Don't let work, the economy and the looming holidays make you tense. Stress raises your body's production of cortisol and adrenaline hormones, which lowers your immune response, making you more susceptible to illness. With cold and flu season in full effect--and the H1N1 flu vaccine not readily available--it's important to manage your stress. Here are simple ways to keep workplace worries in check.
Short bursts of intense physical activity burn off stress hormones, release endorphins and restore balance. Instead of taking a coffee break, go for a walk around the building or climb the stairs at work. If you can't get away from the office, try doing a few exercises at your desk. Need ideas? Search Shape's exercise finder or stash fitness cards, like PowerHouse Hit The Deck, in your drawer.
Research shows that skipping breakfast may cause you to eat more later in the day. If you're famished by the time lunch rolls around, you're likely to overindulge, which isn't just detrimental to your diet, but your stress levels as well. Putting too much glucose (blood sugar) in your system at one time adds stress to your body. Plus, any glucose that isn't used is stored as fat and carrying around extra pounds is a strain.