You’ve pressed the snooze button 5 times already when you suddenly realize that you have 15 minutes before it’s time to leave for work. You stumble out of bed and into the shower. After dressing you grab your morning cup of coffee as you rush out the door, hoping you have time to stop at the corner store for a danish. When you get home after a long day you feel exhausted, you wish you could have gotten a better sleep last night, you wish you could be more sharp and energetic at work instead of being victim to constant energy lows, and you wish you weren’t so stressed! If some of this applies to you, then your wishes could be granted through proper exercise and nutrition techniques.
Peak performance in the business world requires that you are alert, full of energy, mentally sharp, and highly motivated. When your energy level becomes a problem all of these essential attributes can suffer. Proper exercise and nutrition techniques can help to increase your energy through positively affecting your nervous system, hormone levels, and blood sugar levels.
‘More exercise!’ you might be thinking, ‘I don’t have the energy or the time to do that’. What many people don’t know is that exercise performed appropriately can actually increase your energy for the day. Essentially, the nervous system needs to be “warmed-up” in order for it to operate at peak efficiency. If it does not have this opportunity to be activated to appropriate levels, the sensation of fatigue, or “mental dullness” can occur throughout the day.
So how do you “warm-up” your nervous system to give you more energy throughout the day? Performing a properly structured morning exercise regime that consists of some moderate weight lifting
or brief aerobic exercise combined with some flexibility training will activate your nervous system and hormone system for the day to help give you more energy. It is important not to do so much that you feel fatigued at the end of the workout. Do just enough to feel refreshed. For example, a half hour of weight training or 15 to 20 minutes of aerobic training followed by 5 to 10 minutes of stretching will often be enough to effectively stimulate the nervous system.
Another component to increased performance at the work place is nutrition. What you eat controls how much energy you have by controlling the amount of sugar in you blood. Eating foods that have a high sugar content can actually result in low blood sugar which equals low energy.
Although your body receives a rush of sugar and energy from eating, for example, the danish, a hormone in your body called insulin quickly over-reacts to the high amounts of sugar. Insulin then clears much of the sugar out of your blood stream resulting in low blood sugar and fatigue. In certain cases, coffee can also result in a similar situation when the stimulant effects of the caffeine wear off in a couple of hours.
Proper food choices that are low in sugar (foods such as fruits and vegetables, high fiber foods, and grains) and at regular intervals can result in less “low blood sugar blues” by providing a stable blood sugar level. This effectively equals greater and more consistent energy and mental alertness for your work.
On a final note, try to establish a daily pattern in your life in order for your body to learn when it is supposed to be asleep and when it is supposed to be awake. Constantly changing your daily habits can hamper the effectiveness for your body to provide you with the energy that is essential for you to operate at peak performance in the work place.