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Your ultimate guide to mastering the lunch-time workout (part 1)

Having trouble squeezing workouts into your busy schedule? You’re not alone. These days it seems like we spend more time logging hours at the office with our bums glued to our seats than at the gym getting some much-needed exercise. That said, it’s no excuse for not working up a sweat and burning those calories. Having zero free time just means you have to get creative when it comes to maximising those rare pockets of absolute freedom. And the best opportunity to do that – during your lunch hour.

Here’s how you can squeeze in a calorie-torching sweat session that’s so fast, your coworkers won’t realise you ever left your desk.

The perks of lunchtime workouts

A study conducted by David W. Hill, Ph.D., from the University of North Texas, found that our strength peaks at midday. That means your lunch hour just might be the best time of the day for you to get in a great workout. Besides helping you burn a couple of extra calories, a lunchtime workout can also:

  • Boost productivity and energy – A good workout gets your endorphins flowing, and those happy hormones give you a state of euphoria, also known as a ‘runner’s high’. The best part is: these good vibes don’t stop the second you stop moving but, instead, could last throughout the day. And we all know a happy employee means a more productive employee.
  • Reduce stress – Thanks to those happy hormones, nothing wards off stress quicker and better than a good sweat sesh. According to Harvard Medical School, “exercise has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress.” So if you’re stressing out on a big presentation or a full day of meetings, consider squeezing in a quick workout.
  • Free up your evenings – Working out on your lunch hour means you’re free for other activities before and after work. So if you’re tired of choosing between gym and dinner with your friends, the good news is now you won’t have to. Finally, you can Netflix and chill without feeling guilty about missing another workout.

Make your desk your personal gym

The best thing about a lunch workout is you don’t have to go to a gym to do it. Here are 6 deskercises that will have you working up a sweat in no time!

  1. The Stair Master – The easiest way to get in some cardio is taking the stairs instead of the elevator. For a real leg burn, skip the single steps and take two at a time for alternate flights.
  2. The Walkabout – Need a break from that boring report you’re writing? Take a stroll to your colleague’s table to catch up on some hot office gossip or check in with your boss instead of sending an email.
  3. The Wall Sit – Why sit when you can wall sit? Stand with your back against the wall, bend your knees and slide down until your thighs and knees form a 90-degree angle against the floor. Sit and hold for as long as you can.
  4. The Buns of Steel – A workout you can do even during meetings, this exercise simply consists of you squeezing your butt cheeks together. Just squeeze and release until your meeting is done or your glutes tire.
  5. The Water Bottle Curl – Put your water bottle to good use by using it as a dumbbell for some good old bicep curls. Do 12–15 reps per side.
  6. The TGIF – Happy it’s Friday or just got a huge promotion? Celebrate by pumping your fists in the air and tone your arms at the same time.

Have other tips on personal training? Share your stories and questions in the comments below!

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