(Men's Health) Powering through lunch makes you look productive, but you end up tired and stressed. So take a break and avoid these mistakes:

You scarf your food at your desk
Sitting all day has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. Lunch time is perfect for that. The fix -- take a walk. It'll leave you more productive, enthusiastic and relaxed, studies suggest. If you must work, schedule walking meetings. Research shows that they fuel creative thinking.

You're eating poorly or not enough
Skimping on lunch can lead too over eating at night, and grab and go meals can be nutritionally lacking, so you crash latter on. The fix -- pack a healthy combo of protein, carbs, and fat for energy, says dietitian Christopher Mohr, Ph.D. Roll up leftover rotisserie chicken and avocado in a whole wheat wrap; munch on bell pepper and carrot slices, and pack an apple too.

You don't use the break to do what you like
If you're not in the mood to, say, join your colleagues for lunch, then doing that won't be as relaxing as clocking alone time and vice versa, studies show. It may actually fatigue you. The fix -- engaging in an activity you enjoy will help alleviate work stress and improve your well-being, research shows. If that means escaping to your car for some sports radio downtime, go for it.

You miss your midday workout
You're also missing out on the brain-boosting benefits of increased blood flow, says trainer Craig Ballantyne. The fix -- a 15-minute circuit can be as effective as a longer, more moderate routine. Do this four times: Prisoner-style reverse lunges 30 seconds per side; pause pushups pause at the bottom and top for a total pushup time of one minute; side plank 30 seconds per side. Rest for 1 minute.


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