into a state of self-punishment that causes us to disengage and stops us from acting. It leaves us in a cycle of procrastination, rumination and self-loathing. When we tap into our self-compassion we break the patterns of self-criticism, acknowledging our fears and allowing our compassionate voice to rise to the occasion as a wise and supportive mentor.

Dr Kristin Neff describes three core qualities of self-compassion – self kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. Collectively, these elements help reduce our levels of stress and self-doubt by allowing ourselves to see doubts for what they are: Stories created about things we fear, and not the truth about who we are or what we are capable of.

Our culture is currently experiencing an epidemic of self-criticism. To survive in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, chaotic, ambiguous) world, most people have become adept at self-criticism. We tell ourselves off for our failures, for not working hard or smart enough. And if that’s not enough, we pound ourselves day in day out to the point where people lose the will to get out of bed.

The antidote is self-compassion. If you tend to dwell on mistakes and subscribe to the mantra of ‘never good enough’, you could benefit from practicing a little more self-compassion. Let me show you six simple ways to tune into your self-compassion.

Self-compassion can also be trendy

Pulling up your socks and maintaining a facade of “toughness” is ingrained in our culture.  Harsh self-criticism is common – do you call yourself names? Replay mistakes in your head like a record player? Beat yourself up for mistakes and punish yourself for failures?

Rather than hosting a pity party, self-compassion creates a space to view through a lens of gentler words, that failure is a universal experience and that suffering is a choice. When we step into self-compassion, it increases your motivation to recover from failure, enhances your self-worth, and increases your resilience against adversity.

Picture your best self

Imagine your life five years from now. Write a letter capturing where you will be in 5 years as if you’re already there, describing your life in detail. Where you are living? What are you doing? Who is in your life? What is the taste of the food that you are eating, or the view from your house? Who are you sharing the experience with? Identify small actions that you can take to bring you closer to this vision. When you bring awareness and intention to who you want to be, you can shift your focus on cultivating your “beingness” from a place of kindness and self-care.

Deepen your connection to yourself

Sometimes in life, we need to press pause. Notice your emotions and how your body feels.  Your body is a messenger bearing a lot of important information, and you should practice listening to it. Get in tune and become aware of sensations without labelling your emotions as good or bad. Speak to yourself like a trusted friend. When you are trying to recover from setbacks, saying kinder things will make you feel better and help you perform better.

When you are in the moment, be aware without judgement. Allow your feelings their moment in the spotlight. Don’t give them a microphone or hide them in the corner. Be loyal to each feeling, allow it to rise, and then without attachment, let it go.

The beauty of self-compassion is that anyone can learn to do it. There is an exercise that can be used in everyday life when you need self-compassion the most, called the Self-Compassion Break.

Notice victories, no matter the size

There is a lot of strength in appreciating what we have right now. Gratitude helps you move from noticing the gaps, toward celebrating both big and small wins. When we notice the victories despite the size or magnitude, an internal message is reinforced that the journey is more important than the destination. Try writing a gratitude journal, focusing on blessings and the beauty within the world. The results may surprise you.

Re-connect with your truth

We live in a world where ‘should do’ or ‘have to do’, where some things simply need to be done. Making a list of priorities is a way to stay focused when everything on the list is out of alignment with your values. Review the list, identify your priorities, ask for help with tasks, change your perspective towards the task, or simply let it go.

Accept that you are not perfect and when you are confronted with your shortcomings, remind yourself that you are valued by your friends for who you are, not because you are faultless. You do not need to be a certain way to be worthy of love.

Tapping into the inner child

Nourishing your heart and mind by reconnecting to child-like qualities inspires creativity and makes us more productive. Find a new café for an afternoon treat, take a pole dancing class, or invest in charcoal drawing. Engage in an activity that warms your heart and brings out your sense of curiosity and wonder.


It’s time to remind yourself that you are human. So, when you do not meet your standards, take a moment, be grateful for the opportunity, commit to your persistence, pick yourself up and go again. Celebrate that you are not perfect. You are imperfectly flawed and that is fabulous.

(Editor’s note: Our Make Your Mark Journal and ‘Phenomenal Woman’ Planner guide you through many similar exercises, to help you become the phenomenal woman and leader you truly are!)

 

Angela Kambouris is a highly-valued leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma. She is super-passionate about unlocking human potential to deliver extraordinary results and has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in the areas of self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business.  She has master-minded with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world.


Working women are some of the busiest women on earth. More women are providing for the family, both in the office and at home, and sometimes, those commitments mean that focusing on your wellness slips down the list of priorities. But in order to juggle life’s various challenges, your health is integral, because if we don’t have our health, we don’t have anything.

Eat for energy and stamina
The best place to start your journey to wellness is by assessing your diet. It’s easy to succumb to the temptations of your co-workers treats (we’ve all been there), but if you have a sedentary job, it’s important to consider what you eat and how easily your body will be able to digest it. Jobs that require you to sit for long periods of time slow your metabolism, so packing yourself a healthy, balanced lunch is key to avoid binge eating Tim Tams in the afternoon.

The key to feeling  satisfied at work is to make sure you’re getting enough of the three main food groups: carbohydrates, fats and protein, which function together to ensure that you feel full, satisfied and energised.

For example, a large salad for lunch with salmon or chicken and lots of colourful veggies and a bit of healthy fat, such as an avocado, contains all three key food groups to keep you going. Dress it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or lemon.

To switch it around, incorporate the salad into a wholemeal bread wrap. If a salad bores you, how about some rice paper rolls, sushi, or a small bowl of stir fried meat and veggies? If you’re craving something a bit warmer for the winter season, a chicken and vegetable soup is always filling and nutritious.

It’s wise to break up the three main meals with regular snacks and natural is best. Processed foods, even those labelled as “low fat” or “fat free” are full of sneaky additives like sugar and preservatives, which actually lead to weight gain rather than weight loss. Pack yourself some fresh fruit, protein balls, muesli bars, nuts, or hummus with celery or carrot sticks. A good strategy is to buy a stash of snacks to leave work so you never get caught out and have to resort to the vending machine.

Organisation is your friend
Sure, this may be something you have heard before, but may not have been able to put into action. At the end of the day all it takes is a few minutes’ preparation at the start of the week – cook your meals for the week ahead on the weekend and you’ll be laughing. The key is organisation!

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
It’s also vital to stay hydrated throughout the day. People often report a 3pm slump in energy, but many don’t know that this often has to do with dehydration. The daily recommended water intake for women is two litres – the equivalent of about eight glasses. You have eight hours at work – challenge yourself to drink one glass an hour. This will also help you feel full and keep you from over-snacking.

Incorporate exercise into your working day
It’s important to move throughout the day as well. I can’t reiterate enough that sitting for long periods of time leads to a slower metabolism, so make an effort to move a bit each hour. If you can, go for a walk at lunch. Getting out of the office to move is refreshing and energising. You’re not going to be the only one in the office with fitness goals; find a walking buddy and encourage each other to get moving! If you don’t have time, park further away to force yourself into a short walk each morning and evening and commit to taking the stairs instead of the lift.

And of course, away from the office, getting to the gym is a great way to de-stress. However if you hate the gym – don’t force it on yourself! Find a physical activity that you actually enjoy – whether that’s running, joining a sports team or maybe even hip hop dancing – and you will be able to stick to it.

Listen to your instincts
Finally, the most important tip is to be self-aware. You know your limits better than anyone else. It’s beneficial for your health to take time off work, whether it’s a staycation or a trip to an exotic destination. Getting your mind off of the happenings of the office to focus on yourself will help you to remember what life is all about – and reset your goals and expectations.

We only have a few hours each day, and when many of them are spent in the office, you have to re-purpose your work hours to fit your health goals as well as your career goals. Eating better, moving more and focusing on your mindset will help you to seize the day with energy and passion.

About

Karina Francois is a leading Australian naturopath, health educator and public speaker with over 14 years experience running her own clinic in Melbourne, Infinite Health Practice. She is also an international author, releasing her first book, Clean Food, Clear Thinking in 2015. After visiting a naturopath who assisted her back to health following a period of illness, Karina was inspired to help others to achieve optimal health, and pursued a career in naturopathy.


This is not a trick question. I promise. Many of us think of health as separate to our career, while others think how we feel underpins our jobs but is this really the whole truth?

I would suggest that our internal health is intermingled with everything we do in life, from caring for our loved ones to relaxation, work, play – everything really. When we feel good on the inside, we’re at our most optimum with everything we face.

How the Health Ideal evolved into a full time job

I’ve been blessed to have been born into a family that takes health extremely seriously. My mother never gave us any food that wasn’t fresh or cooked from scratch and served immediately, even during her three job work week. I know, Power to Mums!

My father received a soccer scholarship into the most prestigious university in India, so taking care of ourselves has never been a passing phase in our family, health (both internal and external) means business.

I’ve been working in the family business since I was in my early teens, my father establishing our company in 1997. I can thank my parents for my obsessive love for health and turning it into a full time career for introducing me to the importance of being healthy and how it truly impacts every stage of your life.

Though health is definitely my passion, being the best entrepreneur you can be or even an inspiration in whatever you do (whether it be a position in a corporate environment or being the greatest example to those around you as a stay at home mum), relies heavily on how you face the challenges you face daily.

How Health affects your Performance

Apart from the obvious reasons poor health affects our employment, feeling lethargic or generally under the weather reduces our productivity, a place we definitely don’t want to be!

Though organisations may have a predominantly financially motive in keeping you healthy, your good health is particularly important to your loved ones and most imperatively, yourself. No one feels good about not being able to do the things we love, even if that is a 7am start on a Saturday morning to take the kids to rugby practice.

Being healthy ensures that you’re at your best all the time, every time, which is exactly where we want to be.

How do we stay healthy in this fast paced modern environment we live in?

Organic products may give us a little bit of a helping hand

There’s a reason organic products are all the rage nowadays, and the fad doesn’t seem to be declining any time soon.

In a society reliant on products including preservatives, chemicals and GMOs, many of us are making a very conscious decision to get back to our roots. Taking a leaf out of mother nature’s book, cooperatives and health food outlets are mushrooming up around all of us for one main reason – there’s a need they’re satisfying.

Though not all of you will be diehard fans of the organic concept, few of us can deny the incomparable nutritious value of eating fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and meats. My friend’s mum just recently retired and has had the time to cook more fresh food at home. Over the weekend she was reciting the staggeringly great effects she has noticed in her health from eating more freshly made home cooked meals.

“I feel more energetic!” she exclaimed over a cup of tea, and even I noticed how vibrant her hair looked. Admittedly, she’s also been exercising a lot more frequently (not crazily, just a forty five minute walk a day), so I would suggest that an adequate combination of exercise, good food and relaxation is quickly turning her into a better (nearing best) version of herself.

Some of you may be thinking about pressing the Back Button on your browser right about now but just stop for a moment.

I’m not telling you to go all gung-ho on your new health routine, baby steps are the way to go. Commit to making three fresh meals a week, or say you’ll only eat out twice a week, start exercising three days a week and if it feels good (and I have a sneaking suspicion it will), increase your workout to four or five times a week. If you can, get a family member or friend on board to take the journey with you. Suffer and celebrate together! Maybe you could share the cooking and get a fresh meal inside your and your family’s belly more than three days a week – bonus!

A combination of good food and exercise is sure to brighten up the way you approach your day. Remember, a positive outlook will surely result in positive outcomes.

Now it’s your turn!

So are you convinced to make that health change? Maybe your commitment to good health resulting in a more improved general life has just been reinforced. Whatever your takeaway from this article, I’m sure your fellow Leaders in Heels would be thrilled to hear about the way you plan (or the way you already have) to make health a priority in your daily activities and the results you may have already achieved.

You know what they say; sharing is caring, so let us know in the Comments section.

About

Mituri believes you never stop learning which is why she believes there is still more to know about when it comes to Mother Nature. As a previous Journalist, PR Specialist, Editor and Reviewer, she has worked for News Corp as a Journalist, Editor and IT Specialist, a variety of online mediums and local newspapers as well as for Australia’s second largest Publishing House, Express Publications. These days she’s doing PR (amongst many other roles like nearly every entrepreneur on the planet) for her Organic based/Certified Organic brand Nim-Véda Australia (www.nimveda.com). Go check it out at http://www.nimveda.com


Travel fitness is part of your business strategy. Full stop. Whether you’re spending a week on the road in a variety of locations, away at a conference or always on the go travelling interstate on business, there are ways you can integrate fitness into your travel schedule.

My motto is you need to run your body like your business.

This means building your wellbeing time into your DAILY agenda like you would any other meeting and not be location dependent.

It’s a mindset and a lifestyle not a chore. Time to reset your perspective on what exercise you need and want to be doing now your routine and responsibilities are different. It may mean you need a new game plan. Here’s how:

Take your “gym with you”: It’s actually easier than you may think to take your ‘gym’ with you, by using body weight exercises and packing some basic lightweight items and a pair of running shoes. Stock up your mental hard drive with exercises you can do anywhere and download your favourite videos and fitness apps to your ipad so you have an additional library to keep you on track.

Back to basics: Create space in the mornings before you start your meetings by getting some fresh air: explore where you are on foot or by bike – simply swap your heels or dress shoes for trainers and get to know your new surroundings. Exploring the city before everything opens is the perfect way to get your bearings (and find the best coffee or juice spots).

The 1% RULE ROCKS!: When time is not on your side, there are still a number of short yet powerful workouts you can do with no gym required. I like to call these express sessions. 15 minutes is 1% of your day, if you fit your wellbeing into your agenda for 15 minutes every day for 100 days you will be 100% better off. My famous 1% RULE. It works.

Listen to your body: If you are tired, then listen to your body: rest, relax and eat healthily to recharge and rejuvenate. Don’t raid the mini bar for sugary snacks and drinks – instead make time for a bath, order a fresh salad and finish off your day in peace and harmony.

I am on the road every week with early starts and late finishes, but that never stops me from getting my fit-fix. If you pack your running shoes and one or two fitness-ready outfits, you’re always good to go.

Here are my top tips on keeping travel fit when you spend more time in the airport lounge than your own:

15 Minute Express Session: Quick walk or jog followed by a super set of 25 pushups, 25 crunches, 25 triceps dips and 25 prisoner squats. Finish with three yoga poses to stretch.

Skip your way fit: A skipping rope will roll up and fit in your shoe. Skip as a warm up and cool down at different tempos, then add your core work and body weight exercises in between. You’ll be surprised how effective skipping is for agility and cardio condition. I like to do this on hotels with roof-top pools or places with a great garden and view. Awesome fresh air sessions and you can start your day like Rocky…

Use the on-site gym or pool: Research where you are staying and find out what facilities they have onsite. Pack your swim goggles and squeeze in a few laps between dinners and other activities.

Pack suspension straps: Take your gym with you with some suspension straps. I always take these on trips of four days or more and it ensures I can train on the spot for just 15 minutes a day, or longer combined with cardio.

Use nature as your gym: Embrace the surroundings. If you’re on an island paradise or beach holiday, then head to the water for your workouts. In the countryside or even in a city that has amazing parks, head out to explore by hiking, running, walking, biking or even look at horse riding for a more adventurous twist if you’re away on a retreat. Why not?!.

Sometimes we need to step back and review old rules we had and replace them with a fresh perspective on what healthy can look like. The ultimate aim is to find exercise while you are away that seamlessly fits into your day, and creates a nice moment to switch off and a different way to see the environment you are in.

As you kick-start your personal journey into being your fit, healthy self – remember it’s about balance. Focus on what you can add to your life rather than what you have to give up. Integrate this as a lifestyle not just at home, but in the wider sense of your world. The impact will be amazing.

About

Nikki Fogden-Moore specialises in coaching high achievers to bring business and personal vitality to life. She runs tailored corporate vitality programs, writes regularly for several business magazines, was long time head trainer for Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine and has been running leadership and private retreats for over a decade internationally. Her new book FITPRENEUR will be released mid year. You can reach her on [email protected] or www.thevitalitycoach.com.au