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Gymming On The Job

Friday, May 13, 2016

Having a mid-day crisis? Feeling exhausted at your desk, even though all you do is type? Purva Indulkar tells you why mid-day workouts are good for you (and your job!)

You’ve probably heard that the headquarters of Pepsi and HBO have their own fitness centres. Google too offers its employees a wide variety of exercise classes through the day. More companies are realising that working out in between your work day not only improves productivity, but also helps build better company culture. And, since body temperature tends to rise between 2 and 4 pm in the afternoon, working out at this time gives us greater benefits. Research that was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine claims that incorporating just two and a half hours of exercise into the week during work hours led to fewer absences and increased professional output. Another study, conducted by the Leeds Metropolitan University, found improvements in attitude and job satisfaction when employees were able to take a break to exercise during work hours. But, while bringing pull-up bars and yoga balls to the office sounds far-fetched in India, we still think you should consider setting aside an hour every day for exercise, provided it doesn’t conflict with your deadlines, daily schedule or meetings.

Working out at work
So, you’ve decided to take some time out for a mid-day jog? Here are a few ways to ensure that you stay committed to the plan.

  • Join a gym Several gyms have mid-day classes (they usually last for around an hour) that cater specifically to the needs of working professionals. Sign up at a gym close to your office, or if many of your colleagues are interested, you can simply invite an instructor to your workplace.
     
  • Jog or bike Maybe you already cycle to work (if you do, good going!) but if you don’t, you should definitely consider jogging or biking during your lunch break. You can eat lunch at your desk and use the half hour or so you have left to sprint or take a bicycle ride, and then jog or peddle at a slower pace. Dedicate some time of your break to a cool down period and stretch before you head back to work.
     
  • Cubicle CrossFit CrossFit is an amazing workout that can be performed in under 20 minutes. It involves working out at a high intensity in order to burn more calories, shed weight faster and increase your strength. If you’re new to CrossFit training, we suggest joining a beginners’ class to learn the basics first. Then you can practice your routine at home, in a park or even at your office.
     
  • Head outdoors Head to the terrace of your office or step out to a nearby park or beach to work out as you enjoy some fresh air and a little sunshine. Even basic exercises such as jumping jacks, planks, push-ups, burpees, squats, lunges and mountain climbers will get your heart rate up. This workout can be performed in a 20 to 30-minute time period and will also help you get a change of atmosphere from the usual air-conditioned room and computer screen.

TIPS & TRICKS

  • Wear breatheable fabric Fabric such as cotton will wick away sweat and keep you cool and dry. Wear cotton to stay fresh after a workout.
     
  • Use fabric hair ties Regular, cheap plastic hair ties won’t be able to hold your bun or ponytail in place as you work out. Fabric ties don’t form kinks and creases and you won’t be left with sweaty, smelly hair after your routine.
     
  • Cool down quickly Are you sweating profusely after a workout? Is your heart rate too high? Simply run your wrists under cold water. This will lower your body temperature and curb sweating.
     
  • Dry shampoo You don’t want to spend the entire day at work with greasy hair, do you? Spray some dry shampoo on your roots and then comb your fingers through your locks to brush out the excess.
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