From 5k races to guided walks, there’s a lot more you can do in your lunch break than eat supermarket sushi infront of your computer.
We all know the value of a lunchtime gym session or ‘RUNch’ around the park for clearing the cobwebs and keeping us sane before an afternoon spent at the desk. But recent research suggests only 30% of UK employees take a lunch break, with more than a third of workers regularly feeling pressured to work straight through.
Insanity, how do they not kill each other in afternoon meetings? In a post for Flexioffices, who are running a #LiveYourLunchBreak campaign, we came up with a few ideas to help London workers sweat out the morning’s frustrations. Some of them were pretty cool so we thought we’d share.
Dance away your stress, punch those deadlines or get all zen with a bit of yoga. Until 31 March – yep, hurry! – cool East London fitness studio Frame Shoreditch is offering a month of ‘all you can eat’ lunchtime classes for just £50. Go as often, or as little, as you want and choose from 30-minute ‘quickie’ classes such as Cardio Bounding and kettlebells or, for those with an understanding boss, stretch out for an hour with sessions including Vinyasa flow yoga and Reformer Pilates.
A lunchtime run is one of the easiest ways to work up a sweat at lunchtime – always better if you work near a park though as tourist dodging can be a bit tiresome. If you fancy challenging yourself why not join Serpentine Running Club’s ‘Brooks Last Friday of the Month 5k’? Held at 12.30 in Hyde Park on, you guessed it, the last Friday of each month, there are two races, one for those hoping to finish under 22minutes and one for the more normal amongst us. Entries cost £4 (£2 for members of athletic clubs). For more information visit www.serpentine.org.uk
Japanese scientist Professor Izumi Tabata invented this form of high-intensity interval training as a means of increasing aerobic and anerobic fitness in the most effective way. With only four minutes of hard work (eight intense intervals lasting 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest between) a brief warm up and cool down, he also invented the perfect lunch break class. Twenty-minute classes leave you plenty of time for a shower (believe us you’ll need one!) and are ideal for the time poor. Fitness First clubs run regular tabata™ classes.
A recent study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that getting out for a walk (and we mean further than M&S for a sarnie) in a green space can put your mind in a ‘medative’ state*. Not too sure we fancy going back to the office as a zombie but it is a good way to relieve stress. If you’d like to learn something at the same time, you could always join a walking tour. InMidtown offers free walks, the majority lasting 45 minutes, from outside Holborn station. Topics include ‘Horrible Holborn’ where you learn about executions in the area, The Great Plague, Suffragette City and much more.
There are loads of fitness apps out there where you can download quick workout plans that can be easily done in your lunch break. The question, is where to do them? Don’t really fancy doing it in an empty meeting room, not a member of a gym? There are loads of outdoor gyms in London parks that are great for working out – everyone’s doing it so you won’t feel like a tool amongst the picnicking tourists – and they’ve got some pretty good equipment in there too. From monkey bars and pull up stations to balancing beams and hurdles, grab some colleagues and make them come with you. There’s a free-to-use running track at Regent’s Park too. See, no excuses!