Beat the Mid-Afternoon Crash
We’ve all been there. Sitting at your desk, when all of a sudden, your head bobs, your eyelids feel heavy, and the place you’d most like to be in that moment is taking a nap in bed. At minimum, you’d like to curl up underneath your desk. Just for a few minutes.
Maybe some of you have done that exact thing!
However, I’m sure more of you have reached for that cup of coffee or a soda. Sure those things wake us up, but typically the effects are short-lived.
Instead of pumping your body full of more caffeine and sugar, why not do something that will benefit your body both short-term and long-term?
A recent study in the Diabetologia medical journal suggests that taking a 15-minute walk when you first feel your energy starting to fade will give you the energy you need to finish your day! In addition to having more energy, you’ll also lessen brain fatigue and frustration, soak up Vitamin D (which can boost productivity), and increase your creativity.
Not bad for 15 minutes of your time!
However, what if you can’t break away from your desk? What if it’s just not possible? You’re in back-to-back meetings all day. Conference calls fill your schedule. There’s just no time for “you.” I know there are certainly days in my week when I simply don’t have 15 minutes to get outside and go for a walk. There are days I’m slammed with clients from 8 to 5, and I barely have time to eat lunch. Sound familiar? I’m sure to some of you it does! To top it all off, recent studies suggest that sitting is just as dangerous for you as smoking, which I have blogged before about before.
So, what to do during times like those? What if you could incorporate movement into your day while you’re at your desk?
Today’s post is about what you can do while on a conference call, writing a blog post, or in the middle of a meeting. Sure you might look a little strange, but not if you get the rest of your co-workers to join along! Do the following e-cises in order, and as soon as you feel yourself start to fade. Your body will thank you, and so will your boss!
STANDING ARM CIRCLES:
REPS — 40 times in each direction
1. Stand with your feet pointed straight and hip-width apart.
2. Place your finger tips into the pad of each hand and point your thumbs straight out.
• This is referred to as golfer’s grip and maintaining this hand position is important for the exercise to be done correctly.
3. Pull your shoulders back by squeezing your shoulder blades together, then bring your arms out straight from your sides up to shoulder level.
4. With palms facing down and thumbs pointing straight forward rotate your hands up and forward in approx. 6 inch circles and continue as directed.
5. Then reverse direction: palms should now face up, with thumbs pointed straight backward. Rotate your hands up and backward, continue as directed.
STANDING ELBOW CURLS:
REPS — 30 times
1. Stand at a wall with your heels, hips, upper back and head against the wall.
2. Your feet should be pointed straight and hip width apart.
3. Place your knuckles against your temples with your thumbs pointing down to your shoulders (golfer’s grip).
4. Open and pull back your elbows so that they are against the wall then close your elbows together in front of your face.
• Keep your elbows up at shoulder level, do not let them drop down.
5. Repeat as directed.
STANDING OVERHEAD EXTENSION – FORWARD BEND:
DURATION — 1:00
1. Stand with your feet pointing straight and hip width apart.
2. Interlace your fingers together and reach your arms overhead, pressing your hands to the ceiling with palms up.
3. Look up toward your hands and keep your arms straight, do not bend at the elbow.
4. While in this position roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back.
5. Bend forward allowing the hips to dictate how far over you bend.
• Be sure to maintain the arch in your low back and keep your elbows straight.
6. Hold as directed.
SITTING HEEL RAISES WITH A PILLOW (Or purse, empty coffee mug, etc.)
REPS — 3 sets of 20
1. Sit up straight on the edge of your chair.
2. Keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead and hip width apart.
3. Place a pillow between your knees and apply gentle pressure inward, just enough to hold the pillow in place.
4. Roll your hips forward to place an arch in your low back and hold throughout the exercise.
5. Lift your heels off the floor using your front hip muscles to generate the movement and then lower them back to the floor.
6. Repeat as directed.
And, there you have it! Four simple e-cises that shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to do yet leave you feeling energized to tackle the rest of your day. Of course, if you’re looking for more e-cises, take a moment and download our 4 (more) Free E-cises to continue your journey.
QUESTION: What has been your favorite way to “wake up” in the past?