Ditch the sandwich, go running!
As many of us already know, a midday break will supercharge us for the rest of the day and make sure those afternoon meetings so much more productive. However, even those superpowers will fade away if you don’t do something to top them up.
That’s bad news given, that even in the apparently glamorous world of working for the Shoeguide.run, lunch often involves sitting at your desk munching a sandwich, contemplating how you’re going to get it all done in time for Keeping up with the Kardashians – pretty much like the rest of the workforce I suspect. Fitting in a midday session is pretty much the stuff of dreams – although if it can be done every now and then. Good, say American experts, science has repeatedly shown that exercise makes you sharper. Although in actual fact, merely going for a lunchtime run is not enough!
I liked, therefore, the theory that a morning run is almost as essential when it comes to creating a better working day, especially as I love running before breakfast. What I couldn’t quite understand was the suggestion that instead of listening to music while running, try reading your office notes while on the treadmill, or if you prefer outdoors like me, switch to a podcast. Really; is this why I’m not CEO of a multi-national? I might ponder what that yellow bird is called that flitting alongside me, but office notes? Give me a break. It’s all I can do to motivate myself to get out of the door.
Obviously, I was drawn to the next suggestion, however, which recommends instead of sitting down for that next planning session, go for a hike instead. It would make for a busy day wouldn’t it? Morning run, lunchtime spin and afternoon power walk. Interestingly, I met an American who really did all of that and he was a CEO of a major running shoe brand. We were in Switzerland at an ultra-distance event that lasts more than 24 hours. He was one of the favourites to win the race, despite his incredibly heavy work schedule, and he told me how he conducted meetings during a five-mile run. Good for training, good for business. Suggest it to your boss and see what happens.
Anyway, in all seriousness much of what is recommended actually makes sense. For instance, the Georgia Institute of Technology says just 20 minutes of weight training was associated with a 10 per cent improvement in memory up to 48 hours afterward. Study participants performed reps on a leg press machine. "The body releases specific hormones in response to exercise, and we think that has a direct impact on memory," the report says. "Based on our results, we'd recommend you study something, then workout for 20 minutes immediately after; that may improve how much of it you remember for the next couple of days."
Mind you, I also read a mid-day nap is good for your energy levels as well.