Here’s Why You Should Exercise During Your Lunch Break

by | Feb 3, 2015 | Fitness

For many of us, getting to the gym at 5:30am is not an option. There’s the school run not to mention negotiating traffic to work. But, exercising after work is not always ideal either because, come 5pm, we’ve had enough and getting home to supper is priority. The good news is that a midday or lunchtime workout could be a good alternative.

“If we look at an average circadian rhythm for an average person, our body temperature is at its lowest when we wake up and then rises steadily throughout the day,” explains Catherine Viljoen, biokineticist at Virgin Active. “By about 10am we’re on high alert (which is great for work meetings by the way!), and as we go into the afternoon, we’ve got our best co-ordination, fastest reaction time and greatest muscle strength. Our muscles are warmer and we could be less likely to injure ourselves as a result. Good news for that midday exercise session! “

Are we more productive after a workout?

Exercise helps to release endorphins which not only improve our mood (happy co-worker = happy office) but also help to reduce stress. If we can manage our stress better, then our ability to be productive, to plan well, to problem solve as well as to remember the simplest of things, will be better too.

Is 30 minutes worth it?

Experts tell us that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, on most days of the week, is all we need to stay healthy. A 30 minute high-intensity interval training workout is one way of getting the most from a short duration workout. Supplement strength training sets or low-intensity cardio bouts with 1-2 minutes of high-intensity cardio intervals such as step ups, jumping jacks or skipping. The low intensity bouts will allow you to recover slightly so that you can work harder in the high-intensity bouts, the end result being a greater kilojoule burn and improvements in overall fitness compared to a low-intensity 45 minute cycle for example.

Make A Lunchtime Exercise Routine Work For You

Schedule the time in your work calendar.

Take a colleague with you to exercise – you’re more likely to stick to it.

Pack your gym bag in the car the night before (just remember clean underwear and that towel!)

Plan in advance as to how you’re going to make use of your 30 minute time slot – look on the timetable for classes such as twentyfour. Think about how to “construct” your session: 10 minutes of cardio and then 20 minutes of circuit/interval training for example. A 30 minute swim is a great option – it’s refreshing and you’re not likely to be getting to the office looking red and worn out – or you could tackle the super circuit, go walking on the treadmill or hit the bike. You can include interval training in your treadmill or bike session.

Remember if you’re going to exercise over lunch, you still need to eat. Make sure you have a healthy pre-and-post-exercise snack.

At the end of the day; the best time to train is the time that suits you and your lifestyle. There are different benefits for exercising at different times of the day. But, if the mornings and evenings aren’t working for you, then let’s work out over lunch.

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