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Between work, kids, hobbies, and commuting finding time for exercise is often difficult. Carving out the 150 minutes a week that we all need to maintain good physical health can be a scheduling nightmare. Fortunately, research suggests that several short workouts can have the same benefits as one longer session. Take advantage of your lunch break to fit in 10-20 minutes of exercise. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and enjoy the break from your computer.

Midday Workout Benefits 

Taking a midday exercise break isn’t just good for your body. Working out can help keep your brain active, energized, and sharp. Taking even 15 minutes to exercise in the middle of the day can help you focus and ease any stress from the morning. Similarly, your energy levels will be higher, and that dreaded 3:00 pm slump will be a distant memory. Keep in mind, however, that starting an intense workout immediately after eating can be difficult. Give yourself a few minutes to warm up after your meal, and don’t reach for your highest heart rate zone during this workout. On the other hand, moderate meal exercise can aid digestion and help regulate blood sugar levels.

Yoga for Office Workers

If you’re stuck in an office (or at your dining room table) for hours every day, use your midday exercise break for yoga. Choose a routine that can counteract all the sitting you’ve done that morning. Stretching your upper back and hip flexors are two of the most critical areas. Yoga is also an excellent midday workout since it invigorates your body without over-tiring your muscles. Keep a yoga mat in your office or head outside and complete your routine on the grass. No time to change out of your work clothes? No problem. Here are a few yoga poses you can do in slacks. This guide shares moves that target common problem areas for more complete office yoga routines.

Park Circuits

Going outside during your lunch break is a sound idea if you manage it. The fresh air and sunshine will boost your mood and give you some much-needed vitamin D. Combine time outside with a quick workout to make the most of this break. Head to a nearby park and use the equipment for a short-circuit workout. Park benches are the perfect spot for pushups or triceps dips. Running up steps provides bursts of cardio. You can even create an “obstacle course” for yourself by jumping over playground equipment or jumping rope on the basketball court. Check out this guide for more park-inspired moves.

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Brisk Walks

Walking is one of the best exercises. It doesn’t require special equipment and is available anytime, anywhere. A midday walk will help stretch your tight hip flexors and loosen muscles that have spent most of the day sitting. Even a moderate pace will increase your heart rate to make a difference.

Boxing

Try boxing if you need a workout that’s easy to do in your office. Keep a portable boxing bag or mat tucked away to use over lunch. Because boxing doesn’t require extreme full-body movement, you can work out in those dress shoes if you forget the sneakers. Boxing is a supreme combination of cardio and strength training. A short 15-minute session will increase your heart rate and engage your core muscles. Plus, it’s a great way to take out any work-related stress!

Cardio Intervals

Many enjoy long runs or cycling sessions for weekend exercise. Unfortunately, a short lunch break doesn’t leave enough time for these activities. If you like intense cardio but need a brief routine, try interval training focusing solely on the cardio components. Rotate through 5-10 cardio-heavy moves like jumping jacks, burpees, squat jumps, and jumping rope. Do each for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this pattern until you’ve completed 10-15 minutes. You’ll get your heart rate up quickly without investing much time.

Whether you take a break to do strength training or get outside for a walk, a midday exercise routine can do wonders for your overall wellness.