Holistic health is the key to well-rounded success.

You know how the story goes. Kids in art school aren’t athletes, right? They’d rather geek out on Manga, chug Mountain Dew all day, and stay up playing video games with friends until 3am every night rather than hitting the gym or go on a run (classic stereotype).

Sadly, sometimes stereotypes just save time, and a few come about due to the hard facts and data.

As creative professionals (or any other business gig), we have to think on our toes every day. We’re paid to think from every creative angle we can, pairing it back to a business case. It’s hard work, and takes a lot of brain-energy. No wonder we come home exhausted and pissy after sitting all day!

Being confined to little physical work while at work however, is detrimental to our health, and we must over-compensate in other areas of our lives to maximize creative potential, avoid burnout, or blowing up at your co-workers over nothing. Let’s talk about what we can do differently.


Exercise : You’re either growing or dying

As with anything in life, what you put in, is usually what you get out. You don’t wake up one day and become an award-winning experience designer. You work at it for years. You earn it.

But what if I told you that inactivity and poor nutrition are a few of the biggest inhibitors to tapping your full creative potential, entrepreneurial endeavors, or anything regarding true success in life.

Exercising to most, is a laborious, boring, and hard thing to sustain over the long haul. The thing is, most of these people probably haven’t done physical activity since P.E. class in junior high. Dodge ball to the face anyone?

However, even going on a 5 minute walk everyday (seriously, it’s not hard guys), can help keep your ticker in shape enough to continuously get more blood from your heart to your brain. How’s that sound when tasked with a problem at work where you need everything you’re capable of to make it happen, and win the day?

Better yet, getting into a workout routine (or weekly split), can prime your body to not only feel great, but allow your endorphin levels to sky-rocket, releasing other natural chemicals your body secretes through strenuous activity. This will give you more energy, the ability to feel every muscle on your body, uplift your mood, attitude, and prime your acuteness / awareness for creative problem-solving.


Try any of the following for a week and see if it doesn’t help :

  • Lightly stretch un-warm and warmed up muscles
  • Walk with your dog, spouse, friends, or family a few times a week
  • Go on a 1–2 mile jog / run
  • Do 1o-20 pushups right before bed (helps with falling asleep)
  • Start a lighter training program (2-3 days a week)
  • Start an aggressive training program (5–6 days a week)
  • Do yoga, go hiking, biking, or maybe an exploratory photo shoot!
  • Get back into something active you used to love!

Nutrition : You really are what you eat!

We all know that eating right is optimal for the body. Yet most of us can’t get a handle on how to go about it. We skip breakfast, fill lunch with greasy hamburgers (yum), chemical, and black death (soda; high fructose corn syrup) stimulants.

But so what!? Why is this such a big deal anyways?

Your brain is the most amazing muscle in your body. Muscles need fuel in order to not atrophy and die…yet what do most of us feed our incredibly complex money-maker?

We throw empty carbs, refined sugary crap, and caffeine down the hatch; all things that stress out and crash our main-frame (brain) for maximum creative output.


“The brain is made up of many neurons, which constantly send messages from one part to another. These neurons receive and process information gathered from the environment through our senses. Many of our inspirational thoughts arise from the interpretation of this information. Neurons, therefore, play an integral role in creative thinking. Keeping a healthy nervous system will ensure these neurons function optimally.” — Polly Rea, http://bit.ly/2nSK8Q5


If you want to fuel your brain to help you execute that new app idea, design, or layout that business model for your latest big idea, treat it right. Fuel your tank with premium, not petrified grease from the bins behind McDonalds.


Try any of the following for a week and see if it doesn’t help :

  • Drink 100%+ more water a day
    (buying one of these helps, http://amzn.to/2mhxM7P)
  • Drink black coffee instead of the latest “Mocha-Frappa-Crappy”
  • Try to stay away from anything processed; whole foods yo!
  • Stick to clean carbs, healthy fats, and lean protein intake
  • Cut out refined sugar (give yourself one cheat meal per week)
  • Instead of another coffee at 2pm, make yourself a solid protein shake
  • Eat smaller breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals with snacks in-between
  • Try not to eat after 7:30pm (a good Casein protein shake before bed helps aid muscle growth and fat loss through-out the night)
  • Get 8 hours of sleep a night (your body can’t do anything w/o recovery)


Eating small, regular meals will also help to keep the creative mind in check. When large meals are consumed, the body spends a lot of energy breaking down the food, leaving little energy to service other organs. Eating big, heavy meals is inevitably followed by a lack of concentration, poor motivation and little inspiration. — Polly Rea, http://bit.ly/2nSK8Q5


Stop complaining, and take control

I get it. Changing up the way we eat and participate in activity is not an easy thing! But starting simple and working your way towards the place where you want to be can lead to results like this:


Pretty crazy eh?! Seriously though, let’s stop making excuses. Our health is one of the most important things we can prioritize.

Take control of not only your health, but your creative potential and chances of building upon the dreams and goals you’ve set for yourself. It’s a lot more attainable than you realize.


Avoid this advice, and expect to continue :

  • Feeling stressed out by most everything
  • Feeling achy, exhausted, and in constant pain
    (physically, mentally, and emotionally)
  • Feeling uncontrollably irritable, bitchy, and annoyed with everyone
  • Like you can’t think clearly, are uber-emotional, and un-motivated in life


To read up on fitness, or to understand how to substitute what you’re eating now for healthier options, head over to www.bodybuilding.com (please stop rolling your eyes, it’s a gold mine for the health conscious, and yes, for women too).

I know from personal experience that when I do these things, I feel so much better physically, can think quicker on my feet, am pleasant to be around (most of the time), and to the point of this article, my brain is capable of coming up with better creative solutions, and overall ability to problem solve effectively and efficiently.

With that said, taking on a lifestyle of proper nutrition and regular fitness is going to be great for anyone in any field, not just the creative arts. Take control of your goals. Take control of your life, and give it everything you’ve got. I dare you to move.


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