You have a vacation hangover.
I can see the signs. The Bob Marley music playing from your computer, the non-stop coffee breaks, the computer screen wandering to travel websites… It’s hard to focus on getting back to the grind while daydreaming of summer bike rides and beaches! You want to avoid anything that could bring you back to the computer slouching, blackberry –addicted, stress case you were a few months ago.
By playing, I mean taking that morning bike ride, jogging in the park at lunch, going to pilates or cardio-sculpt class after work and taking active vacations on your weekends like hiking or yoga retreat.
Staying in shape and eating right makes you work more efficiently and productively. You won’t eat yourself into a carb coma at lunch if you are having a healthy salad and lean protein that your body craves when you are in a fitness regimen.
In addition, mental stress is the most common energy sucker at work, but it melts away if you hop on the Stairmaster. Fitness improves oxygen delivery to organs, heightens circulation, and cuts back on doctor visits and sick days.
Regular exercise and proper diet can improve your performance at work in many ways, from the very start of your day, or any time you can fit it in:
6am: Have to prepare the kids for their day and then do errands and chores all morning? Instead of being sluggish and holding onto your coffee cup for dear life, working out can leave you looking forward to crossing off your list and excited about how many calories you’ll burn running around.
7am: Depending on where you live, you could be racing through the subway late for a meeting, sitting in traffic, rushing in from the parking lot, or organizing the kids early in the morning to get out the door. If you are deconditioned, you’ll probably be sweaty, stressed, and or too winded to say hello to the people you are doing that business lunch with. If you are in shape, you will be energized!
9am: Early morning presentation? If you are used to that 6am spin class, this speech will be a breeze to get through, with less hills to climb!
Noon: People who walk around the town or park during lunch feel less ragged and overworked from this mental and physical mini-vacation each day and can turn if back on full throttle when they are at their desk. Some of the best work ideas have come to me while running around the reservoir track in Central Park, and you’ll be happier with the endorphins, thus completing your day with a smile.
3pm: Big meeting at the end of the day but feeling the 3pm slump? If you are not fit, coffee may be the only thing that gets you through the day, still half in a fog. But instead of dehydrating on caffeine, a lunchtime walk has you more focused and gives you time to think quietly and plan your talking points. If you are a stay-at-home mom or day, you won’t feel sluggish and wish for a 3pm nap lust if you are used to pumping iron at 5pm.
6pm: At the end of the day your back muscles may be tight with stress and your head pounding with all the work you still have on your desk, taking a class at the gym will have you saying “What work?”
11pm: Up at night trying to sleep but thinking about what you need to accomplish in the office or at home tomorrow? If you jogged during the day, you’ll be sleepy with a clear mind, and better rested when you awake to tackle your tasks. More exercise = better sleep = better work day.
And let’s face it, the better the work day is, the more likely we are to get promoted and can negotiate more vacation days!
P.S. Know any brides — to — be? I will be giving bridal fitness tips this Monday, Sept 14th at 7:30am on national television. The show is called Get Married on the Lifetime network. Set the DVR to become a buff bride! Get my Wedding Workout DVD at http://www.nikkibeachbride.com/.
Fitness, Fit it in.