Lunchtime Fitness

Exercise is the elixir for many of life’s challenges – it reduces stress, increases energy and helps you sleep better too. The latest Federal government guidelines recommend 30-60 minutes of exercise on most days to maintain or improve your general wellbeing. That’s a tall order given today’s busy schedules. But fit a little fitness into a few of your lunch breaks and you’ll soon reap the rewards of a more active lifestyle.  These simple strategies can help you get the most of your limited lunch hour.

COMBINE AND SCHEDULE

Multitasking has its benefits in the office and in the gym. Get maximum benefit from limited time by combining cardiovascular exercise with strength training.

  • Hop on a cardio machine for ten minutes, weight train your upper body for ten minutes, then stretch.  Alternate between upper and lower body weight training exercises each time you workout to get a full body benefit by the week’s end.  If you’re not sure how to get the most for your time, book a few sessions with a personal trainer.
  • Check out the facilities’ schedule of classes. Many gyms have shortened noon time instructor-led classes designed to fit into a limited schedule.
  • Entice a coworker to join you.  You can brainstorm new ideas and build better business relationships too.

 NO GYM? BRING IT IN

You don’t need a lot of space to exercise efficiently.

  • Get a yoga mat and a resistance band and you’ve got your own in-office workout.  Resistance bands offer an endless array of strength-training and stretching options. They can be done standing, sitting, or lying down.  These bands are inexpensive and most come with step-by-step workout routines.
  •  No equipment needed. Think calisthenics: push ups, sit ups, squats and jumping jacks.  Good form, precision, and control are key.
  • Step away from the computer for a few minutes to stretch out your back can help reduce stiffness. A few side stretches and spine twists work wonders.
  • Bring in a group exercise instructor.  A savvy instructort can give you a full body workout in just 30-minutes—leaving you time for lunch and errands. If your company doesn’t provide the service, gather a few colleagues together and hire a trainer yourselves.  Splitting the cost can make the session affordable for every one.  All you need is a conference room or other open space.

I offer lunchtime worksite workouts to Chicago companies large and small. Designed to counterbalances the effects of sitting, the 30-minute full body workout is done standing up – no need to change clothes or lie on the floor!  For more info www.JoAnnMilPilates.com

 A PRACTICAL BAG

Keep a gym bag with shoes and toiletries at the office and have an extra lighter bag to carry your workout clothes to and from home.  Likewise, bring your lunch on workout days to save time. Include a pre work out snack, such as a banana or handful of raisins mixed with nuts. If you’re starving at noon, it’ll be too easy to skip the workout. A well timed smart snack an hour before your workout will give you the fuel you need and reduce the hunger excuse.

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