Life

Could active lunch breaks slash workplace stress? 6 tips for getting started

Go for a quick run or a walk at lunchtime – your body and mind will thank you for it

WHEN it comes to fostering healthy habits and managing stress, embracing lunch break fitness can be key. Here's a personal trainer's six top tips for getting started:

1. JOIN A GYM CLOSE TO WORK

My biggest tip for this is to go into the gym with a plan. The chances are you will only have 30-45 minutes to squeeze in a workout during lunch, so you don't want to be wasting time thinking about what you're going to do. Focus on using free weights or body weight rather than seated machines, as there's plenty of time to sit down during work.

2. RUN

If you're not a fan of the local gym, then get your trainers on and go for a run. Aim for at least 30 minutes, even if it's a blend of walking and running.

3. BODY WEIGHT EXERCISES

Think lunges, push-ups, mountain climbers, squat jumps and burpees. You don't need too much space to perform these movements, and they are a great way to improve your strength, mobility and coordination.

4. SKIPPING

A skipping rope fits easily into a bag or pocket. Skipping is a great full-body workout and a great way to improve fitness and muscle tone. It's also less jolting on the knees than running, making it perfect for all fitness levels.

5. DO A FITNESS CLASS

Lots of gyms or studios have lunchtime express classes. They are normally 20-30 minutes long, making them perfect for those looking to get active when on lunch. If you can, try to get a mix of strength, cardio and mobility/flexibility-based classes across the week.

6. GO FOR A WALK

I think we've almost forgotten that being active doesn't always mean you have to go to the gym or for a run. Work can be a stressful environment, so get out for a walk, put your headphones on and listen to your favourite podcast or album. Look to go for at least 30 minutes. Physically and mentally, your body will thank you for this.

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