Try this to avoid an afternoon slump

 

Do you often feel like taking an afternoon nap?

Maybe you lose focus and can't seem to concentrate on your job or task at hand. If you find yourself in a daze or just feeling lazy during those afternoon hours, your body and mind need a reset.

When you sense that afternoon slump coming on or want to avoid it altogether, give the following tips a try.

Get outside

If you work indoors, just getting out in the fresh air can awaken your senses.

Studies show that getting closer to nature has a positive impact on health. So, if you work near a park or trail, go for it.

Even if you work in a highly urban area, a simple 5- to 10-minute walk around the block that exposes you to the elements has been shown to be more beneficial for mental health than the same walk indoors.

So, if the weather permits, get outside and soak in Mother Nature.

Grab a healthy snack

One reason you might be feeling sluggish in the afternoon has to do with declining blood sugar levels.

If you ate lunch around noon, by 3 p.m. your blood sugar may be getting low enough to affect your productivity.

This would be a great time to recharge with a snack that will hold you over until dinner. A great option would be Greek yogurt with a few blueberries and crushed walnuts or even a small salad with chicken and avocado.

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Whatever you choose, make sure it includes a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Breathe

Sitting in a car or slouched in an office chair can hinder deep diaphragmatic breathing.

Shallow chest breathing can limit the amount of oxygen you take in and carbon dioxide you expel.

To improve your breathing, try this: Stand up, place your hands on your abdomen, and take a deep breath through your nose as you feel your hands and your abdomen pushing outward.

Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for seven breaths. You should feel an instant improvement in energy.

Stretch

While you're standing up and breathing, you may as well go ahead and stretch.

Extend your arms toward the ceiling and reach your fingertips as high as you can. Continue reaching upward for 10 seconds and slightly tilt to either side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Next, fold your body forward and reach your fingertips toward the floor as you push your hips back until you feel a stretch along the backside of your body.

These two simple stretches will improve blood flow and release tension from tight muscles, both of which will give you a refreshing boost of energy.

Laugh

It's amazing how a sincere laugh can instantly make you feel better.

Laughter releases endorphins which improve your sense of well-being and just make you feel good.

Everyone's sense of humor is different, so find things to do that make you laugh. It could be a conversation with a co-worker, a quick phone call to a spouse or friend, or even watching a funny video clip. Learn to laugh more and you'll be better off.

So get out of that slump and get back to doing what you do best. For more health and wellness tips, visit PushFitnessTraining.com for links to our blog and social media resources.

• Joshua Steckler is the owner of Push Fitness, a personal training studio located in Schaumburg specializing in weight loss, muscle toning, and nutrition. Contact him at PushFitnessTraining.com.

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