Putting the fun in fitness

Aahna Gandhi Gupta lists 6 workouts you can easily do during your lunch break...

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Whether you’re a CEO or an executive, working late or leaving your place of work early, working out during a lunch break makes good sense. Do you know why? Research suggests that afternoon is one of the best times to exercise and a routine during your lunch break is good enough to lug you through the rest of the day. Here are six ways by which you can put the fun back into your fitness routine.

1. Indulge in team sports to reduce stress

Does your office offer recreational activities like table tennis, dart boards, carom, foosball and so on? If yes, give 15 minutes of your time just to get a dose of stress relief by participating in teams. You are not only having fun, but you’re also working up a sweat and releasing endorphins. Exercising with co-workers can also motivate you to push yourself a little harder in order to stay competitive.

2. Do stretches at your desk

Are you staying glued to your chair? Then it’s time to haul your body off it and do some stretches. Stretches help to ward off lethargy and increase energy levels. Here’s what you can do. • Loosen hands while you rotate them in circles. • Stretch your legs if you’re sitting for long hours. • Rotate your neck right, left, up and down taking alternative breaks from the your desktop. • Do an upper body twist. • Rotate your shoulders front and back to feel relaxed.

3. Head for the stairs

When you don’t have time to drive to the gym, use what you’ve around the office to get your heart pumping. The stairs are a great spot to get in a quick cardio session. Usually not many people take them so you’re not likely to run into your boss mid workout. You can ask a colleague to tag along just for fun.

4. Go for a walk

A great piece of advice came from a fitness trainer: do not eat at your desk. It is likely that you will continue to work while you’re eating. Instead, gather for a quick meal in a conference room if you’re carrying your lunch or walk to the neighborhood cafe. Walking is a great exercise and the more you can walk in a day, the more calories you can lose. Most importantly, it’s important to digest what you’ve just eaten, right?

5. Get up and move around often

To work better, get up from your desk. Sitting for long periods of time – when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all – tend to cause physiological changes within your muscles. Moving around at regular intervals throughout the day contributes to all- around health. For instance, rather than sending e-mails for small actions or notices that require immediate attention, you can just walk to the concerned person and sort it out.

6. Take a power nap

It’s time to avoid all screens. Usually, a power nap is a short nap between 20-30 minutes. Well, if you’re overburdened throughout the day, try to stay away from your iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and laptop during lunch time. Please give your eyes a break. Most office jobs require you to stare at a screen all day, so avoid that during lunch. All this, for your eyes only!

So, what are you waiting for? Make time, choose your exercise and stay healthy even during lunch breaks.