The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and yet sometimes it’s still hard to get motivated to exercise after a long day of work. But there’s a secret to fitting a little fitness into your day: Spend part of your lunch break getting a no-sweat, low-impact workout.
Experts say that as little as 30 minutes of exercise per day is enough to keep us safe from heart disease and diabetes. That leaves you plenty of time to freshen up and grab a healthy lunch before anyone even knows you’re gone. And, as a side benefit, you’ll be able to clear your head and return to work invigorated—say goodbye to the post-lunch slump.
Here are some of our favorite ways to sneak in some middle-of-the-workday fitness without going to the gym:
- Schedule a walking meeting: Whether it’s checking in on a project or just shooting the breeze with your office bestie, there never seems to be enough time in the workday for a real conversation. So lace up your walking shoes, touch up your sunscreen, and get outside.
- Hit the stairwell: There’s no need for a gym membership to become a stair master. Just take the elevator to the lobby, then climb your way up to the executive suite. Repeat as needed. You’ll burn about 300 calories in a half hour without even leaving the building.
- Multitask at the mall: Combine your errands with a little sneaky fitness. Park at the far end of parking lot, then take a few laps around each floor of a nearby shopping center. Bonus: You can stop at the food court for a salad or a smoothie before heading back.
- Ditch the car: If you’re ordering from the local deli or sandwich shop, leave your car where it is and go for a lunchtime stroll. On foot, you’ll get in a little low-impact cardio, soak up some vitamin D, and see your town from a new vantage point.
- Book a room: Most companies have at least one conference space that goes unused at lunchtime. Download a 30-minute yoga video to your laptop or iPad and schedule a fitness “meeting” with a like-minded coworker or two. You may start a trend!
- Just get up and move: If you’re really pressed for time, you can burn calories without leaving your desk. A simple routine of chair squats, wall pushups, chest stretches, and knee bends can get your blood flowing and relieve fatigue in a matter of minutes.