5 Slow Down to Boost Your Energy
Living at a frenetic tempo leads you to breathe in shallow, stressed gulps, depriving your brain and body of sufficient oxygen, a key source of energy. The result: constant exhaustion and anxiety, says Luskin.
How to take it slow: Count to four while inhaling through your nose, then count backward from four to one while exhaling through your mouth. Pay attention to your bellyit should rise as you breathe in and fall as you slowly breathe out. Practice this every day, whenever you can remember (at your desk, in the showeror in that line at the post office). It can help improve oxygen intake, lower your blood pressure, and amp up your energy level.
6 Slow Down to Get Ahead at Work
Hurrying to finish projects at work, scheduling back-to-back meetings, and constant multitasking not only kill employees' creativity but also reduce their productivity, according to studies published in the Harvard Business Review. So much fast-moving activity allows no time for reflection (the source of creative solutions) and increases the odds that your work will be sloppy or that you'll make mistakes.
How to take it slow: Swap frenzied activity for focused action: Ask yourself, What should I do first? to determine which project is most important, then tackle itand fight the tendency to jump back and forth between it and other to-do's. "Keep your eyes on the goal and you'll be able to give each task the time and attention required," says Jan Jasper, a productivity consultant in New York City. As an added perk, you'll have a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day and probably feel a whole lot calmer, too. You'll finish one or two tasks completely, rather than get four or five things partially donewhich only leaves unfinished business hanging over your head.
7 Slow Down for Better Fitness
More and faster crunches and biceps curls aren't the key to greater strength, endurance, or calorie burning, according to a Journal of Sports Medicine study. In fact, women who did resistance-training two to three times per week using a superslow protocol (10 seconds lifting, four seconds lowering) had a 50 percent greater increase in strength after eight weeks compared with those who pumped iron at the normal, faster pace (two seconds up, four seconds down).
How to take it slow: Try the superslow protocol described above for strength. And if you're trying to increase your distance on the treadmill, slow your pace by about one minute per mileyou'll find you can easily add half a mile. Then, over time, gradually ratchet the tempo back up for the entire run.
Remember, too, that slower activities can burn serious calories. For example, those who practiced yoga regularly for four years were 80 percent more likely to maintain their weight and almost 400 percent more likely to lose pounds than those who didn't do yoga, according to a recent study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Yoga is also calming and helps you live more mindfully even when you're not practicing, which makes it easier to recognize when you start slipping into overdrive throughout the day.