So many of us who work full-time don’t feel there is enough time during the day to exercise. Studies show that daily exercise improves our mood and our ability to focus. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the tasks and the stresses of the day, but the costs may be lowered effectiveness and productivity. Spending just 10 minutes a day on something as simple as stretching or walking briskly can cancel out the negative effects of stress on the brain.

Our brains focus on the task at hand when in stress mode, but an exercise break allows us to think abstractly and pay more attention to our surroundings. We can then return to the task with a fresh perspective. When we are in stress mode, our energy levels tend to decrease which leads to reaching for energy drinks and salty carbohydrate-laden foods. These things will elevate our moods and our energy for a short time and then we dive back down. Chronic stress can make it difficult to get going in the morning, but then leave us too keyed up to get to sleep at bedtime. If we don’t sleep enough over a period of time, we tend to be less efficient and less productive. Even small changes in our routine, that include exercise, can lead to a better sense of well-being.

During the work day find time to stand up and stretch, or walk the longest route to get some water. Walk around while talking on your cell phone, rather than sitting still at your desk. Take the steps instead of the elevator, or walk the long path to the elevator. If you want to step up the exercise plan, stationary bicycles are a good option. Invest in a Kettlebell. They are available in many different weights and most come with an instructional DVD. Kettlebell exercises are extremely effective total body workouts.

Getting outside is an even better option. Biking, jogging and hiking release the stresses of the day in a short period of time. Do you have a dog? Get outside with your dog and throw sticks for him. Take your dog for a short walk around the neighborhood. If your dog doesn’t walk far, invest in a pet stroller and take him with you. You will be improving your dog’s sense of well-being, in addition to your own. If you like to ride your bike, your dog can ride with you in a pet basket or a pet bicycle trailer. The idea is to get creative and exert a little more energy than usual during the day and you’re likely to see positive results.

Author's Bio: 

Celia Brown is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a focus on stress management methods. Please visit her website: to find out more about Pet Strollers.