Make your lunch hour your fitness hour
It’s important to find the time to exercise, but if getting physical at the start or the end of the day doesn’t work for you, lunchtime workouts might be the answer.
Here are five more great reasons to get fit at lunchtime.
1. You'll be a step ahead
Having dedicated movement routines such as going to the gym or walking is a great step towards your health goals. However this shoundn’t mean the other 23.5 hours in the day are movement free. Try to incorporate movement in small ways throughout the whole day and your lunch break is a great place to start!
2. The more active you become, the happier you’ll be
Researchers at Duke University in the US have found that when patients with depression exercised for just 30 minutes three times a week, on top of taking medication, they had significantly brighter outlooks than those who took antidepressants alone. After six months, only eight per cent of those in the exercise group had a recurrent depressive episode compared to 38 per cent of the medication-only group.
3. You'll be smarter
Lunchtime workouts don’t just whip your body into shape, they may help boost your brainpower, too, according to a recent study by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada. “People who exercise say they feel sharper,” says Director of Prevention at the Montreal Heart Institute, Dr Martin Juneau. He led a study where overweight middle-aged adults were ‘prescribed’ a twice-a-week exercise routine, then measured for their cognitive function post-workout. The researchers found that exercise significantly improved brain function due to increased blood flow.
4. You'll have more free time
Life can be chaotic; with lunch boxes, dinners, school drop-offs and ensuring the house doesn’t look like a bomb exploded in your living room, not to mention your job and social life. With the constant swirl of the washing machine how can you find time to move? With a little bit of planning and using your lunch break you won’t need to factor it into your foot-long to-do list. Pack a bag of workout clothes, towels and a water bottle that you don’t need on a daily basis and leave it under your desk so you’re always prepared when the inspiration strikes.
5. You'll save money and SmartPoints®
“It’s easy to spend $10 on lunch if you buy it every day. And that adds up to $50 a week or $2600 a year,” says accredited practising dietitian Kate Di Prima. Plus, think about all the time you spend getting to the food court, waiting in line to be served, and then getting back to work. All valuable time you could be using to work out instead. “If you’re well prepared, you’ll save lots of time and money – a lunch from home often only costs you about $3 in ingredients,” adds Di Prima. If you bring your own, it’s probably likely to be healthier than bought food too, so think about all the savings you’ll make towards your SmartPoints Budget as well!