Most of us spend our lunch hours at the desk, catching up on work or scrolling through Facebook, occasionally wondering when the day will be done. How about sparing 30 minutes from that to get a workout instead? People who’ve caught on to the idea of working out during lunch find it an excellent way to shake off that afternoon gloom, save more time and even up their productivity levels. Whether you choose to hit the nearby gym, do sprints in the park, or simply power walk around your office compound, this 30-45 minute break can work wonders for the rest of your day. Still doubtful? Here are 5 reasons why you should totally it a shot.

It clears your schedule
Many of us are in jobs where even if we want to leave by 6 and hit the gym, there are days when it’s just not an option. And thanks to long commutes, getting your exercise in the morning often means waking up at pre-dawn hours. Working out at lunch means that you have your pre- and post-office hours to yourselves. This is especially helpful for those who end up working late, or simply wish to spend more time at home after work. Imagine! You can finally stop dreading that 4’o clock morning alarm.

You get a more focused workout
Knowing you only have 45-60 minutes to spare overall will ensure that you don’t waste too much time between workouts—especially if you have a calorie-burning target for the day. If there’s a queue at the treadmill, go for the elliptical. If the leg press machine is occupied, do some free-hand lower body workouts instead. Not only does this force you to improvise and work on your time management skills, it also results in a more concentrated workout that keeps your metabolism pumping through the day.

You can even pick a corner of a park for a quick bodyweight exercise routine
You can even pick a corner of a park for a quick bodyweight exercise routine(Image: Jgcastor – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

And an instant boost in mood and productivity
Who among us is not familiar with the afternoon slump? Post-lunch is usually the slowest time of day in any office, but getting in a quick workout can change that to a great extent. Research has shown that exercise directly affects your mood and confidence levels: it reduces stress, anxiety and makes you more active and upbeat to take on the rest of the day. A 30-minute workout break also provides time to switch off and recharge before you come back to work. In other words, you’ll probably be the most active member in the room during the next afternoon meeting.

There are fewer people distracting you
Unless everyone around you has caught on to working out at lunch, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the gym is relatively empty or that you’re not dodging morning walkers in the park. This is ideal for the more self-conscious ones among us who shy away from experimenting with their workouts during busy hours; they can use this to their advantage by trying out new routines and machines. Having that extra space to move around also means that you can complete your routines faster.

It regulates your diet
Firstly, if you’re going to be doing a power workout in the middle of the day, it goes without saying that you need to be fuelling right both before and after. Besides, having gone through all that effort of exercising, showering, eating and still being back at your desk at time, you’ll be less likely to give in to tea-time junk food cravings. Finally, it gives you a sure-fire excuse to avoid the temptation of expensive and over-indulgent lunch outings!

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