There has never been a more pronounced focus on health than this year – not only from efforts to boost immunity, but also in ensuring normalcy and mental health as our lives have fundamentally changed. The repetitive nature of countless days spent at home, less human interaction, and gyms that are closing again shines a spotlight on the question: what can we do for our health and wellness? How can we keep our productivity and energy levels high, and stress levels low, in a time where nothing is certain?
Maggie Berghoff is a high-performance health strategist who is focused on helping her elite and celebrity clientele reduce stress, boost energy and excel in their careers. Through methods including comprehensive functional medicine laboratory work, personalized supplementation regimens, and detoxification recommendations for the body, home, and work environments, her speciality is helping people feel and perform their best so they can do their best work – in their personal and professional life.
And, she uses these very measures on herself, too. She learned her techniques from her own journey with health challenges, which eventually led to a mini-stroke and severe health complications when she was just 24 years old. Now that she has tapped into her own vibrant health, she’s helping others ensure they’re on track for their highest vitality and performance. Maggie shares her best practices for keeping immunity and productivity high day after day, year after year: practices that any entrepreneur should incorporate to feel their best and do their best work.
1. Simplify Everything
First and foremost, Berghoff is avid about the power of simplifying your life. “From prioritizing simple, whole foods in your diet to simplifying your daily to-do’s, I’ve experienced and seen clients experience incredible changes just by keeping things simple!” she shared. “Particularly, organizing everything you need to get done on a daily and weekly basis should be taken simply. Focus on just one or two major tasks per day so you can get zoned in. Make sure everything is visioned and planned out to ensure success.”
Berghoff reflected on how often we operate with several computer tabs open and bounce from project to project. “Having multiple to-do’s that are in progress actually can be really stressful and taxing on your mental energy and physical health,” Berghoff explained. “By going all in on one project at a time, you’ll get more accomplished more quickly and have more energy reserves that you can use for creativity, productivity, and just life in general. More energy and less stress will also help to regulate your internal hormone balance, brain health, and gut health, which is great.”
2. No Excuses; Get Moving Throughout The Day
There is no doubt for how critical it is to get your body moving throughout your workday. Research has found that exercise boosts levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which can help with cognitive learning, memory, and focus, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The boost in serotonin and energy will immediately make you feel better and feel more focused. “You’re never going to think you have time for it in your busy workday, but 30 minutes to 1 hour of moving your body can do wonders for how much you can get done when it’s time for work,” explained Berghoff. “Remember that without health, you’re not going to excel in your career or fulfill what you were put on earth to do. You just won’t.”
Exercise has a pretty consistent ROI. Anthony Mendez, the founder of Mendez Fitness, noted that getting moving on a daily basis can work out aches and pains that would otherwise be exacerbated by sitting in an office chair all day. “The boost in energy and feeling good is undeniable,” explained Mendez. “There are so many ways that you can implement just a half hour of exercise, which is sure to change your entire day.”
Berghoff echoes this. “I’ve noticed pretty much no one ever gets out of a workout thinking, ‘that was a waste of time.’ It boosts energy and confidence, which inevitably boosts your business, too. Plus, there’s research around how it decreases chronic inflammation, increases immunity, and promotes restfulness,” she added. For these reasons, one of the constant recommendations Berghoff gives to her clients across the board is to exercise in some form daily.
3. Take Time Each Day To Breathe
It’s never been more important to ensure that your stress levels are under control, especially as new waves of shutdowns and an uncertain economic future looms. “From my research, I’ve found that inflammation is to blame for most of the illnesses and nagging symptoms that many endure. Stress is inherently inflammatory, and causes the body to inflame. So, taking care of your stress levels is paramount.”
Berghoff recommends a full “parasympathetic nervous system reset” through box breathing. “Set timers to remind yourself to stop in the middle of the day, unclench your jaw, relax your face, and do some intentional breathing. Box breathing entails breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, breathing out for four seconds, holding for another four seconds, then repeating for a few minutes,” she explained. Staying on top of stress has impacts in your work, too – a 2002 study found a negative correlation between stress and creativity, meaning that levels of stress can make it harder to be creative.
4. Create A Sleep Routine That Helps Restfulness
Finally, sleep should be considered holy! “A really restful night of sleep regenerates your cells, which promotes healing and helps your brain to store memories and all of its new acquired knowledge,” Berghoff noted. “So, setting yourself up for the best possible sleep night after night is one of the best things you can do for your health and your workday.”
Berghoff says the best way to help yourself get better sleep is to create a nighttime routine. “Have a set bedtime to train your body to start winding down, and assist your body in producing melatonin by dimming lights or switching them to red tinted lights,” Berghoff advises. “Because of the amount of artificial, blue light we are all privy to on our devices, it can be hard for the body to know it’s time for bed, which results in longer sleep latency periods and lighter sleep.” She says putting all electronics away an hour before bed can be an easy fix to this.
“It’s more than possible to tap into your best productivity and health by just making some minor changes,” Berghoff shared in conclusion. “These tips will serve you moving forward.”