Did you know that your lunch break is also a perfect time for you to squeeze in a quick workout? Many are unaware of the benefits of a quick workout in the long run. Research done by David W. Hill, PhD, at the University of North Texas shows that the lunch hours might just be the best time for working out. The body strength peaks midday, hence making it the best time to put in a strength, speed, or power-based sweat workout.
Exercising during your lunch hour can be a great way to give yourself a mental break and raise your productivity and energy for the rest of the day. Unlike sleeping or resting, exercising is something many are still struggling to find time to do therefore consistency on a smaller scale can benefit you for years to come.
You've probably heard that sitting all day is linked to undesirable health conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. There are tons of research done to prove the benefits of midday exercises. The benefits include better job performance, improved stamina, more enthusiasm, and increased creativity.
A study in UK found that more than 200 employees who had access to and used a company gym were more productive during the day, and went home feeling more satisfied on the days they exercised during work hours compared to the days they did not exercise as all.
In 2013, another study from International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed that regardless of age, people experience “immediate benefits” for cognition following “a single bout of moderate exercise”, such as 15 minutes of moderately intense cycling on a stationary bike. These findings suggest that working out during the day could be even better than bookending gym time before or after the office.
Alternatively, you can also choose to walk – take the stairs instead of the lift. You don’t need a gym. Movement opportunities are everywhere.
For starters, we can do some stretching or warm-up movements first. This is because, office work culture will normally have you sit or be in a stationary position.
To do it, it is very simple; be in a standing position, lift your right leg and start moving in a circular motion about 10 times. Repeat with your left leg.
Stand apart and swing your hands to the sky, then touch the floor (in reference to body weight deadlift) (10 times).
Lastly, proceed to do shoulder drops (10 times)
The benefits of these movements help flexibility and mobility of your body. These will ensure that the rate of cramps and future injuries are reduced. This will also help loosen up the upper body stiffness experienced by those who are in front of the laptop the whole day.
After that, let us continue with the wall-sit movement, as it will be helpful to strengthen your legs and tighten up your core.
How to do it? Simple, find a wall, lean towards it and maintain your legs in a 90-degree position. Just ensure that your hips are aligned with your knees and your back is flat against the wall.
Next is a full plank shoulder tap. This movement is highly beneficial as you can experience a better, long term posture alignment. Just be in the position for 30 seconds and by doing so, it will benefit you in terms of core and arm strength, as well as your upper body.
You are already in the last five minutes of your quick lunch break workout and you are doing great so far! To wrap it up, let us do the Russian twist movement for 30 seconds, to help with your oblique and balancing movement repetition. This is to aid better full body movement in the future.
To end your workout, proceed to do a child pose to regulate back your blood circulation for 30 seconds. This will help your shoulder muscles relax before going back to work again. Repeat all the movements for about 4 rounds.
Additionally, bringing packed lunches from home can also be a good idea as this enables you to eat healthier but also gives you more time to concentrate on your workout.
There you have it, folks! So, what are you waiting for? Time to take that quick break and hit that pump!
Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed. Always engage your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips and knees bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure front knee is directly above your ankle, keep the weight in your heels as you push back to starting position.
Position your elbow directly beneath your shoulders. Maintain a straight body line from head to heels and make sure to squeeze your glutes and the front of your thighs. Brace your abs and hold your position for as long as you can. For a more simplified version, drop your knees down to the floor.
After a good workout session, doing post workout is equally important as the main workout. Always remember to do cool down exercises and stretches to relieve tension from your muscles and prevent feeling lightheaded and dizzy especially if you’re fasting. Personally, yoga movements are my go-to cool down exercises.
Don’t forget to take a shower! Our temperature rises when we work out and a cool shower lowers our body temperature, increases the healing process and decreases muscle inflammation after a workout. Reducing inflammation lowers your chances of soreness the next day!
In a nutshell, it’s all up to you to decide what’s best for you. Working out during Ramadan has its own set of benefits and though it may seem daunting, I strongly recommend everyone to give a try. Try not to quite your exercise routine during Ramadan.
It works for me because I am more energised, I can sleep better and feel happier (and less hangry).
I hope that with these tips and advice, you will be able to continue leading a healthier and better life. Salam Ramadan!
Ain Ramli is a fitness advocate-instructor. Thanks to the years in the fitness industry - from rowing sports to individual training, she is passionate in educating people how to live a fitter and healthier life, using her own quirky ways, on her Instagram @ainramli.
The above articles are intended for informational purposes only. AIA accepts no responsibility for loss, which may arise from reliance on information contained in the articles.