Lunch-Time Workouts

There's good news for people who find that long work hours, lengthy commutes and a busy social life leaves no time to exercise: working out for just 15 minutes a day can keep you fit and healthy. A recent study has found that by completing just one hour of exercise per week you can improve mental health and boost life expectancy by three years.

At WorkScore we love a lunch break as they allow you to refresh your brain, rest your eyes and replenish your energy supplies. And research shows that getting the blood pumping and breathing deeply during a lunchtime workout or relaxation exercise will increase your concentration for the rest of the day and enhance your overall wellbeing.

Bring your gym gear, a towel and some water for these easy 15 to 30-minute lunch break workouts:

Walking: A great start for those new to exercise. To progress, extend your walk, make it into a jog and eventually time yourself running. Aim to beat your time and extend your round trip each time. Record your results on a fitness tracking app or in your diary to help you see how much you are increasing your fitness.

Ask a colleague to join you and challenge one another to keep going. You will feel better physically but also mentally as you see one another progress. Walking has many benefits as does exercising outside, it is suggested that it can positively influence mental and physical health, so gather some friends and get out and about.

The stairs: By taking the stairs up and down for 10 laps you will have increased your heart rate and  worked muscles in your glutes and legs. A study has concluded that by using the stairs throughout your day you can decrease your risk of cardiovascular related diseases. Challenge yourself by running up and walking down for the last few laps.

Circuit: Circuit training has been shown to reduce body fat and lower cholesterol levels. Adding this into your day along with some walking can produce great results.

This simple body-weight circuit can be completed in less than 15 minutes with 1-minute rests between rounds.  Complete 45 seconds of each exercise, 10 second rest in between each exercise. 

Round 1:

  • Squats: With the feet hip width apart, toes pointing slightly out, sit back like you are going to sit on a chair, once your glutes have lowered to hip height raise through the hips and repeat.

  • Lunges: Standing hip width apart, step one leg back as you bend into the front leg, ensuring your knee doesn’t go over your toe, whilst bending the back leg into a 90-degree angle towards to floor, without touching the floor reset and complete the opposite side.

  • Hip raises: Lying with your back on the floor ensure your feet are hip width apart, planted on the ground, with a flat back, graze the backs of your ankles with your finger hips and raise the hips up towards the sky. Squeeze the glutes and hold for 3 seconds before slowly returning to the starting position and repeat.

  • High knees: Standing up raise one knee at a time up to the chest and repeat with the other side, aim to do this quite fast but can be slowed if jumping causes too much impact on the joints.

  • On the spot run: Standing run on the spot at a pace you can maintain for the full 45 seconds, get the arms going with the legs.

Round 2:

  • Air punches: Standing with wide feet, bring you fists to your face with the thumbs on the outside, with power shoot out the fists in a crossing motion with short, sharp jabs. Keep going for the 45 second interval.

  • Push ups: Either on your knees or full, take your position of choice, ensure your wrists are out from the shoulders as you lower the chest to the floor with the elbows out, push the body up and repeat. Ensure your abs are always engaged.

  • Plank: Either on your forearms or in the full plank position on your hands, tuck the hips up and hold for the time duration.

  • Using 2 books or 2 full drink bottles - Shoulder press: Standing, bring the items beside your ears with the elbows out, press both arms up to the sky until they touch at the top, slowly lower on the way down to the starting position and repeat.

  • Crunches: Lying on your back place the feet down hip width apart and bring your hands under the neck with the elbows out. Keeping the elbows out at all time raise the chest and ribs off the floor and look between your legs as you crunch. Slowly lower and repeat.

Round 3:

  • Sit to stand: This can be done with a chair or to increase the difficulty, go from the floor to standing. Simply take a seat and raise back up again without the aid of your hands. Engage your abs.

  • Calf raises: Standing at your desk or outside, lift your heels off the floor as you raise your body weight into the toes and slowly back down again, engaging the calf muscles at the back of the legs and squeezing on the way up.

  • Torso twists: Standing or seated bend the arms to that the fists are in front of the face, twist from side to side engaging the obliques (side abs) the entire time. Repeat as many times as you can in the time frame set.

  • Wall sit: Using a wall or pole, lower the body into a squat position with the back and the head placed onto the wall or pole. Hold for duration of time set.