Exercises to avoid fatigue in the afternoon
Although afternoon sagging can be caused by insufficient or poor quality sleep, it is part of our normal sleep-wake cycle. It is also linked to the amount of cortisol in our body. Levels of this hormone, which helps us respond to stress and more, are usually higher in the morning and decline throughout the day.
There are plenty of tips for beating the afternoon crunch, like eating healthy foods (not treats), drinking lots of water, listening to music, and even aromatherapy. But one of the most effective ways to stay alert and focused is to get moving. And the sooner the better, said Tansy Rodgers, a functional nutrition therapy practitioner and founder of beU Complete coaching in Lititz, Pa.
“The afternoon crisis typically hits between 1 and 3 p.m.,” said Rodgers, who recommended moving soon after lunch.
Movement at this time helps your body digest food, stabilize your blood sugar, and release the hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine, all of which help reduce drowsiness, she said. “Additionally, when someone exercises before they are too tired, they will be more likely to stay engaged and exercise, rather than resorting to the excuse of being too tired to exercise. ‘effort.”
This doesn’t mean that you have to leave work every afternoon for a high-intensity aerobics class or a 5-mile run, although such forms of exercise are certainly helpful. Your “exercise” to combat sagging can be as simple as a short walk or small periods of movement throughout the day.
Chris Lee, a certified fitness trainer based in Santa Monica, Calif., Said most people doze off twice a day – from mid to late morning and again to mid-afternoon. And that’s something his nine-minute fitness program, HAU 2 FIT, can fix.
The HAU 2 FIT 9×9 challenge requires participants to stand once an hour during their workday, then move for 90 seconds or perform nine repetitions of a particular exercise, such as wall push-ups. “The movement you do is not as important as doing any movement,” he said, “because then your metabolism will be sped up all day and you won’t fall victim to a sitting position. too long.”
Ready to invigorate yourself? Here are several types of movements that will chase away those yawns. Try them all to see which one resonates with you the best.
Important note: Before starting any new exercise program, consult your doctor. Stop immediately if you experience pain.
If your schedule is busy and you can’t sneak into the gym, simple stretches will help keep your blood flowing and give you some energy. For example, you can perform desk stretches such as push-ups, arm circles, necks, and seated spinal twists, even if you’re on the phone or typing on your keyboard. And if you’re able to move around a bit – if you’ve got room for, say, a few lunges – you can perform more active stretches that work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, lower back, and more.
These moves aren’t just good for invigorating your afternoon. Stretching keeps our muscles flexible and strong, which in turn helps maintain our mobility and overall health.
Get a standing desk or an active workstation
We’ve been hearing this for a few years now: sitting is the new smoking, or it’s on par with not getting enough sleep. Translation: Sitting all day is bad enough for us, both for our general health and for our body. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple solution. Get a standing desk or an active workstation, such as a walking desk or bicycle desk, and make sure you use it.
Many experts advise standing at your workstation for about 15 minutes per hour to combat the dangers of sitting. But research from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada suggests you may need to stand for more than 30 minutes to see the benefits. More than that, and you can do too much. However, to combat the afternoon crunch, it helps to stay at your desk for even a few minutes at a time. A walking or cycling desk increases the focus, providing movement and a high heart rate, which are more powerful in combating fatigue.
There is plenty of research showing that being outdoors is good for us. Even a little dip in nature can reduce anxiety, improve our mood, and boost creativity, to name a few benefits. Additionally, sunlight increases our serotonin levels, making us more energetic, calm, positive, and focused.
So get out for a walk around the block, making sure you breathe in plenty of fresh, invigorating air. Better yet, schedule a walk-in meeting with some of your coworkers. Then you can collectively push off that afternoon crunch and end the day with energy to spare.