Helping your employees get some exercise into their lunch break can boost both productivity and wellbeing. In this guest post, health insurer Bupa suggests four different workouts they can try.
Think you don’t have time to exercise? Think again! Working out during your lunch break could help make you and your employees fitter, healthier and more productive.
If you’re struggling to fit exercise into your life, your lunch break might just be the perfect time for a workout. And it can set a great example for the people who work for you.
Intense interval training has been proven to increase endurance better than longer workouts. Plus, researchers have found that people who exercise during a work break report improvements in time management and mental performance, and are better able to manage their workload.
If your workplace has a shower, running is probably the easiest lunchtime exercise you can do. Fartlek is an informal interval training exercise consisting of slow, medium and fast running over distances that you set. After a gentle warm-up, pick a target (a lamp post or a rubbish bin) and run as fast you can to it. Then jog, pick another target to race to, and so on. Running with a colleague means you can take it in turns to set the fast leg.
Swimming is one of the best workouts for all overall fitness; it works your leg, arm and buttock muscles, as well as a providing a cardio workout. As it’s non-weight-bearing, swimming is also a good workout to do if you’re recovering from injury or are new to exercise. Consider following a training plan to ensure you get the most from your swim.
Yoga can be a particularly useful exercise to do during the working day. A regular lunchtime yoga session can improve mood and wellbeing and make you more productive.
It may not sound like a challenge, but walking can be hugely beneficial. Set yourself a target of 10,000 steps (that’s about five miles) a day and aim to cover a few thousand at lunchtime. Try walking with a colleague or load your MP3 player up with music or audiobooks to keep you motivated.
Training at lunchtime does require a level of organisation. Encourage staff to follow your lead by getting their kit bag ready the night before and bringing in lunch to eat after their workout.
Swapping a sandwich at the desk for a brief workout could be beneficial for both you and your employees. So it’s time to reclaim the lunch break and pull on those trainers.
Speak to Bupa’s small business team to find out more.