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Monday, April 24, 2017

How to Beat Your Midday Slump

Need an afternoon pick-me-up? You might consider putting down that cup of coffee and hitting the stairs instead. According to new research from the University of Georgia, walking up and down the stairs at a regular pace for 10 minutes can make you feel as energized as drinking 50 milligrams of caffeine (about a can of soda). 

"We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt," said Patrick J. O'Connor, a professor in the department of kinesiology, who co-authored the study. "But with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn't get as big an effect."

The study, which was published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, also linked stair walking with a small increase in motivation. Though there’s still much research to be done on the specific benefits of exercising on the stairs, especially for just 10 minutes, admit researchers.

More Caffeine-Free Energy Boosters
Try these ideas to get out of a midday slump. 
  • Sing a song. Singing increases energy and decreases tension, especially if you choose a tune that you can’t help but sing at the top of your lungs. For even more energy-boosting effects, be sure to stand up as you belt it out. Studies show that standing can provide an instant surge of energy.
  • Breathe fire. A technique from kundalini yoga, Breath of Fire requires you to take short, quick breaths through your nose. This forces your diaphragm and belly to contract and increases energy by flooding your system with oxygen. 
  • Take a power nap. Aim for 20 to 40 minutes to improve mood, alertness, and performance, notes the National Sleep Foundation.
  • Let out a laugh. A good guffaw will increase your breath and cause your pulse and blood pressure to rise. The result: more energy and a better mood!
  • Chug some water. Even a little dehydration (just 1.5% loss in normal water) can cause fatigue, lack of concentration and poor mood, according to studies.
Healthy Living for Lasting Recovery
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