In business we strive to be at the top of our game. Be the best employee, manager, owner or director.
Sometimes we focus so much on the material results of our hard work that we forget to take care of the very thing that drives us everyday and keeps us going and improving….US!
Although we have been told numerous times that a healthy diet and regular exercise is beneficial for us; we tend to do the bare minimum to keep our bodies going that we don’t notice the neglect until we start to wear out.
To know and not do, is really to know nothing at all. So let me start you off with 3 simple strategies to incorporate into your lifestyle that will increase performance and mental stamina in the workplace and assist you in reaching your goals faster and feeling awesome!
1. Start the day off Right: Different sorts of foods give the body different sorts of energy, some faster and some slower acting than others. Different situations can cause us to feel stressed, jittery and anxious. But what if I told you that foods also can have these affects? A sudden increase in blood sugar can cause you to feel energetic and then 1 hour later you feel a sudden slump and you go reaching for that caffeine, coke or lollies to give you a quick pick me up.
Eating foods for breakfast such as meat, eggs, nuts and avocado will not only keep your blood sugar levels nice and stable but it also provides you with nutrition to increase your mental alertness and focus plus giving us the added bonus of getting the aesthetic results we want such as fat loss and muscle gain.
A meat and nut breakfast has high amounts of Tyrosine and Phenylalanine, which are the amino acids primarily responsible for the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for generating cognition, energy and drive throughout the day. The Omega 6 and Fatty Acids in the nuts help to give you a slow and stable blood sugar release; helping you to feel controlled and focused throughout the day. This breakfast will also leave you feeling satisfied for longer and help curb any cravings you may get through the day with a high carbohydrate breakfast.
2. Exercise: I often hear the comment; I don’t have time to exercise. My thoughts are that we all make the time to do what we value or what is important to us. Maybe exercise is low on our values but when you see the benefits not only from a cardiovascular level but also mentally it might go up a notch.
Exercise increases the flow of blood to your brain triggering the release of bio-chemicals serotonin and beta-endorphins that increase your mental acuity, memory and creativity with the added benefit of feeling stronger and looking good. Aim for at least x 3 sessions at 30 minutes per week and notice the difference.
3. Sleep: Many of us just can’t seem to ‘cram’ enough in our 9-5 working hours and end up working through the wee hours of the night just to finish up projects, reply to those last emails or get organised for the next day. Often we’re left getting only 4-6 hours of broken sleep and we wonder why we’re feeling a little brain hazy and foggy. For some of us 8 or 9 hours sleep is optimal sometimes this is an unrealistic luxury. However you can somewhat make up for it with the quality of sleep you get. This means uninterrupted by toilet breaks, alcohol or medication induced, restful sleep!
During sleep the muscles, organs and bodily systems rapidly repair themselves. This is driven by the sleep hormone called melatonin which increases in its production later in the day. As natural light increases in the morning, melatonin is suppressed and serotonin production increases. The result is you wake up feeling happy and refreshed.
Let me leave you with this analogy. If you had a prized race horse, how would you care for it? Getting the optimal nutrition and exercise program is vital to developing the animal to its fullest potential. The same is true for humans. We need to be fed right, trained right and rested to get the most out of us. Make this one of your goals for 2012.
About Kristine Coffey
A registered nurse, and qualified personal Trainer Kristine knows what it is like to be in demanding positions, currently in the process of opening a new training studio with a business partner, she is aware of what it takes to keep yourself fit and healthy so you can have maiximum productivity each day. Kristine also runs Pantry Makeovers, giving you the right ingredients and showing you how to eat healthy.