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Stretches to Do in the Office

When You Need an Organic Energy Boost, Let This Office Stretching Sequence Be Your Guide

Photographer: Matthew BarnsEditorial and internal use only. No advertising or print.

Everyone wants to accomplish more in less time, which means we need more energy. In an effort to keep energy levels high, we jump-start our day with coffee and reach for other caffeinated beverages around the clock. These artificial boosts will jolt your body but fall short when it comes to focus. Some experts, like Cristen Harris, PhD, RD, CSSD, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition & Exercise Science at Bastyr University in Seattle, point out that stimulants negatively impact cognitive function such as attention, memory, and reasoning. So while you may be moving more quickly, your productivity and ability to think clearly will be hindered, Dr. Harris told Forbes.

The fact is, energy drinks give you the buzz without the brainpower. Plus, the caffeine-created energy surges are short lived, leaving you feeling like a zombie until you can get your next fix. At the end of the day, you will be exhausted with an empty outbox.

The remedy to increase energy is closer than you think, and it's organic! That's right, the secret ingredient to efficiency isn't caffeine, it's oxygen. Your body uses oxygen to create energy through cellular respiration. Aha! Oxygen creates energy!

Oxygen is the fuel of life-force energy and gets delivered to your cells via the bloodstream. The easiest way to get more oxygen in your blood is by breathing. Exhale carbon dioxide, inhale oxygen. Get rid of what you no longer need to make room for what you want: oxygen! And the fastest way to get oxygen to the cellular level is by getting your blood pumping. In order to supercharge your productivity, you must move your body.

Perform these three simple movements at the top of each hour to keep your bloodstream enriched with oxygen. Infusing your day with movement will get you the leading edge in productivity while maintaining mood and avoiding energy dips. Fill your cup with self-care in less time than it takes to pour a cup of joe.

Neck rolls

Sit up tall, and lower your chin to your chest without rounding your back. Roll your head to the right side, bringing your right ear closer toward your right shoulder. Then, roll your head to the left side, bringing your left ear toward your left shoulder. Repeat five times, inhaling as you roll your head to the side and exhaling as your chin lowers to your chest.

Desk Down Dog

Stand up facing your desk. Angle your body in a plank position with your hands on the edge of your desk. With your hands on the desk, move your hips back, transitioning from a plank to a forward bend or a Downward Facing Dog variation. Repeat five times, inhaling as you move into plank and exhaling as you move into desk-assisted Downward Dog.

Infinity Arms

Stand up in an area with open space. Extend your right arm straight out in front of you, and begin making the infinity symbol with your right hand in the air. Then do your left arm. Make big movements to facilitate the blood delivery system. Try moving both arms at the same time, crossing the midline of your body to help integrate both sides of your brain working together.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Matthew Barns
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