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How to incorporate exercise in your lunch break? Easy lunchtime workouts to try

Georgia Carter
Georgia Carter Updated: 31 July 2021
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Now more than ever, many of us are looking for ways to improve our health and wellbeing. One of the most simple yet effective tools to boost our immune system and help us thrive in life is exercise. But it can be challenging to find the time in our busy days to squeeze in a workout.

You may feel like exercise is not for you because you have a tough job, but, it’s never too late to get started. Exercise can help with anxiety, depression, weight loss and more. It also gives people energy which they can use in their jobs. You don’t even need to go to the gym – just find something physical that gets your heart rate up for 10 minutes every hour or two during the workday (e.g., taking stairs instead of an elevator).

Key facts

  • Exercise is a scientifically proven way to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Exercising during your lunch break can help rejuvenate and renew your energy levels for the second half of the day.
  • You can earn attractive rewards and benefits from purchasing health insurance and meeting your fitness goals.
  • Exercise will help boost your metabolism, assisting in weight loss and reducing your desire to overeat.

Why you should be exercising during your workday?

The benefits of adding a workout into your daily routine

Exercise holds numerous scientifically proven benefits. Movement is incredible for the physical body as it releases endorphins, aids in weight loss, strengthens the bones and muscles, and boosts both the metabolic and immune systems. Exercise is also a widely proven way to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety due to the release of endorphins. Even a 20-minute workout can have profound effects on the body and mind.

  • Exercise is good for your body and mind
    Anxiety and stress are formed on both an emotional and physical level. Movement helps release stored energy, clears the mind of negative thoughts, and revives the entire function of the body for optimal health and wellness.
  • It releases endorphins to help with stress
    Stress is caused by the release of cortisol within the body. However, when we exercise, our brain triggers a response to halt the production of cortisol and release pleasure producing hormones like serotonin. This helps us manage stress levels and boosts our mental health.
  • You’ll have more energy, making you more productive at work
    Ironically, spending energy while working out provides you with more fuel to tackle the day ahead, helping you focus on the more mundane tasks with ease.
  • Working out will make you less likely to overeat later on in the day because of increased metabolism
    Movement uplifts the metabolic system in the body and will leave you with a reduced appetite. Often, you’ll find that you won’t want to eat as much as you usually do, and you’ll save both money and calories.
  • Exercise can be a great way to de-stress from work or other responsibilities that are weighing heavy on your shoulders
    Listening to a podcast or music or exercising in nature can help take your mind off your to-do list. It keeps you in the present moment and helps you reconnect with your body and breath. This can work wonders on the seemingly endless rushing mind

The top 5 exercises you can do at work

1. Try a lunchtime workout class

If you work in close proximity to a gym, why not try one of the lunchtime classes? This can be anything from yoga and boxing to pilates and cross fit. Classes are great because you have someone to guide and motivate you, and you’re less likely to quit, unlike workout alone.

2. Take your lunch break outside and walk around the block

Alongside exercise, spending time outdoors is extremely beneficial to your health and mental wellbeing. During your break, try going for a stroll outside. You’ll get some fresh air and movement, all while reconnecting with nature.

3. Do some squats while you wait for your lunch to warm up

If you have the space and capacity to do so, you can perform a few workout movements to get your blood rushing after sitting at the desk. There are a handful of exercise activities that you can do anywhere anytime, such as a squat. If you’re on the phone or waiting for your food, try to complete 10 to 20 squats.

4. Get creative with your office furniture

A chair or desk can make for a suitable bench from which you can perform exercises like leg raises and bench presses, while those trusty staplers are the perfect sizes for beginner weights. Have fun and work with what’s around you to make the most of your movement time. This way, you’re boosting your creativity while saving money that you would have spent on a gym membership.

5. Go to the gym during your lunch break

A 15 or 30-minute workout is better than none, so don’t use your short lunch break time as an excuse. If you work near a gym, try lifting a few weights or running on a treadmill for about half an hour before hitting the showers and returning to work. This way, you’ll still have time to eat and relax before you begin work again, and you won’t have to wake up an extra hour early to fit in that workout!

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Get rewarded for meeting your health goals

Certain health insurers offer special rewards programs that provide members with benefits when they achieve specific health goals. AIA Vitality, for instance, offers members the opportunity to earn an Apple series 6 watch by meeting their monthly fitness goals. This may just be the extra motivation you need to finish that easy workout during your lunch break.

Frequently asked questions and answers.

  • What is the best exercise for lunch?

    The best exercise is one that can be done in a relatively short amount of time and one that you enjoy. This can be a 40-minute pilates class, a 20-minute walk around the block, or a 30-minute session at the gym. Even performing a few squats, lunges, and sit-ups have been proven to have the same health benefits as a strenuous run if you’re short on time.
  • How do you work out during lunch hours?

    The best way to ensure you work out during your lunch hours is to curate a game plan and stick with it. Pack a light lunch so you can refuel after you exercise, purchase a gym membership so you will feel almost forced to attend, or ask one of your colleagues to join you. That way, you’re less likely to back out and quit because someone else is also invested.
  • Does the 7-minute workout work?

    Yes, the seven-minute workout has been proven to be an effective, time-saving workout routine. While it may not assist in substantial weight loss, a few minutes of movement still releases endorphins, improves blood flow and circulation, increases metabolic and heart rate, and tones the muscles. It is, therefore, considered efficient and effective for those who have time constraints during their workdays.
  • Should I work out on my lunch break?

    It’s highly recommended that you work out during your lunch break. This is because you have probably been sitting at a desk in the same or similar position for a few hours. Lunch breaks provide the perfect opportunity to get your blood pumping again, send more oxygen to the brain, and release endorphins so you can tackle the second half of the workday with a revived spirit and energy.
  • What are some exercises that can be done while working on the computer or sitting at a desk?

    There are numerous exercise moves that you can perform while sitting at your desk. These include calf raises, tricep dips, desk push-ups, lunges, squats, leg raises, wall sits, and lunges. Stretching is also an effective way to receive some of the benefits of movement. Don’t forget to move your neck, readjust and stretch your back, swing the arms, lift and lower the legs a few times to ensure your blood is flowing correctly.

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