Friday, 2 November 2018

Your health is your wealth

The Beginning

Your Wealth is a custom Enterprise briefing for people just like you: Executives, entrepreneurs and builders who know that time isn’t money, but that time and money are feedstock for the one thing that matters most in life: Your family, however you define it.

Once a month, in partnership with our friends at CIB Wealth, we’ll bring you a hand-picked selection of ideas, tips and inspirational stories that will help you make the most of your time, enhance your wealth, and build a better life with the people you love.

As always, we love hearing from readers. Send us story ideas, hints, tips or interview suggestions to editorial@enterprise.press.

Your Life

It’s the sniffles season, and it’s making us here at Enterprise very health conscious on everything from weight, to dieting and exercise through to mental health. The more we read on the subject, the stark reality of healthy living requiring an almost fanatical commitment started to set in, and with it some morose feelings. These are some of the stories that might just be motivational enough to push us to towards the path of light.

How to think about exercise: That fear and guilt you are feeling now over having to be reminded that you have to visit the gym is very likely what’s stopping you from going there. We all know exercise is good for us, but that mental barrier yet of knowing how painful and exerting it is is holding us back. That’s author Damon Young’s view in How to Think About Exercise. In it, he argues that the problem boils down to a mindset that separates the mind and the body. “At work, we are minds. In the gym, we are bodies.” The book questions this dichotomy by emphasizing that a workout is in fact an intellectual activity. It points readers to the notion that exercise is a chance to educate both our minds and bodies at once.

Separating mind and body: The problem is not that we do not exercise. In fact, people are now becoming more active and health conscious than ever. The real problem, as Young points out, is dualism. “Dualism is a philosophy which sees the world divided into flesh and soul, body and mind, matter and spirit,” he says. This makes many view fitness as purely mechanical, overlooking its true benefits. We also tend to think of intellectual “nerds” as sedentary and of active “jocks” as stupid.

Brains versus brawn: this duality needs to be overcome, otherwise there cannot be lasting motivation to make exercise a lifelong companion. The author cites big ideas from ancient and modern philosophy to support his claims that working out can go a long way to develop both the physical and ethereal. Ideas including the following:

  • Friedrich Nietzsche (a profound exaggeration): “Only thoughts conceived while walking have any value.”
  • Charles Darwin used to walk for hours daily over his famous ‘Sandwalk’ thinking path and this played a key role in the theory of Evolution (watch, runtime: 2:30).
  • The ancient Greeks: Exercise develops virtues (such as consistency and humility) and leads to pleasures (the post workout buzz), alongside hard bodies.
  • Another great Greek lesson: As we define and tone our bodies, so do we create a more defined version of ourselves.
  • Again, a famous Greek called ‘Plato’: “The ideal city features martial arts, games, and dance training for its citizens.” Plato used to wrestle and was known by his wrestling nickname “Platon.”
  • And the takeaway: “Don’t leave your mind behind when you do exercise.” And when you do exercise, try to do so for the experience itself.

You can watch the author’s recap of the book here (runtime: 18:28).

… Which brings us to that money you squandered on a gym membership only to end up showing up once or twice. You would have probably figured out by now that this wasn’t a winning motivational strategy. Or maybe it did, at first, and you actually did commit for a while. But sooner or later the routine became overwhelming and the lack of progress offputting. This is but one of many reasons you should consider cancelling your gym membership now. After you’ve done so, pat yourself on the back and start thinking about the simple and readily available ways to integrate exercise into your daily life.

If you have a desk job, we recommend you start with the basics. Take the stairs if possible, or park as far away as you can but within reason. You can set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to stand up, or invest in an Apple Watch to help track your steps. If you really want to be creative, leave something important behind in your car to force yourself to get it. Go the extra mile and use a bathroom on another floor or building. Verywell Fit has rounded up all this, with a few extra tips. The Washington Post’s infographics department has also tested 12 exercises for a week to see which ones real people could slide into a workday.

Body by naggers. If you have someone at home nagging you about the chores, this could be an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Turn your vacuuming into a chance to engage in walking lunges. Spend a good deal of time cooking? Sounds like a perfect opportunity for rear-end lifts, with a calf raise or two for when it’s time for the dishes. A couple of squats while picking up items to fold from a laundry basket placed on the floor work just as well at home. Reader’s Digest has the full list of evolved household chores and WebMD has put together a list of 15 ‘sneaky’ exercises to liven up your day.

Mind over delicious, sweet, and artery-clogging matter: On to the nutritional portion of publication. And instead of guilting you into avoiding delicious, but unhealthy food, we’re going to discuss how to trick your mind into eating right. It’s not an easy task, as we are biologically inclined to like food that is bad for us. Foods like chocolate trigger a release of endorphins (the body’s natural happiness drug), while carbohydrates are known to control serotonin, which can promote positive social interactions. Although indulging in a chocolate bar here and there can make you feel fuzzy on the inside, the real key to a sustainable good mood is a healthy, balanced diet. “A healthy diet that is good for your overall health can also help to prevent symptoms of depression and anxiety. When you are feeling well, you may find it easier to stick to a healthy diet, which will in turn help you to continue to feel well,” according to the Better Health channel.

The way your food is presented can help you come to grips with the idea of steering clear of pasta for the foreseeable future. People are generally more likely to enjoy the taste of their food if it is presented in an attractive manner, suggesting that food presentation can be an important tool in increasing the acceptance of healthy food, according to a study by researchers from Montclair State University and the Culinary Institute of America.

Eating salads on a regular basis will also be easier if you have some tasty recipes on hand to ensure you don’t have to resort to the same boring bowl of leafy greens every night of the week. A few of our favorite recipes include these grilled sesame chicken and eggplant and Cobb salads from the New York Times or this collection from Martha Stewart, which includes everything from soups to main courses to healthier takes on favorite desserts.

If you make one change to your diet, let it be cutting out sugar. Although it is not classified as a dangerous narcotic, sugar has many of the characteristics of a drug: it alters the consumer’s mood, has long-term detrimental effects on health, and creates a sort of dependence that leaves us wanting another “dose,” Gary Taubes writes for the Guardian. “Historians have often considered the sugar-as-a-drug metaphor to be an apt one. “‘That sugars, particularly highly refined sucrose, produce peculiar physiological effects is well known,’ wrote Sidney Mintz … But these effects are neither as visible nor as long-lasting as those of alcohol or caffeinated drinks, ‘the first of which can trigger rapid changes in respiration heartbeat, skin colour and so on’.”

Giving up sugar for just one month a year can help calibrate your baseline intake and force you to adopt healthier habits that can become more permanent, says the New York Times’ David Leonhardt. “The unpleasant parts of a month without sugar are temporary, and they’re tolerable. Some of the benefits continue long after the month is over.”

Why should you be building a mental health-friendly workplace? If you are business owner, it is the only sustainable way to grow. More and more people are taking days off due to mental illness as opposed to physical illness, according to Forbes. On the macro level, the impact of mental health on the global economy is USD 1 tn in lost productivity, with over 300 mn people suffering from depression, according to data from the World Health Organization. So if you’re looking to run a sustainable business, we suggest you pay attention to your employees’ mental health and provide them with the support and help they need.

But you don’t have to wait for the boss to take action. There are simple and effective steps that can help you remain sane in whatever highly demanding career you chose 10 years ago and now (only slightly) regret. These include:

  • Do you. “Me time” is essential for your mental health (and will also ensure you don’t kill any of your colleagues). A little hint: If you never ask for vacation, you’ll never take time off. If you’re waiting on your manager to offer you time off, we suggest you stop waiting.
  • Ask for help if your mental health is hampering your ability to carry on your work duties and communicate if its causes are work-related. Data has shown that 3 out of 5 employees have at some point suffered from mental health issues because of work.
  • Promote mental health awareness so that your employees feel it’s a safe environment to discuss the issue and combat any remaining stigma around it.
  • Don’t sit at the office all day – five minutes out in the sun can go a long way. If you have the time to browse Facebook, we’re sure you can make time to stick your head out in the sun and get some fresh air every now and then.
  • Develop support mechanisms within the company or outside to help your struggling employees overcome their issues.
  • Read our special Your Wealth issue on burnout.

It all won’t matter if you are not sleeping 6-8 hours a day: It doesn’t matter how fit you are, how healthy you eat or how well you manage your stress, if you don’t have 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep—the effects will be very adverse to your health. This is one thing that needs commitment regardless of level of work. A group of researchers from Ludwig-Maximilian University studied the sleep-wake patterns of more than 65,000 people and results showed our own bodies’ clocks are much better way to tell us when we need to wake up, rather than all those maddening alarms, according to Nautilus. The study found that when our sleep rhythm is disrupted by our “social clocks,” be it an alarm for school, work, or even just a noisy household, it can lead to various imbalances and diseases including digestion problems, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer.

But is there such a thing as too much sleep? You’re shaky. You can’t see straight and you sure can’t keep your eyes, or mind, focused on that screen in front of you. But you got enough sleep. In fact, you got more than enough. As it turns out, oversleeping exists and it too is a problem. Last year, researchers collected data from over 10,000 participants to capture their sleeping habits and found that people who slept more than 6-8 hours were equally impaired as those who slept too little, the study said, according to New Atlas. “The research revealed a reliable U-shaped curve in deficits associated with reasoning and verbal abilities corresponding with sleep duration, illustrating more than eight hours sleep was just as damaging as less than six hours.”

Enjoy a healthy meal, go for a run or a swim at a 15% discount in Palm Hills Club 6th of October: There’s no time like the present to start living healthy. And with a luxury sports center, Olympic class pools, and a diverse assortment of cuisines, there is no place to do it like the Palm Hills Club 6th of October. CIB Wealth has partnered with the club to offer CIB Wealth customers a 15% discount on membership fees on their Platinum debit card. Customers can also pay their fees in installments over two years, interest-free.

Your top 5

These are the five most important business and economy stories out of Egypt in October:

  • Egypt’s fall and winter IPO season crashed to a halt after three private sector companies and the state privatization postpone share sales and new listings.
  • The EGX30 fell 3.6% on 27 October to its lowest level in over a year.
  • Egypt will borrow USD 20 bn in FCY-denominated bonds through to 2022, with plans this FY for a eurobond issuance. This comes as Egypt caps borrowing in FY2018-19 at USD 16.7 bn.
  • Egypt was the most attractive destination for foreign direct investment in Africa in 1H2018, with the total inflow up 24% compared to 1H2017, according to UNCTAD.
  • SODIC intends to make a mandatory tender offer to acquire at least 51% of Madinet Nasr Housing and Development (MNHD) through a direct share swap.

Your Money

Going vegan is a luxury: The adoption of a vegan lifestyle is booming across the world, but it seems to be more concentrated among the rich, according to the Economist. Many restaurants and food manufacturers are keeping up with the transition to the spread of diets devoid of animal products, which are scientifically proven to be better for people’s health and less taxing on the planet’s natural environment. However, the lifestyle is more widely espoused by richer countries, which may have easier access to vegan products and have met enough of their basic needs to think about concerns such as the environment and animal welfare. There is also a growing number of “flexitarians,” or people who alternate between veganism and omnivorous eating habits “In rich countries, people become flexitarians as a response to three concerns: their own health; the health of the environment; and the welfare of animals.”

How much is air pollution costing the world? Premature deaths resulting from air pollution cost the global economy some USD 225 bn in lost labor income in 2013 alone, according to a 2016 World Bank study (pdf). “That is about the size of the gross domestic product of India, Canada, and Mexico combined — and a sobering wake-up call.” Although it is already stark, this figure does not account for the increased cost of healthcare to address pollution-related illnesses, or the impact on natural ecosystems, for example.

In developing countries especially, the impact is severe, where the health risk is greatest and development is hindered: “By causing illness and premature death, air pollution reduces the quality of life. By causing a loss of productive labor, it also reduces incomes in these countries. Air pollution can have a lasting effect on productivity in other ways as well — for example, by stunting plant growth and reducing the productivity of agriculture, and by making cities less attractive to talented workers, thereby reducing cities’ competitiveness.” Citizens in poorer countries are also more likely to live and work in polluted areas, and are less likely to have the tools to shield themselves from exposure to pollution, notes the study.

Your Style

The ever expanding market of wearable tech: From smartwatches that can make contactless payments to cyclist helmets that can surf the internet, it can seem as though the possibilities emerging from wearable tech are endless. The growing wearables market leaves us with no shortage of options. The market is expected to double in size by 2021 and to see 125.5 mn devices shipped across the globe, according to study cited in a piece by Paul Lamkin for Forbes. “Expect digital assistants, cellular connectivity, and connections to larger systems, both at home and at work.”

Best smart watches and shoes: Smart watches, the market’s most popular products, are evolving day by day, with dozens, if not hundreds, of competing brands, which you can peruse courtesy of Tech Radar. Another growing category is that of “smart shoes.” Runners and visually impaired people can now choose from a wide array of shoes that look good and have built in computers that can track performance and pace, charge devices, measure distance, and provide hands-free GPS navigation. You can check out the top 5 devices rated by sports site ISPO.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; and Etisalat Misr (tax ID: 235-071-579), the leading telecoms provider in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.