The best business advice, opinion, news and expertise in Greater Manchester and further afield.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Top 10 Tips: For staying energised throughout the working day

by Lara Goodbody, Yogabugs Ltd

1 .
When you wake up in the morning, take 10 slow and deep breathes in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Don’t hop out of bed in a rush – take your time and roll over onto your side, bring your knees up to your chest, let your feet roll over to the side of the bed and then have a good stretch!

As a nation we tend to shower in very hot water but if you can bare to do this you will feel so energized for the rest of the day – turn the shower slowly to cool… have 30 seconds at the end of your shower in cold water – you will get out of the shower feeling fantastic! Try it!

Breakfast like a King and do not rush it. We naturally recommend fruit, low sugar cereal, home made smoothies and non caffeine drinks…!

Try and get some exercise on your way to work – walk, cycle, run... Not possible for all of us, but if you have to drive, park your car at the other side of the office car park and walk those few extra steps to get the heart going.

For those of you seated at a desk all day, common complaints are stiffness in the neck and shoulders and lower back from looking at a pc. Try and give yourself regular short breaks. Simple things you can do whilst on the phone or on the pc:
  • Neck stretches – lifting your right arm up over your head placing on your left ear, let your head fall to right side whilst applying a little pressure to create lovely stretch along left side of neck – repeat on other side
  • Head rotations – let head drop to front and rotate to left and to the right. Life head backwards and rotate left & right as well. Do not roll in full circle.
  • Shoulder lifts and rolls – lifting your shoulders and rotate clockwise & anticlockwise.
  • Ankle rotations – move feet & ankles in clockwise & anticlockwise movements.
  • For people who suffer stiffness and pain in the lower back, find a surface that is level with your hips (kitchen counter, water cooler, photocopier!), stand up and lean forward with arms stretched out over surface, let your head drop. Breath in and as you breath out let your head drop a little further into this stretch. Or find somewhere you can kneel down, have knees hip width apart and put your forehead on the floor and arms along your side. Again as you breath in, let your body fall into the stretch further. We call this child pose in yoga and it is a wonderfully relaxing pose but really helps stretch out stiffness in the lower back.
  • Lastly, for those of us who do sit at a desk all day, and struggle to make it to the gym on a regular basis, you may start to loose strength in the abdominal area. A simple challenge to introduce throughout the day, is pull your tummy in and hold for 10, then 20 and then 30 seconds at a time. I do this whilst sitting on hold, or waiting for someone to answer the phone.
  • Taking this one step further you can work on your pelvic floor area - simply pretend you are pulling up the zip on your jeans… I will leave that to your imagination!

By 11am most people are clock watching and hungry, but it’s not time for lunch yet… so have some pick-me-up snacks in your desk draw. Our recommendations – a banana or some dried fruit, handful of nuts or pumpkin seeds.

If you get tired and lethargic after lunch, you need to try food combining… what does this mean? Simply don’t mix your proteins and carbohydrates. It’s not the Aitkens Diet –we strongly recommend everyone eats Carbs, but just don’t mix them with proteins. After a day of following this routine you will feel amazing. And lastly – leave it an hour after any meal before you eat fruit. It messes with the digestive juices and can create an imbalance in your energy levels.

Try our 4pm slump energizer: Not only will it re-invigorate you but may even raise a smile or two in the office!

  • Standing with feet hips width apart and your hands by your side, raise your arms up to shoulder height in front of you and take a short breath in through your nose
  • Take them out to the sides, still shoulder height and take another short breath in through your nose
  • Take both arms straight up above your head and take a last short breath in through your nose.
  • Now bend your knees as you sweep your arms down and fold forward as you breathe out through your mouth with a long exhalation and making an aaaah sound – but this is optional in the office environment!
  • This should be repeated between 10 and 20 times getting faster and faster or until co-ordination is lost!

Make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day, try to avoid caffeine; have 1 minute of focused breathing every hour and make sure you get some fresh air throughout the day.

Lastly, remember to smile every now and then – it warms up the face muscles and without noticing you will feel happier!

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