How to get the most out of a walk at lunch
Whether you are at work or at home, instead of going to the dining room or moving to the home kitchen, take a walk during your lunch. In just 30 minutes of walking, you can cover 2-4 kilometers, burn up to 200 calories, depending on how fast you are walking and in what shape you are. You can cheer yourself up for the rest of the day, and you’ll still have time to eat.
Healthcare institutions recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week. For example, fast walking. If you take a walk during your lunch break, you will achieve this minimum requirement, helping to combat the health risks associated with inactivity and obesity. You should aim for at least 10 minutes of walking at a brisk pace per day.
A study conducted in 2015 found many mental health benefits from 25-minute walks at lunch. Employees’ enthusiasm increases, they feel more relaxed and less nervous after a walk at lunchtime. They also improved their fitness and other health indicators.
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- Develop a route for your walks
- Don’t forget to take food with you
- Invite friends and colleagues
- An approximate workout for walking during lunch
- Add traffic intensity intervals
Develop a route for your walks
You can use a treadmill, walk indoors (at the workplace, gym or mall) or walk outdoors. Choose a route with fewer street crossings and stops for traffic. If you know how far you can walk in 30 minutes, you can plan a circular route. If not, you can mark a shorter route that you can repeat several times.
You can walk in any shoes that you wear at work or at school. Depending on the weather, it may be more convenient for you to change into shorts and a T-shirt, or you may need a jacket and a hat.
Don’t forget to take food with you
Most people prefer to exercise first and then eat. If you are very hungry for lunch, satisfy your hunger by drinking a glass of water or having a snack, for example, a hard-boiled egg or some fruit. A healthy lunch after a walk will nourish the muscles so that they can recover and get stronger.
Invite friends and colleagues
Individual walking is good, but you can be more productive and mandatory for training if you have friends, acquaintances and colleagues who are ready to take a walk at lunchtime. You won’t find as many excuses to skip a walk if your friend is ready for work.
An approximate workout for walking during lunch
Start with a warm-up: light walking for 1-3 minutes. Use this time to stretch, especially if you’ve been sitting or standing on your feet all morning.
Tune in for a positive walk. Recharge your energy while walking, relaxing your shoulders and straightening up, pull your stomach in, and tilt your pelvis slightly forward. Make sure that your chin and eyes are facing forward.
You can do a short stretch after a few minutes of walking. But you can also have a stretching session after a walk or as an independent physical activity at another time.
Then walk at a fast pace for 10-25 minutes, leaving time for relaxation and movement for 1-3 minutes at an easy pace before or after the walk.
Aim for a heart rate of 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Use the heart rate chart to determine the optimal numbers of your condition and measure your pulse after 10 minutes of walking to compare them. If you have an activity monitor with a heart rate detection function in front of your eyes, it can output these numbers automatically.
If you find that your heart rate does not increase in a moderate intensity zone, you will need to speed up the pace. A free tip to go faster is to add active movement with your hands.
But in the end, you can spend the entire 30 minutes walking at an easy pace, the main thing is to concentrate on good posture and proper breathing.
Add traffic intensity intervals
Adding intervals of high-speed walking or climbing stairs can speed up the burning of calories when walking. This is easiest to do on a treadmill, track, or route that you have previously mapped out. After warming up at an easy pace, walk as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Then slow down and move for two minutes. Repeat this sequence 3-4 times, leaving time for rest on the go. If you prefer to use stairs, use stairs that you can walk in 30 seconds (about 2-3 flights).
Change your route from day to day to prevent the feeling of boredom and routine, challenge your body in various ways. Alternate days of rest and active walking, if it’s more convenient for you. If you always use a treadmill, mix using it with walking down the hallway of your workplace or walking outside.