Turn Your Lunch Break into a Mini Workout

Getting creative with your workout and sneaking one in 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. All 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 sneak in that workout.

  • 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.
  • Walking chat: Instead of meeting a friend for lunch, plan a power walk that takes you on a 20-minute trek around the city. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Run 1 mile: Most can run a mile in under 15 minutes, so prep by styling your hair in a pony 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.
  • 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.
  • Desk workout: 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.
  • Go static: 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.
  • Walk for it: Map a restaurant that’s just far enough from the office to walk and get 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.
  • Book a 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.

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