Having trouble staying alert — and awake — at work in the afternoons? While most of us have a tendency to hit Vendo Land or the coffee pot around 3 p.m. to wake ourselves up, new research is telling you to put down that second donut. Not only is extra caffeine and sugar doing a number on your overall wellness (caffeine can keep you up at night and too much sugar is never a good thing for the waistline), but it's not even that effective at making you feel better. You know what really works? Exercise.
Scientists have long known that regular workouts help to increase the number of mitochondria in muscle cells, thereby improving your strength and cardio endurance. However, researchers have never known exactly why exercise also gives you a boost in mental energy, until now. Published in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers found that regular exercise also increases the number of mitochondria in brain cells, helping to reduce brain fatigue at work and even in the gym, as brain fatigue can affect physical performance.
Although the study was done in mice, it's just another reason why working out rocks. So the next time you're feeling the 3 p.m. slow down, why not go for a short walk around the office or make sure to get in that group exercise class after work?