Swareena’s story: fit amidst startup hustle

Swareena’s story: fit amidst startup hustle

Believe me, I understand. Working at a startup is already a Herculean task - it's enough to keep you up with endless nights of powerpoints, pitch decks and caffeine-infused brainstorming sessions. On top of all this, you're expected to maintain a fitness routine? It can seem nearly impossible. But as a 27-year-old startup worker who's been forced to strike a balance, I want to share both my struggles and strategies with you.

It pays to stay fit.

You see, fitness is not just about having 6-pack abs or running a marathon - although goal achievement can certainly feel great. Fitness, fundamentally, is about your well-being. It's the basis for everything you do, from the adrenaline-rushing revenue targets, to those long, grueling hours in front of your computer. A lack of fitness isn't just a setback in your health, but in your work journey as well.

Let me break down this brutal truth: a sedentary lifestyle can lead to numerous health problems including heart diseases, diabetes, and even poses a risk for mental illness - conditions that can hinder your productivity and efficiency at work. Healthy eating habits, physical activity, and regular rest - these elements hold the power not to just transform your health, but your work performance too.

So I went from eating chips - a few packets a day - to replacing it with protein shakes and some home food. The challenge, however, is incorporating this into your already hectic schedule. How do you manage to squeeze in a workout, diligently plan meals, or even just find time to rest, in between Zoom meetings and crunch deadlines? The struggle is real, but, thankfully, not impossible. Here are my top 3 strategies:

Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening: The quiet hours when the world is still asleep or is wrapping up the day make for a good workout window.

Plan your meals ahead: Make sure you have healthy snacks and meals handy for those busy, no-break days. Now I carry my Gytree protein powder and prepare it in a shaker at office, making it a perfect snack in the middle of the day. For the rest, I also carry some home food.

Take short breaks: Stand up, stretch, or take a short walk every hour. These tiny measures can save you from prolonged hours of sitting.

You know I even spoke to a nutritionist to bust some myths for myself. She said protein is essential for muscle repair and maintenance. Even if we're not hitting the gym regularly, our bodies are constantly undergoing wear and tear. Sitting for long periods can lead to muscle loss, but a protein-rich diet can help counteract this by providing the necessary building blocks for muscle tissue.

Protein not just energises but can help control hunger. It's easy to reach for snacks when you're sitting at your desk all day, but protein can help keep those cravings at bay. It takes longer to digest than carbs, keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This can help prevent overeating and weight gain, common issues for those of us with desk jobs.

So it turns out, that the journey towards fitness is not a sprint, but a marathon - just like your startup success.

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