Don’t skip your lunch break and avoid the afternoon slump

Americans are working harder than ever. Many toil ten hours or more a day, sometimes without breaks. Does this sound like you? Breaks, especially lunch breaks, are vital to being successful on the job and maintaining your health. Many people feel that they do not have time for a lunch break or that it is time that would be better spent working. In actuality, breaks help workers achieve higher rate of productivity.
Benjamin Ross, M.D., family physician at Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare in Waukon, says, “Using your lunch break wisely will allow you to better focus on your afternoon work and enjoy physical and mental health benefits.”
Throughout a morning of hard work, your body accumulates many needs and hungers that should be addressed by lunchtime in order to continue work in the afternoon. The obvious need is a physical one that can only be fulfilled by food. Eating a satisfying breakfast and lunch are key to maintaining your energy levels through the day and help you avoid overeating in the evening. Drinking water also leaves you refreshed and helps fight that drowsy feeling.
For people who have trouble finding time to exercise, a lunch break is a “can’t miss” opportunity. Doing simple upper body exercises and going for a walk can easily fit into your lunch break and, over time, will help you maintain a healthier body and higher energy levels.
In addition to meeting physical needs, your lunch break is time to rejuvenate your mind and spirit. Taking time away from your work tasks allows you to concentrate on and complete your afternoon tasks. Here are a few examples of how to get the most out of your next lunch break:
Take a brisk walk and do some simple exercises.
Read an entertaining book or magazine.
Listen to music that relaxes or energizes you.
Call a friend you enjoy talking to.
In summary, your body and mind are working hard on the job, so take care of them. Give them the breaks they deserve. Even if you can only spare 20 or 30 minutes, use your lunch break as a time to reenergize. Lunch breaks are an opportunity for you to avoid the dreaded afternoon slump and improve your physical and mental health.