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Break the habit

Don’t while away time in the office cafeteria during lunch break; use it to give your health a boost.

lifestyle Updated: Jul 31, 2013 04:22 IST
Kavita Devgan
Kavita Devgan
Hindustan Times

Come to think of it, our daily lunch hours add up to five hours per week. That’s nearly 22 hours in a regular month. So instead of wasting this time, use it to get fit, recharge your emotional batteries and give your brain some down time to rejuvenate. Here are some great ideas for your lunch hour — Monday through Friday.

Leg work
Go for a power walk. Even 20 minutes sneaked out of your lunch hour are enough. The benefits of walking are endless: it helps relieve stress; keeps blood pressure under control; burns off the extra kilos; tones the body; lowers the risk of umpteen lifestyle disorders such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes; and increases bone density. If it’s pouring outside, get on an exercise ball to banish your belly fat. Do two sets of 10 to 12 crunches during the lunch hour. How to arrange for a stability ball in office? Simple, get a few colleagues to pool in and store one in an empty conference room.

Hit snooze
Who wouldn’t want to catch up on sleep at work? However, we are not asking you to put your head down on the desk and snore away. What we are suggesting is that you learn to arrange yourself on the office chair (to nap comfortably) so that no one notices something amiss, or sneak away to an empty boardroom. Even a small catnap (10-15 minutes) will refresh your mind and put a whole new perspective on the afternoon by recharging you.

Treat yourself
Get a massage and shampoo, or a mani-pedi at your local salon. But make sure you go somewhere close by, to avoid wasting precious time travelling. You can have a sandwich while the pampering is on. Short lunch breaks are also a great time to catch up on small beauty fixes — get a trim, pluck your eyebrows.

Look inwards
Take a break from your co-workers and spend some alone time. Being by yourself will lower your stress and anxiety levels, and also help you sort out specific issues that may be bothering you. Or go visit an art gallery to look at some good art, wander through a local park, or just sit alone in the conference room or an empty cabin and let your mind wander. Listen to some soothing music; keeping a good playlist handy on your phone. You could also catch up on your reading.

Eat out
Pack a picnic lunch and invite some friends to do the same. Store it in the fridge at work. Then, during the lunch hour, take your dabba to a nearby park, terrace or community garden (many office spaces have these on their premises) and after eating, enjoy a casual stroll in the fresh air. You will feel rejuvenated.

First Published: Jul 30, 2013 18:23 IST