The 20 Best Lunch Break Exercises to Get You through the Holidays

Use the little time you have to yourself to stay in shape

The American Heart Association says people should exercise for 150 minutes per week. Divide that in five and you end up needing to workout just 30 minutes a day. Naturally, this makes your lunch break the perfect time to “get this over with” and enjoy the rest of your day after you leave the office.

You may easily adjust to living hectic lives and meeting one after the other and constantly being on call, but your body is more stubborn and won’t take the abandonment lightly. It will punish you by gaining weight, ruining your posture and ruining your muscles.[slideshow:81730]  

Remaining in your seat all day shuts off enzymes in your muscles that are responsible for fat burning, according to a study done by the University of Missouri at Columbia. So get up and get moving!

“Realistically, short lunch break workouts are a great way to keep your body active,” Doug Sklar, founder of PhilanthroFIT Training and certified personal trainer, says, and to substitute your regular routine when you don’t have a lot of time. They are also very helpful in boosting your metabolism in the middle of the day.

The most important factor is consistency, Sklar says. If you don’t have time to hit the gym, break of the monotony of whatever it is that you’re doing by keeping your body moving. One way to force yourself to do that is by keeping your water bottle full at only 25 percent. “That way you’ll drink it up quickly and will have to get up out of your seat more often and keep moving.”

There are plenty of other – maybe a little more sophisticated – ways to keep moving while at work. If you can get passed the you’ll have to workout in front of your co-workers, there basically no stopping you, Sklar adds. “Throughout the day get up every 10-15 minutes and do squats.” Or you can simply do several desk pushups and tap your shoulders with the opposite hand if you want to increase the level of difficulty. Use your chair as support and do several triceps dips – three rounds of 10, for example. Whatever you do, “tailor it to your fitness level,” Sklar says.

We’ve compiled a list of very effective exercises that can help you stay active and fit while indulging in everything awesome that the holiday season has to offer. Some of the workouts you can do at the office or at the gym. Up to you.

1. Use a resistance band

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This is one of the most inexpensive ways to build muscle (important for your metabolism). A resistance band, a.k.a. a tube, helps reduce the risk of injury and increases strength while also improving your range of motion. Triple win!

2. Isometric training

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If you get tired of the same old strength exercises, try this (and you’re not even going to break a sweat). Hold a single position for 30 seconds. This is a great way to “educate” your body how to stay and the right position when you’re exercising.

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More readings:

Easy (Gym-Free) Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

5 Mental Tricks to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays

Healthy Tools to Help Keep Your Fitness Goals on Track this Holiday Season