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Work fitness into your lunch break

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employees exercisingThink you don’t have time to work out over lunch? Think again, says Amir Khan, health and wellness reporter for U.S. News & World Report, who insists it’s not only doable, but the ideal time to exercise.

“You’re way too tired to hit the gym before work, and after a long day, the last thing you want to do is hop on a treadmill. If you get a lunch break, you can get the body you want,” Khan says.

Here are his tips for getting a great workout over lunch.

•  Watch the clock. Design a workout that will work around your allotted lunch break and still allow you to eat.

Gold’s Gym personal trainer Adam Friedman says even five minutes of exercise can be effective if you take full advantage of it. The American Heart Association recommends people get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week so a 30-minute run every day at lunch would be ideal.

•  Use resources that are close at hand. If you work near a gym, use it, says Friedman. If not, find a way to work out that doesn’t require machines.

•  Do some interval training. This type of workout is great when you’re short on time, says Janice Kuklick, chairwoman of the Department of Physical Education at Chestnut Hill College.

Switching between various high-intensity exercises for short bursts of time burns calories and gets your heart pumping.

For example, you can take five cardio exercises—such as jumping jacks, high knee jogs, burpees, skaters and mountain climbers—and five strengthening exercises, like push-ups, superman, plank knee twists, X squats and lunges, and alternate them.

•  Bring your lunch. If you’re working out over your break, eat at your desk when you get back from your workout. Khan recommends a protein-packed meal after a workout to keep you fueled and focused on the rest of your workday.

— Adapted from “How to Work Out on Your Lunch Break,” Amir Khan, U.S. News & World Report.

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