We’re all guilty of burning the candle at both ends and running our immune systems into the ground. Try fighting fatigue at work with these five lifestyle tips – and find new ways to boost your energy levels.
1. Never skip breakfast
“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper,” US nutritionist Adelle Davis famously said. Kickstart your metabolism in the morning and maintain stable blood sugar with a hearty breakfast. Opt for a slow-release carbohydrates such as oats or a high-protein food like scrambled eggs. Peanut butter on rye bread is good for keeping you full for longer.
2. Eat little and often
If you’ve ever experienced the afternoon slump that comes from carb loading at lunch, try eating little and often. According to Harvard Health, swapping three large meals for smaller meals and snacks every few hours is a sure-fire way to boost energy levels and fight fatigue at work.
3. Get to know your energy food
Always have a banana handy – with vitamin B and potassium, they’re a great source of energy – while almonds come packed full of concentration-boosting vitamin E for fighting fatigue wherever you are. Kale, quinoa, sweet potatoes and oily fish such as mackerel are also nutrient-rich energy boosters. Check out the NHS energy diet for a more complete list.
4. Take a daily constitutional
Swap that double espresso for a 10-minute stair walk as a way to boost energy levels and put a spring in your step. This 2017 scientific study compared the energising effects of low to moderate intensity stair-climbing with 50mg caffeine consumption and the former came out top.
5. And, take a breather
Conscious breathing means focusing on nothing but the breath entering and leaving your body – and it’s a great tool for fighting fatigue. A simple breathing exercise, which is often practised in Pilates, involves taking five short breaths in through the nose and five short breaths out through the mouth. Contract your abdominals as you go and repeat for 10 sets.
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6. Zone out for five minutes
Fight fatigue by kicking back! It may sound like a paradox, but meditation can do wonders for your energy levels. Set aside five minutes in the morning, or take five minutes out during the day - you can even meditate on the Tube. All you need to do is close your eyes, focus on your breathing and follow the path it takes around your body. Scan your body from head to toe while feeling the physical sensations of your breath.
7. Switch off
Take regular screen breaks to help combat fatigue at work. Impose a digital curfew at home to get a good night’s sleep; too much screen time in the evening can interfere with your sleep patterns. But if you really must get that social media fix, why not invest in a night-vision app for your smartphone?
8. Stay hydrated to stay awake
Dehydration causes tiredness – just 2 per cent of normal fluid loss affects your energy levels. The NHS states that women should consume eight glasses of water a day, while men should drink 10. It’s a simple way to boost energy levels and fight fatigue at your desk.
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