5 brain training tips for the office
27 July 2016 -
Nutritional therapist Naomi Mead gives her tips for boosting your brainpower through 5 simple steps
Guest blogger Naomi Mead
You haven't got long and you've got a busy day but looking after our brainpower is super important to help us last throughout the day.
These top brain training tops don't take long to complete and can easily be done during your lunch break.
1. Stay well hydrated - if you’re feeling fuzzy headed and tired in the office come 3pm, you might instinctively seek out a caffeine hit or sugary snack. And yet, it could be that a glass of water is actually what your brain needs.
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of fatigue, and water is a hugely underestimated brain booster.
Your brain is in fact 80% water, so to keep it alert and functioning properly - you should be sipping water steadily throughout the day.
Find drinking water boring? Opt for herbal teas, and include more ”juicy” foods in your lunch such as tomatoes, watermelon, lettuce, spinach and cucumber.
2. Incorporate meditation into your daily routine - when you think of meditation, you may conjure up an image of a Buddhist monk sat in lotus pose, amongst a heavy cloud of incense! However in reality, meditation is much simpler and more accessible than people realise; and can be practiced by anyone and anywhere.
Advocates describe a whole host of health benefits that can be experienced with regular practice, from management of stress and anxiety, to improved memory and mental clarity.
Whether you meditate first thing in the morning, on your commute, or during your lunch break, practice daily and you will soon start to feel the benefits.
Guided meditations such as the app Headspace can be particularly good for first-timers.
3. Exercise regularly - in a study conducted with 19,803 employees, those who only exercised occasionally were 50% more likely to report having lower levels of productivity than employees who were regular exercisers.
Being physically fit means that you have good heart and lung capacity and ensures that your brain gets plenty of oxygen, which equates to increased brain function.
Regular exercise has been proven to reduce stress, boost self-esteem, improve mental clarity and increase motivation, all of which are positive attributes for improved work performance.
Turn your commute into a workout by cycling, running, getting off the train or bus a stop earlier, or even just parking your car farther away from work to increase your walking time.
4. Do brain training games and puzzles - your brain is like a muscle, you need to work it regularly and in different ways to keep it fit.
Taking a 10 minute break from your normal work to complete a Sudoku, quick crossword or maths puzzle can exercise your brain, and help to keep it sharp. This type of brain training can stimulate brain activity, thinking and memory, and has shown to be particularly beneficial for improving cognitive function.
5. Switch your coffee for green tea - one or two coffees a day can boost energy and mental alertness. However, a heavy reliance on coffee can put the body under stress, and lead to anxiety, irritability and poor mental performance.
Green tea still contains some caffeine, but is rich in antioxidants and L-theanine, which have been shown to have a beneficial impact on the brain’s cognitive function.
A recent study found that participants who regularly consumed green tea extract showed increased connectivity between certain areas of the brain, correlating with improved performance on working memory tasks.
Naomi Mead is a nutritional therapist
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