Could your workday benefit from a workout? Before the pandemic, the idea of exercising midday could be a tough sell. After all, it’s challenging to cram in cardio when you’re tight on time, don’t want to pack a change of clothes, or get squeamish at the thought of stepping into your gym’s shower stall.
But now, with so many of us working from home, there is an opportunity to get fit midday because it can all be done under one roof.
We’ve all experienced that dreadful midday fatigue when concentration tanks and your productivity is put on pause. But taking a 20-minute lunch break to exercise can help you reset and recharge. And the physical and mental benefits are immediate.
An afternoon sweat session is like brain food. As you begin to move, your sore, stiff muscles are roused from slumber by a fresh flow of oxygenated blood, while mood-boosting endorphins are released to squash stress. There is also a sense of accomplishment that you completed your workout rather than leaving it possibly to be neglected at the end of the day. Afternoon aerobics can also improve your chances of maintaining or even losing weight if they take the place of an unhealthy afternoon snack.
Here’s a fun workday workout to motivate your mind and muscles: Grab your yoga mat and a free weight (or any lightweight object such as a book or jug of water) and, for an added bonus, head outside. Fresh air is key in waking up the senses. Even if it’s chilly, try to get outdoors. A friend once told me, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.”
Bird dog squeeze
Single leg glute bridge
Reverse lunge crunch
Jog in place
Before getting back into work mode, take a moment to breathe. Close your eyes, picture something soothing, and let the tension leave your body. You’re now ready to finish your day strong.