Most jobs involve too much sitting, which studies show can be bad for our health. So as soon as you can take a break, get up and move!
Finding it impossible to squeeze exercise into your 40-hour week? Start taking advantage of the golden opportunity you have at your disposal every day — your lunch hour. When you step outside in the middle of the day (and keep stepping!), you’ll burn fat, torch kilojoules and recharge your brain for the rest of the day. Your work week might even start shrinking!
When you’re not in the mood for exercise, there’s nothing more motivating than working out with a friend. Get moving with a few people, and you’ll have your own personal cheer squad! Join your workplace sports team, or organise a lunchtime walking or running group. You’ll get to know your co-workers and burn fat!
Way to go
If you usually grab lunch from a place just around the corner, find a food store or café that’s a 15-minute walk away. This guarantees you’ll walk for at least half an hour a day, and you’ll have 30 minutes to sit down and savour your food. A pedometer can come in handy here. This nifty gadget is a great way to track your physical-activity levels. It will also make you more conscious of how much you’re moving, improving your chances of taking a few extra steps. Do yourself a favour and set a daily target — aim to take at least 10,000 steps a day.
A set program
If there’s a gym close to work, consider yourself lucky — most gyms offer classes designed for lunch breaks. A 30- or 45-minute spin class, for example, will give you ample time to change and be back at work within the hour. If you’re not one for classes, make the most of your gym time: Set your favourite cardio machine to an interval program for a high-intensity workout. Interval training is not only an effective way to burn fat and boost cardiovascular health, but also a great way to get a kilojoule burn that lasts long after your workout — which is ideal if you’re trying to lose weight.
Step by step
If the gym’s too far from work and the weather looks unwelcoming, use the stairs; almost every office building has some! Stair-climbing simultaneously activates your leg muscles and lifts your heart rate; even a slowly paced climb can burn two to three times more kilojoules than a brisk walk on level ground.* For a more challenging workout, take two steps at a time and pick up the pace between floors.
A walk in the park
A brisk 30-minute walk (the easiest exercise of all) can torch up to 600kJ, or 144cal.* That’s half a chicken-salad sandwich!
Though it’s healthier to take your lunch break away from the office, there may be the odd occasion when it makes sense to take work with you. Invite a co-worker to a ‘walking meeting’; even if it’s just a few laps around the block, some movement is a lot better than none.