CEO health tip: Act more like an animal
Vistage speaker and internationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Dan Miller has coached hundreds of CEOs on how to live a longer, better, happier life. Throughout all that coaching, he’s noticed a concerning trend: Most CEOs forget to take care of their health. “They sacrifice their health for the sake of their business,”
says Miller, “and for the sake of those that are relying on them as the employer, as the CEO and as the leader. And this is causing huge problems because when you neglect your health, your performance also suffers.”
Miller points out that the brain and the body are intimately connected in more ways than we could ever imagine. If your body is not healthy, your brain cannot function the way it’s supposed to. And inevitably, your business will suffer. “Sacrificing your health for the sake of your business is never a good idea,” he emphasizes.
Miller’s antidote to this lack of exercise among CEOs starts with a shift in perspective: Think of yourself more as a human animal rather than just a human. “Right now we’re isolated, we’re alone, we’re eating synthetic foods, and we’re locked in boxes all day long,” he explains. “I need to remind you that’s not going to be a good thing for you as a human animal, and may be leading to some of the diseases of modern society.”
Miller suggests changing some basic habits such as eating natural foods (like an animal would eat), exercising more, drinking water as your primary beverage, and sleeping when it’s dark outside. “Start acting more like an animal than you are like a human, and watch what happens to your performance in less than 30 days.”
“Right now we’re isolated, we’re alone, we’re eating synthetic foods, and we’re locked in boxes all day long. That’s not going to be a good thing for you as a human animal, and may be leading to some of the diseases of modern society.”
Inconsistent exercise and a poor diet are often compounded by stress, which can lead to high-blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It takes a concerted effort for CEOs to change their lifestyle and be consistent in living a healthier life.
“You, as a CEO, need to start prioritizing yourself, for just four hours a week,” says Miller, “so that you can be healthier, live longer, be more productive, and be there for those that rely on you as a leader. You set the example, they follow, everything gets better from there.” When CEOs shift to a “human animal” perspective, their productivity increases, healthcare costs are reduced and quality of family life improves.