Exercise doesn’t need to be hard. Here are six quick and easy exercises that you can do during your lunch break, to get your heartbeat up, muscles moving, and promote circulation and brain function. It’s all about making exercise work for you!
Squats are great for toning your bum and thighs. Stand up straight, with your feet apart — at least as wide apart as your shoulders.
What to do: Slowly bend your knees to bring your bottom down as far as you can get it, and come back up to the top. Repeat at least 20 times to get your heart moving and your muscles working. If you want to up the intensity, squat with weights —bottles filled with water are an office-friendly alternative to dumbbells.
Lunges work the bottom half of your body. They also stretch your muscles out, improving flexibility, and help you improve balance (and good for your brain!).
What to do: From an upright position, take one step forward so that one foot is in front of the other. Dip down so that your back knee almost touches the ground, and repeat — for beginners, start with 10-15 reps. Once you’re done, put the other foot forward and do the same amount of reps in this position.
Going outside and getting fresh air can really boost your mood during the working day. Head to your nearest green space and get all the mental health benefits as well as exercise benefits. Walking actually burns more calories per mile than any other exercise. Your lunch break is an obvious one. But if you usually have a mid-morning or afternoon cup of tea or coffee, swap it for a brisk 10-minute walk around the block.
What to do: Put one foot in front of the other — come on, you know what to do. If you can’t walk outside, walk up and down the stairs to really get your heart rate going.
- Tricep Dips
Combat bingo wings with a few reps of tricep dips — you can do these at your desk, or even at your chair (as long as it doesn’t have wheels). Tricep dips also work your pectoral muscles, which can lead to a perkier bust.
What to do: ‘Sit’ in front of your chair (or table, desk, etc.), with your hands behind you on the edge of the chair seat. Slowly lower yourself down, before raising yourself back up using your triceps. Repeat 15-20 times.
Skipping might bring back images of your playground days, but it can be a very effective, high-intensity workout — it’s also quick and actually quite fun.
What to do: Take a skipping rope, swing it around, jump over the top. Try and keep it up for minute-long blocks.
- Wall Sits
Deceptively easy, wall sits work your whole lower body in a low-energy way — there’s no risk of ripping your work clothes. It’s similar in concept to the plank, in that it’s a pose that you just have to hold. The longer you can hold it, the harder it gets.
What to do: Stand next to a wall so that you’re in a ‘sitting’ position — your feet should be firm on the ground and as wide apart as your shoulders, your back should be against the wall, and your thighs parallel to the ground. Hold the pose as long as you can. For best results, repeat throughout the day. (This is one to do every time you go to the toilet, grab some water or even head to the printer – you’ll be doing this all the time!)
For more hints and tips on how to add more exercise into your life and learn how to make food work for you, sign up for our exclusive online fitness programme now.