These small daily changes that boost our energy

These small daily changes that boost our energy
These small daily changes that boost our energy

Small habits, big effect! Some experts share their secrets with us to boost our natural energy.

Your diet, your sleep, your movements and your mind represent the four main sources where you can recharge sustainably. Our experts give you their most stimulating advice.

Add movement to your professional routine

Manon Kerckhove, physiologist: “In general, we spend too much time sitting: at work, on the train, in restaurants. I advise anyone who has a sedentary job to get up from their chair every 20 to 30 minutes. Try to incorporate movement into your work routine; opt for an adjustable desk that allows you to work standing up, organize your meetings by walking outside, go get your photocopies from a printer further away… Get used to taking the stairs and do your shopping by bike. What matters is that moving becomes a real habit. So you will do it without thinking. A bit like brushing your teeth: even if you’re not in good shape, you don’t ask yourself the question, it’s become automatic. »

150 to 300 minutes of exercise per week

Manon Kerckhove, physiologist: “It depends on your health, your physical condition and the job you do. But there are some general recommendations: between the ages of 18 and 64, you should achieve 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Concretely: half an hour, five times a week, where you cycle to work, swim or vacuum. Or you can replace it with 75 to 150 minutes of more intense effort (jumping rope, running, basketball, etc.). To persevere, choose an activity that brings you satisfaction. Besides cardio, also try exercises that strengthen the muscles twice a week. Not necessarily by lifting weights at the gym, adapt the movement to your lifestyle and your level. »

Manage your emotions differently

Carolien Van Den Bosch, coach at Better Minds at Work: “If you want to give your brain a chance to do a “reboot”, you have to learn to switch more often from “fight and flight” mode to “rest and digest” mode. : the state in which the parasympathetic nervous system (which allows our organs to rest and recover, editor’s note) is active, restorative hormones such as serotonin are released and the body and mind deeply relax. Physical exercise is one way to do this. 40,000 years ago, when we were stressed, it was because danger implied a physical reaction: we had to be able to run fast or fight for real. This action instantly flushed out all the stress hormones from our system. Today, in stressful situations, the opposite is expected of us — we must remain calm — and we do not vent at all. We must therefore find alternatives. This can be sport, but also meditation or breathing exercises.

Listen to your biorhythm

Carolien Van Den Bosch, coach at Better Minds at Work: “First of all by aligning your daily reality with the capacity of your brain. Be aware of your personal biorhythm and when you have more energy to concentrate. Many people are focused in the morning and soften in the afternoon, others have clear ideas in the evening. So plan the tasks that require the most brain effort – the so-called “elephants” – during your focus times. In the afternoon, you’ll take care of the “rabbits,” the little things that need to be done but require shallower concentration, like brainstorming, having a meeting, or following up on your emails. »

Forget multitasking

Carolien Van Den Bosch, coach at Better Minds at Work: “And do one thing at a time, because multitasking is a myth. Our brains are not equipped to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. It just switches from one to the other at full speed, which makes you lose energy. Have the discipline to turn off your notifications when you need to concentrate, so you don’t get distracted. And establish a code of conduct in your company: when and how do we communicate, and through which systems? When are you really not available? This will give each colleague the opportunity to rest and be truly efficient. »

Swap fast sugars for whole foods

Chloé Verhelst, dietitian: “Often the problem is that if a person lacks energy, they will be too lazy to cook a balanced meal and will more readily turn to sugary and fatty foods. And in the short term, these have an effect similar to opiates: fatty and sugary foods literally anesthetize suffering. In the long term, unfortunately, the effect is exactly the opposite: saturated fats trigger certain signals and processes in our microbiome (all the microorganisms and bacteria present in our intestines, Editor’s note) which release substances into our brain that strengthen negative feelings. This is how people lacking energy or who feel bad about themselves find themselves in a vicious circle. »

“To get out of it, it’s about becoming aware of bad eating habits and taking action on them. Instead of the pro-inflammatory diet so common in the West, with lots of fast sugars, we should move towards a model inspired by the Mediterranean diet, rich in unsaturated fats and whole foods: this would also have a positive impact on our mental health. »

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