Each afternoon, the fog creeps in. Not the kind you see in San Francisco – the kind that creeps into your mind and zaps away your energy. Reaching for a latte and candy bar is one option to boost your energy, but there are better ways to re-energize and face the rest of your day.
It might seem like the best thing to help you recharge would be to take a nap. While most adults don’t have the privilege of a midday nap-time, luckily a little bit of exercise can also recharge your empty batteries and get you through the afternoon slump.
✔ Exercise triggers chemical reactions in the brain that release endorphins (natural mood-boosting energy) to restore and refresh the brain.
✔ Exercise can be a form of meditation. The repetitive movement and focus on your breath creates a meditative mindset that refreshes the brain and creates energy.
✔ Exercise raises your heart rate. This blood flow increases the oxygen supply in your brain and wakes you up.
When the afternoon slump hits, you can offset its impact by engaging in a physical activity. Try these out and see what you think:
Go for a power walk- Take a walk around the block to get your blood pumping while you get some vitamin D.
Do stretches- Light stretching is an excellent way to get your blood flowing without jarring your body. If you have limitations on time or mobility, stretching is an excellent way to re-energize and get through your day.
Have a dance party- Use an app like Pandora, Spotify, or your smartphone playlist to dance it out. Choose your favorite music and bust a move (or two) while you wake up and find your groove.
Strike a pose- A mini yoga session might be just the trick to get your body happy again. Keep your yoga mat on hand and strike a few poses to rejuvenate.
Climb the stairs- If you have easy access to stairs, climbing is an excellent way to burn some calories, build some muscle, and refresh your mind and body.
Ride a bike- Riding a bike to and from nearby destinations when possible is a great way to give yourself a burst of energy and wake up those muscles.
Hit the gym- If you are a gym-going type of person, consider scheduling your gym visits during the time you feel most sluggish. Going to the gym will eliminate your slump by replacing it with physical activity.
Despite what you may think, fitting exercise into your day doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Facing your afternoon slump with a tool other than caffeine and sugar is a smart way to avoid fatigue and burnout.
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