How to have an active lunch break
Regardless of whether you work in an office, at home or on the road, lunch-hour workouts make great sense. Not only are they an effective way to reduce your daily sitting time, which is particularly important if you have a sedentary job, they can also clear your mind and improve your mood. Research also shows that, due to the way physical activity temporarily increases blood flow to the brain, your cognitive function will improve post workout, too.
The type of activity you do is up to you. If you have access to a shower, you’re free to work out at the intensity that suits you, knowing that you can freshen up before you return to your desk. Go for a run, hit the gym or swim laps at the local pool. If you can’t jump in the shower, you can still have an active lunch break. Go for a walk, do some stretches at a nearby park or take part in a less-active class, such as yoga.
To make it work:
- Pack your exercise gear and make a healthy, nutritious lunch the night before. In the morning, all you have to do is grab both, and head into work, knowing that when lunchtime rolls around, you’ll be ready to go.
- Block out the time in your diary – even if you work from home. It’s really easy to let work commitments creep into your lunch hour, but if you diarise your ‘active lunch break’ you’ll be more likely to stick with your plan.
- Don’t be put off if the weather doesn’t play ball. Heading outdoors to be active on your lunch break is a logical choice, so think ahead to avoid rain upsetting your plans. A light, weatherproof jacket or umbrella is all you need to keep moving if it’s drizzling. And if it’s raining heavily, put a contingency plan in place. Find a local gym you can head to, or consider using a set of stairs as part of your workout. Walk or run up as many flights as you can in four minutes, then do a set of 20 push-ups, sit-ups or squats. Rest and repeat for three sets, before cooling down with a short walk around the house or office.