It’s no secret that exercise is one of the best natural mood-boosters, with the release of happy endorphins producing what many of us fondly know as the ‘runner’s high’. But have you ever considered how inducing these feel-good hormones in the middle of your working day could improve your productivity for the afternoon?
Stepping outside for your break can transform your day, both physically and mentally.
Without even moving your body, a few short minutes in the sun is the best way to trigger the body’s production of Vitamin D, which is crucial for protecting your body against inflammation, lowering high blood pressure, helping muscle recovery and improving brain function. Pair this with either a power-walk, jog, some yoga or a HIIT sesh and you have a recipe for success!
Taking a lunchtime exercise break is a great way to increase your energy and promote creativity through a boost of blood flow to your brain, while avoiding the afternoon sugar cravings, and squashing stress by clearing cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’) from your system. It is also the perfect way to put a spring in your step when it comes to Race Day prep!
But, we know between hurdles of work, kids, or study, sometimes taking a break outdoors can feel almost impossible. So, whether you’re lacking the motivation, or can never seem to make the time, here are six tips on how to get your midday move on:
Set a goal
There’s no better motivator than a setting a goal you can smash out of the park. Whether it be a weekly or even daily ‘midday movement’ goal, focusing on what you want to achieve will increase your motivation and accountability, ultimately encouraging you to stay on track with your movement goals ahead of The Sunday Mail Bridge to Brisbane.
This could be as simple as:
- Walk 3km every lunchtime for one week
- Go for a 15-minute jog a minimum of three lunchtimes a week
- Complete a 20-minute HIIT workout every second day
- Spend 30 minutes leisurely walking outside in your lunchbreak
Make your break a priority
Whether you’re the type to schedule everything in your calendar or simply make a mental note, planning what time you will take a break is essential for ensuring you make it happen! Giving your lunch break the same level of importance as an appointment or meeting is guaranteed to ensure you don’t lose track of time, procrastinate, or back out of your break completely.
Committing to some form of outdoors activity on your lunch break will keep you accountable, while boosting your afternoon productivity when you get back.
Keep it simple
Your midday movement does not need to involve a complex regime or a gym full of exercise equipment to be effective or enjoyable. Remember, you’re more likely to commit to your midday movement when it is easy to execute. There are plenty of full-body HIIT workouts or yoga flows you can complete, equipment-free. Check out mobile training apps like Sworkit and Fresh Body Fit Mind for some affordable workout inspiration that will ensure you never run out of ideas.
If your goal is to smash a HIIT workout in 15 minutes each day, or complete a 30-minute yoga flow, ensure you’ve taken the time to look up what sequence you’re going to complete ahead of time. This will ensure you know exactly what you need to do from the outset, rather than procrastinating on Google or YouTube trying to plan it out!
Likewise, if your lunch break will be at work, as opposed to home, packing your activewear the night before is a MUST, to ensure you don’t forget anything and have everything you need to move come midday!
Aim for quality over quantity
It is likely at some point that you’ll find yourself dwelling on how busy you are, convincing yourself of excuses like “I don’t have time today” or “I’m too tired”. But remember, when it comes to getting outside on your break, even a 15-minute power walk can be hugely beneficial for your mind and body, leaving you more equipped to conquer your afternoon with energy.
So, if you do find yourself struggling to make your goals happen, instead of canning your plans completely, try adapting them to your needs well before they are put in the ‘too hard’ basket.
Who said you need to conquer your midday movement solo!? Whether you round up some colleagues to join you or schedule a catch up with your mate over a power-walk, socialising on your midday movement will not only help keep you accountable, but it will also keep the activity fun! Plus, it’s a great way to increase accountability and ensure you make it happen.
Once you’ve mastered your midday movement, you might be looking for a bigger goal to conquer, like this year’s The Sunday Mail Bridge to Brisbane! Whether you run the whole way, or take walking breaks in between sprints, this Sunday 25 August is the chance to join the ultimate Race Day, all while touring some of Brisbane’s most iconic landmarks in a fun, active day out – you can register now by following this link.
If you have any other tips on how you conquer your midday movement, let us know in the comments below!