"You need to leave your desk for lunch."
"You should try going for a walk."
"You don't need a coffee if you just add in a quick mid-day workout."
All things I've heard over and over and over again from books, blogs, podcasts, people. No matter the source, the advice is almost always the same - you need to get up and move on your break. Especially if you work at a desk, in an office, like myself.
My responses have always been "I like my office, why do I need to go sit somewhere else to eat?", "It's Vermont, in the winter and it's freezing.", or "I walk to and from my car, I don't need to move during my break." But, now it's warming up, my schedule is filling up and I'm finding myself needing a way to decompress and clear my head mid-way through my work day.
So, I decided to take everyone's advice and start adding some movement into my lunch break. Now, let's not get crazy, I'm not going out and running a few miles when I need to come back to my office. But, I am trying to incorporate some more activity into my day. I'm not perfect at it, and there are definitely still days where I work through my lunch and hide in my office, but most of the time I've been getting up and moving for the past few weeks.
Here's a few ways I've started adding in movement to my lunch break on days I'm at the office and days I work from home!
Going for a Walk
This is my go to activity when I'm in the office, especially now that it's not freezing outside! I'm also so fortunate to work on a beautiful college campus in a beautiful Vermont town so taking the time to walk around and explore is always one of the best parts of my day.
Recently, I've been walking to grab a mid-day coffee or snack and then walking around campus before heading back to work. It's easy to incorporate and it's something that I can do for an hour or even just a few minutes depending on my schedule for the day.
Playing with my Dog
When I'm home one of my favorite ways to decompress and get some movement in during my lunch hour is to spend time with my dog. Now that the weather is getting nicer, Wrigley and I are both more than ready to get outside! It's been great being able to go for a walk, play fetch and just take a minute to relax during my day! Not to mention, it usually means Wrigley's sleeps the rest of the afternoon while I finish up work!
Getting in a Quick Workout
This may seem like the most obvious one, but it really has been a great option for me - especially on days where I've got a lot going on after work! If I can, I love getting in a quick, 30 minute workout before getting back to work. This gives me time to eat lunch but also keeps me active.
When I'm home, my go-to workout has been the spin bike. I'm not a huge spin gal, but I've really been enjoying being able to get a quick cardio workout in during my day!
Truthfully, I tend to only throw in a quick workout when I'm working from home, but I'm hoping to start adding in some mid-day Pure Barre classes on days I'm in the office too!
Adding movement into your lunch break can seem daunting. Here's some tricks that helped me make this goal more manageable and attainable!
I love heels. But I hate walking in them. That's why I always tend to bring 2 pairs of shoes to the office. I typically walk to the office in comfortable shoes, so it's easy for me to switch back into those for a walk around campus at lunch. It sounds obvious and simple but I find that having the option of comfortable shoes makes me less likely to make an excuse for why I don't leave my desk during the day!
Lately, during the winter months and mud season in Vermont I've been reaching for these boots!
Using My Calendar
We all know how much I love my calendar! Plus, I've always said, if it's in my calendar it has to get done. I typically plan out what I'm going to do on my lunch break in the morning and then update my calendar. This is certainly not necessary but it's one of those things that helps me keep everything organized. I also think it's a great way to invite coworkers and friends on a walk since I live for calendar invites.
Catching up with Someone
I'm a bug fan of multi-tasking when I can. Most of the time it's when I want to catch up with someone while getting something else done. That's why I love a mid-day walk! It's easy for me to invite someone to join, call someone, or even just send someone a quick text. Especially now that I live in a different state than most of my friends, it's nice to be able to find time in my day to connect with them.
Finding a Podcast
When I'm not catching up with people, I love catching up on the latest podcast. I listen to podcasts a lot when I'm driving or working out. But sometimes I also need some mid-day motivation or laughs so catching up on my favorite podcasts during a walk is always great! Some of my personal favorite lunch-time podcasts are The Skinny Confidential Him & Her, Pretty Basic and The Ed Mylett Show.
By the way, stay tuned for the re-launch of the Actually Tho Podcast coming soon!
Are there any tips and tricks you have for staying active throughout your work day? Share them in the comments below!