Ten Ways to Turn Your Lunch Break into a Mini Workout

Getting creative and sneaking in a mini workout during your lunch break makes smart use of your time while giving you an energy boost.

Getting creative and sneaking in a mini workout during your lunch break makes smart use of your time while giving you an energy boost. And when done right, you won’t even look like you broke a sweat. Most of these suggestions get you away from your desk while changing the definition of taking a lunch break. So do a bit of pre-morning prep and toss something healthy — or your workout gear — in your bag and go ahead and turn your lunch break into a mini workout.

  1. Book a conference room: Start a trend at work by booking a conference room for a refreshing yoga session, and you might find a yogi in your office who’s happy to lead group lunch sessions. 
  2. Walk with a friend: Instead of meeting a friend for lunch, plan a power walk that takes you on a 20-minute trek around the city or even your building. It’s a fun break to take while catching up. Pick a route that keeps you moving, and then return to your desk for a quick bite.
  3. Take the stairs: Before eating lunch, hit the stairs. Spend 10 minutes walking up and down a few flights, which gets your muscles working hard, and you’ll burn around 74 calories.
  4. Team up: Connect with a group of co-workers with the same idea and create a club that meets for a quick workout and group lunch. You can work through a 20-minute bodyweight workout or even head outdoors for a power walk.
  5. Make a date: Book a session with a personal trainer or sign up for a group class for a quick and focused workout you can sneak in during your lunch break.  Just leave enough time for eating a healthy lunch before heading back to work.
  6. Run 1 mile: Most people can run a mile in under 15 minutes, so prep by styling your hair in a ponytail in the morning and tossing your running shoes and workout clothes in your bag. Run a quick mile, cool down with a 5-minute slow walk, and then pick up lunch on your way back to the office.
  7. Workout at your desk: Even if you’re swamped, think about switching to a standing desk and using it while multitasking through your lunch, which burns an extra 30 calories per hour.  You can also do some seated stretches.
  8. Strengthen your core: Find an unused conference room and do some isometrics. Try variations on a basic plank, which really strengthens your core, arms, back, and legs. You can even do a few timed thigh-burning chair poses.
  9. Walk for your food: Map a restaurant that’s just far enough from the office to walk and get a healthy lunch, and then walk back. You might have to time the workout a few times to get it right, but once you find a few spots, it’s a fun way to mix up your lunchtime routine.
  10. Break it up: Think of your workout as three sessions, one being a 10-minute cardio blast in the morning, another as a 10-minute walk around your office building during your lunch break, and then a 10-minute power walk to end the day.

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