Wake up Your Mind with an Exercise Break

Wake up Your Mind with an Exercise Break

Exericse break

An exercise break is a great way to re-energize and break up periods of sluggishness

It’s 3 p.m. and you can’t pick your head off your desk. Or you’ve read the same proposal six times and you still don’t get it. Dr. Alejandro Lleras, psychology professor at the University of Illinois, says that taking a break from work is the best thing you can do for yourself. His recent study proved that constant attention to one thing actually dulls the mind; if we can momentarily do something else, like take an exercise break, we can return to that same difficult task with greater clarity and ease.

Here are 6 easy ways to take an exercise break to help you go from duh to bring it on any time of the day:

Sing-Walk Break. If you’ve been stuck in the office all day, get out and take a short brisk walk. But with a difference – add your favorite up-tune and walk and sing at the same time. The combinations of walk and sing, rhythm and movement, shake up both halves of the brain and you’ll return to office like a new person.

Carpool High-Jacks. If you’re picking up kids at school, don’t nod off in the car – get out! Arrive ten minutes early, and pump out 25 jumping jacks right next to your car. Sure, you might get some funny looks, but soon enough you’ll be star of the parking lot! And a lot of people will join you.

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The No-Space Exercise. If you’re working in a sardine-packed office, at least you can stand at your desk. Try stepping in place, raising your thighs to waist level, and pump your arms like a jogger. Do it 10 to 20 times and breathe deeply throughout.

Diddly Squats. This a term we made up for starting off with one squat (“diddly”) and adding one on each day. This way you can easily dissolve your resistance to doing squats (nobody likes them at first) and then get stronger in increments. Diddly squats are great for a mid-afternoon break; in a month you’ll be doing 30!

Crank up Your Plank. Doing a plank yoga-style can take about a minute to do and it reaps marvelous results. Planks can help you develop core strength, wake up your lower back, strengthen your biceps, and tone your belly.

Spontaneous Planking. If you’re really exhausted in the middle of day, try this previously popular craze – not to be confused with the more difficult plank, above! Spontaneous planking is all about finding a bizarre place to throw yourself into a prone position, head down, palms flat at your side. The more bizarre the location, the merrier, but make sure it’s safe. It may not seem like exercise but you can burn significant calories just running around to find the right location. Do go without a big purse or briefcase and make sure someone has a camera!

What do you do to combat sluggishness? Let us know on Twitter!


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