February 8, 2024

Life After the Ladder: Health Focus for the Career-Minded

by SHIFT Team

If you gave the better part of your life to your career by immersing yourself in building your business or climbing the corporate ladder, it might be time to shift your focus. While you strived, improved, reached, and toiled, your success came. But, more often than not, it came at the cost of your personal well-being. Business travel and client dinners might be great for business, but they take a toll on your health. 

Upon reflection, many executives and professionals realize that they have neglected their health, nutrition, and fitness for the last 20 to 30 years. While some manage to find time to make it to the gym or golf course, the majority endure the grind until their career goals are reached. Between this neglect of personal health and chronic workplace stress, which affects 80% of the workforce regardless of the role, many Chicago professionals are facing a compounding and detrimental personal health crisis. 

Don’t worry; there’s still time to recalibrate your biggest asset — your health

According to recent statistics, people are living longer, and their quality of life during retirement is increasingly determined by their health. As you contemplate life after the corporate ladder, it’s vital to acknowledge the unique challenges you may face when transitioning focus from career to health — and it’s exponentially more difficult without the right guidance. 

3 Ways to Improve Health After the Corporate Ladder

The demands of a career often lead to a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, and high levels of stress, which can take a toll on physical and mental well-being. However, retiring or transitioning from a career presents an opportunity to make health a priority or create a better work-life balance. 

Adopting a proactive approach that includes coaching on balanced nutrition, stress management, consistent, sustainable exercise, and proper recovery techniques can significantly enhance your overall well-being, paving the way for a healthier life post-career. Here are three strategies to get you started on your wellness journey.

1. Change Your Focus: Strategies to Prioritize Health

Refocusing your health priorities is the first step in transitioning from a career-first mentality. Consider incorporating the following strategies:

  • Prioritize regular checkups and health screenings to monitor your health proactively. This preventative approach can detect potential health issues early, allowing for timely intervention and better outcomes.
  • Explore concierge healthcare memberships for personalized care and attention. With customized concierge medicine in Chicago, you can benefit from a more personalized approach to healthcare, including longer appointment times, expert health coaching, and direct access to your healthcare provider.
  • Establish sustainable exercise routines tailored to your individual needs and preferences. If the workout doesn’t align with your ability level and preferences, you’re bound to lose interest. Engaging with a personal trainer to customize your regular physical activity not only gives you an advantage with targeted workouts, but the activity will boost your physical health, enhance your mood, and optimize your mental well-being.

2. Get Annual Physicals and Advanced Screenings

Annual executive physicals and advanced screenings, including DEXA, VO2, routine lab testing, and advanced lab testing, such as genetic, cardio, and epigenetic, offer numerous benefits for maintaining your health after retiring or transitioning from a career, including:

  • Early detection: Regular screenings can uncover potential health issues at an early stage when they are most treatable, potentially preventing serious complications.
  • Personalized care: With guidance from a concierge doctor, you can better understand your health baseline through comprehensive assessments and diagnostics. With these insights — which you wouldn’t see in a standard family physician’s office — you can receive personalized care that addresses your individual needs.
  • Preventive measures: Results from these screenings can guide proactive interventions, such as lifestyle changes or medications, to reduce the risk of developing certain conditions.
  • Peace of mind: Regular screenings can provide peace of mind by confirming good health or addressing concerns promptly. However, these repeat screenings can be costly if you’re not a member of a concierge healthcare program.
  • Long-term health management: By establishing a regular cadence for an annual executive physical and getting involved with a coordinated team of experts, you can effectively manage your health long-term, promoting longevity and health span.

3. Learn Sustainable Exercise Routines and Recovery

Building sustainable exercise routines is key to maintaining your health in the long run. The allostatic load of life, compounded by psychological stress, medical conditions, lifestyle, and environmental factors, depletes energy and impairs mobility, making recovery routines crucial. Consider the following tips:

  • Choose fitness-based activities that you enjoy and can sustain over time. Whether it’s walking, swimming, or yoga, find activities that you look forward to and can incorporate into your daily routine.
  • Incorporate both cardiovascular exercises and strength training into your routine. Personal trainers can help design aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking or cycling, that are important in improving heart health. Tailored strength training routines help maintain muscle mass and bone density. 
  • Don’t neglect recovery. It’s a common mistake that many complete their exercise without adequately recovering. Incorporate recovery techniques, such as stretching and foam rolling, to prevent injuries and promote recovery. Recovery is an essential part of any exercise routine, helping your body repair and rebuild after physical activity. Getting professional guidance from a physical therapist in Chicago on a  recovery routine will help you achieve maximum results.

Get Help in Your Transition From Career Focus to Health Focus in Chicago

Transitioning from a career-focused lifestyle to one that prioritizes health is a significant step toward a fulfilling retirement. By making proactive choices and investing in your well-being, you can enjoy a longer, healthier life. If taking a career sabbatical to reprioritize your health, you’ll be prepared to re-enter the workforce with renewed vigor and vitality. 

At SHIFT, we deeply understand the unique needs of career-minded individuals transitioning to a health-focused lifestyle. Our concierge healthcare membership program in Chicago is designed to support you in this journey with an expert team of registered dietitians, physical therapists, and fitness coaches, all working in concert to help you become the best version of yourself. 

Are you ready to take the first step toward a healthier future? Contact us today to learn more about how SHIFT’s exclusive concierge primary care membership can help you make the most of life after the ladder.

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