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Three free tips for a heathy and productive Monday

Tired labor workerWith a sigh and a groan you probably went back to work today, the smell of mom’s pumpkin pie still making your mouth water.

Monday and the return from a holiday – a double whammy!

Alright America, it’s time to straighten our ties, sit up in that office chair and take back our health and productivity.

Who is with me?

To get us started, here are a few free and easy things we can do to get back on the path towards workplace productivity.

 

  1. Move in the Morning! If you didn’t start your day with a little stretching or (even better) a nice workout, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to curb those carb cravings. A September study by Brigham Young University found that a brisk morning workout may reduce your appetite during the day. The researchers used electrodes to measure the neural activity of 35 women while they looked at pictures of food on two different days. One day the women exercised for 45 minutes in the morning, while the second day they didn’t exercise. On the exercise day, researchers found that the subjects’ attentional response to the food images diminished. Also, throughout the rest of the day, women who had worked out also showed an increase in total physical activity, regardless of body mass index. The study was published in The Journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
  2. Sneak a Snack: Coming back out of all-day-eating mode can be hard to do. Our bodies are fueled by glucose, and most of us sure got a gigantic shot of it over the weekend. If you think about our body’s energy sources as a roller coaster, Thanksgiving would put you at the tip top of the highest peak. But once we use up all our fuel (or it gets tucked away into fat stores on our ever-expanding hips) we crash and can feel extremely lethargic. And you thought Mondays were tiring before! Level that energy roller coaster out by snacking on healthy things during the day. Stash a few whole wheat crackers in the desk drawer or pluck an apple from your purse. The idea is to keep fueling your body constantly so that you curb those lingering cravings for stuffing and mashed potatoes.
  3. Productive employees shake it up: There’s an educational theory out there that says children can only hold intense focus on one thing for as many minutes as their age. So for example, a 10-year-old child can generally focus on one thing and one thing only for 10 minutes. While the research on this theory is still fresh, the same could be said for our own attention spans. Humans were made to move. So every 30-40 minutes, stand up and stretch out. If you are able, raise your hands above your head and open and close your fists. The heart gets a little energy jolt when it has to work harder against gravity to pump blood to your extremities. Take a five minute walk up and down the hall. In the end, you will be healthier and more productive with a little exercise than you would be mindlessly reading old e-mails and daydreaming of pumpkin pie.

 

Now let’s get to work!

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