Feel Great

Post Spring Break Edition: Beat the Afternoon Slump

by Rachel Tipovski, blogger

A long day of classes, a big exam or a lot of homework, are often the most common excuses for skipping out on exercise. There are definitely days where you may rather crawl into bed for an hour-long nap then hit the gym for an hour-long work out. On these days many of us may find comfort lounging on the couch, munching on snacks and watching a movie. Ironically, this is actually the worst way to boost energy.

Using food to give us energy is all wrong, according to Professor Robert Thayer, who wrote the book, “Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise.” Thayer discusses different levels of low energy such as those when you are stressed out, tired at nighttime or fatigue. The worst is the tense tiredness in which people look to food to give them energy and comfort. Thayer suggests in times like these the best thing for your body would actually be exercise.

Exercise, even a power walk outside on a nice day, cannot only improve your energy but also lift your mood. Especially on days where you are feeling extra stressed out, exercise can help to alleviate tension. If you know that you often get an afternoon slump around 3:00 p.m. try and hit the gym a couple of hours before instead of reaching for a snack.

One of the best ways to get motivated for a work out, without chugging a coffee or energy drink, is music. If you happen to love Rihanna’s new CD, then put it on your iPod and get going. Make a mix of your favorite songs, whatever works for you do it. Make your work out fun like taking a dance class you love in the afternoons or whenever your energy dip normally happens. Bring a friend to chat with as you jog on the treadmills. Getting there is always the hardest part but you’ll most likely be happier you made the effort once your work out is over.