Luncheon speaker offers tips for business people to be more healthy

COLUMBIANA – Neika Nix Morgan gave attendees of The Shelby County Chamber’s Connections Luncheon on Thursday, March 7, tips for simplifying their health and busy worlds.

“We’re all super busy,” said Nix Morgan, health educator/wellness specialist for St. Vincent’s Health System. “We all have too many irons in the fire.”

Nix Morgan encouraged the members of the business community at Columbiana First Baptist Church to take the first step toward improved health instead, which will prevent a sometimes overwhelming focus on the big picture and make subsequent steps easier.

Nix Morgan focused on three areas: sleep, diet and exercise.

She said sleep is the foundation of all good health and well-being, and said being awake for 16 hours consecutively is the equivalent as having a blood alcohol content of 0.05 percent, which is close to the legal impairment limit of 0.08.

Nix Morgan provided tips for better and more sleep, including keeping the bedroom cool, refraining from caffeine after noon, replacing pillows (every two years) and mattresses (every seven years) regularly, and maintaining a regular bedtime routine.

“The body likes specific bed times,” Nix Morgan said. “Set it and keep it.”

Moderation is key for a healthy diet, Nix Morgan said.

“There’s no such thing as bad food, but too much of something can be bad,” she said.

People in general also should drink more water, rely on food to provide energy (as opposed to caffeine), and eat colorful vegetables for antioxidants.

Six small meals eaten every two to three hours is preferable to larger meals, and Nix Morgan encouraged attendees to not skip breakfast.

In fact, some easy and healthy breakfast options include yogurt parfait, oatmeal, turkey and cheese sandwich, and fruit and cheese.

Keeping healthy snacks at work and using smaller plates to help with portion sizes are also good practices, Nix Morgan said.

“I know we’re business owners and want to be productive, but not taking care of yourself will get you in the long run,” she said.

It is well established that regular exercise makes people feel better, so Nix Morgan said to make scheduling exercise a priority and to avoid missing it as one would an important business appointment.

People should aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise and 10-15 minutes a day of stretching.

“Being still and sitting all day, we’re not designed to do that,” she said. “It has to be your habits (that make a difference in your life), and your habits are things that you do daily.”