BY Dr. Sanjiva Wijesinha

The basic difference between a micro business and a larger organisation is that the former is loosely defined as a company with less than five employees. But running a micro business – as any ‘solopreneur’ will tell you – requires the same level of smart initiative and commitment as running a large company.

Pondering this truism, I came to realise that looking after our own health is in many ways like running one’s own micro business. Just as a micro business requires a business plan, long-term commitment and professional assistance from qualified outsiders such as lawyers and accountants, so does the business of looking after one’s health.

If one looks at it in simple terms, any business needs raw materials and equipment or machinery to produce a marketable product – whether it is that of a horticulturist, caterer, hairdresser or freelance photographer.

So too does the human body…

Consider the raw materials we need as human beings – food, water and fresh air. If a flower growing business doesn’t source good raw materials, the flowers it produces will not be top quality. If a catering business uses cheap raw materials, it will soon acquire a reputation for supplying rubbish and find itself going out of business.

Similarly, if we don’t pay attention to what we eat – for example, if we consume junk food in large quantities – it is only natural that the business
of our health will suffer.

Consuming large amounts of carbohydrates such as rice, string hoppers, bread, pastries etc. and neglecting to take in adequate proteins, vegetables and vitamins is a classic recipe for gaining weight, and developing high blood pressure and diabetes.

As for the equipment or machinery required by a small business, it’s easy to understand how this makes for a better finished product.

A freelance photographer who uses a poor quality camera or a hairdresser who uses blunt scissors and cheap hair dye in unhygienic surroundings will soon go out of business. In the same way, we need to look after the equipment – meaning our bodies – we have been given.

To ensure that the human machinery doesn’t become rusty through disuse, exercise those muscles and joints regularly. A good rule of thumb is to average 150 minutes of physical exercise every week. It doesn’t really matter whether you walk, cycle, swim, jog, or dance in a gym or in the open air… what’s important is that you clock up the required minutes of exercise.

Similar to your car requiring a regular service to make sure it runs in optimal condition, so should the human body have regular checkups and be examined by a qualified medical practitioner. Your doctor can detect diseases before they manifest as symptoms that you can recognise.

A sensible micro business owner doesn’t take advice
about tax and legal matters from an unqualified neighbour or acquaintance. Instead, he or she will consult qualified and reputable professionals such as accountants and lawyers to ensure that the business functions smoothly.

We too should obtain professional help to take care of our bodies, instead of consulting ‘Dr. Google’ or our well-meaning but medically ignorant friends and relations for medical advice.

Make a sensible business plan today to look after your health. After all, you only get one body in this life!