You might not have realized until you turned on your phone this morning, but today is National Coffee Day. Yes, there is such a thing. Right now legions of hard working people are taking a “brief” respite from their jobs to search #NationalCoffeeDay and find the best spots to grab a free cup o’ joe.
Many of us love to start the morning off with a steaming mug of coffee, and some evidence suggests that a cup a day even can have health benefits. While a cup or two may be okay, trouble can start when we rely on coffee to get us through the day.
Coffee can lead to a rollercoaster of energy levels. If you add sugar, milk, or cream to your coffee, the calorie count can rise substantially. Too much caffeine can give you the shakes. Coffee also can interfere with a good night sleep, making it more likely you’ll need to start the next day with some coffee. Many of the downsides of coffee are particularly problematic when you consume more than two cups a day.
Instead of relying on a second, third, or even fourth cup of coffee to get you through the day, consider other changes to your routine that could deliver that needed energy boost. Many of us turn to coffee during the day because we feel sluggish and tired. But coffee might not be dealing with the real culprit of that sluggishness: sitting in energy-sucking chairs. Chairs are a drain on energy largely because they essentially let your body shut down. When you sit in a chair, your blood flows more sluggishly; your muscles are not being used; your body nearly stops processing fats and sugars. When brain depends on a healthy and regular flow of blood and oxygen through it to keep alert. When those processes are disrupted, then we can start to feel tired and unfocused.
You don’t need to trade that third cup of coffee for a 6-mile run though. All you need to do is incorporate some movement into your day. Here are some ways to add in an energy boost:
Pace around the office while on a phone call
Every half an hour, stand up for 2 minutes
Invest in a treadmill desk to keep you moving throughout the day
Take the long way when walking to the bathroom, the printer, or the kitchen
One treadmill desk user saw a decrease in caffeine intake:
“I used to drink 3 cups of coffee in the morning. I’ve scaled down to half a cup. Thirty minutes at the treadmill desk gets me feeling more energized than all that coffee did!”
The energy that comes from simply walking more is the body’s way of rewarding you for using it as it was intended. Your body was not meant to to be trapped in a chair all day, reliant on coffee to keep it going. Your body was meant to be engaged and used! So while you’re searching Twitter for the best deals on coffee today, consider doing it while walking around. Maybe we could get #EnergizeYourselfDay trending soon!