There may be more benefits of exercising over your lunch break than you think. Get motivated and power through the rest of your day with our Lunchtime Workout Guide.
We’ve all fallen victim to lunch al desko from time to time when we have a lot to do, but don’t let this become part of your daily routine.
Avoiding taking regular breaks at work can not only be detrimental to your physical health, but also to your mental wellbeing. Try tearing your eyes away from the computer screen and take some time out for yourself over your lunch hour. This will not only help you rack up some steps on your step counter, but it can also increase your ability to concentrate and get the most out of your work performance.
Let’s look at some ideal lunchtime workouts you can do to get you motivated.
Go for a walk Walking regularly can reduce your risk of a stroke and heart disease by helping to regulate blood pressure. Don’t worry if it’s just a quick stroll around the building, as scientists at Essex University found that our emotional wellbeing is boosted significantly with as little as five minutes of outdoor exercise.
Find a gym that’s close to work If you have a gym either in or close to your workplace, lunchtime is a great opportunity to fit in a quick workout. If you find it’s usually busy over the lunch period, why not try bodyweight workouts on a mat? This way, you don’t need to wait around for equipment. HIIT training classes are also a great way to get an effective workout in a short space of time.
Get running With the right preparation, taking a lunchtime run is a great way to release endorphins and crank up some energy for the remainder of your day at work. If your office doesn’t have a shower, freshen up with a flannel and a small towel. Finish off with a quick spritz of deodorant and voila!
Find a staircase OK, we’re not suggesting you do this in your busy workplace staircase, but if you can find a quieter area in your building or even park steps, a staircase workout is an ideal way to work up a sweat over your lunch period. Combine running, walking and lunging up and down the stairs to optimise your workout.
Seek out classes Sometimes your work will offer classes over lunch or discounts for popular classes nearby. Classes such as Pilates and yoga can help strengthen both your body and your mind, giving you some much needed time to recharge before you return to work.
Does your place of work encourage lunchtime activity? Or is there a culture of desk dining? With over 55% of UK workers choosing to eat their lunch at their desks, something needs to give. Research shows that not taking lunch away from your desk can lead to increased stress, a lack of productivity in the afternoon and overall frustration.
What can businesses do?
With physically active employees shown to take 27% less sick days than non-active employees, it’s worth making changes to encourage employees to get up and out on their lunch break. Try offering a company discount for your local gym, hold lunchtime classes in any unused areas of the building or advertise any nearby classes on your intranet. You could also launch an incentive such as a competition to see which colleague can rack up the most steps in a day or raise money for charity through different lunchtime activities.
A healthy workplace is a productive workplace and as a business owner, you can encourage the required changes necessary to ensure your employees remain healthy and happy. Similarly, if you haven’t already got health insurance for your employees, this may be something you want to consider.