Take a Better Lunch Break

By now, you've probably come around to the idea that you should take a lunch break, even if you don't always manage to make it happen. But what should you do with this time off in the middle of the day, to make the rest of your working life more productive?

veggies 

(Photo Credit: SweetonVeg/Flickr)

Belle Beth Cooper at Buffer turns to science to answer this question. Among her suggestions:

1. Eat better food.

Sure, it's tempting to grab some fast food or load up on carbs, especially in the chilly winter months when it's hard to believe we'll ever see more than a few hours of sunlight a day. But if you want to be more creative -- and more awake -- swap out some of that heavier fare for brain food like fish, avocados, and raw vegetables. Want a treat? Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants.

2. Meditate.

If you can't take a full-on Om break, a few minutes of mindfulness will also reboot your system and shake you out of your stress. Try concentrating on eating, instead of doing six things at once as usual.

"It seems such a fitting experience to watch TV, work, read or do anything else but solely focusing on eating when we eat," Buffer COO Leo Widrich tells Cooper. "Funnily enough, it almost appears to be a waste of time if we 'just eat.' But the latest research on multitasking reveals the exact opposite. Solely focusing on eating doesn't just help you digest your food better, it also makes you a more efficient worker for any other tasks."

It's certainly more satisfying than shoveling food into your mouth while slouching over a keyboard.

3. Work out.

Forced to eat at your desk, but have some free time in the afternoon? Take your break then. Experts say that 3 to 6 p.m. is the best time to work out. Your physical performance is likely to be at its best, and your risk of injury is at its lowest. And regular exercise is essential for anyone who wants to do their best job at work, while feeling as good as they possibly can.

For more healthy lunch suggestions, read Cooper's post.

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