20-minute workout plans


HOW often do you think about exercising during the week but never do it?
It may be the case that you have an early start, late finish, or just no motivation to mix work with fitness.

But there’s a simple solution to stop yourself from falling into a lazy routine.

Instead of trying to squeeze in a session before or after work, why not fit some exercise into your lunch-break?

Experts agree that time is the biggest barrier for exercise participation during the week.

While some people may have the drive or discipline to exercise before or after work, a lunch workout can maximise your time, without sacrificing sleep.

A 20-minute time slot is all you need to have an efficient workout, says Lisa Brown, director of Innervate Health & Fitness in Sydney.

The personal trainer, who specialises in corporate fitness programs, said breaking your day up with exercise was a good way to maximise time while increasing productivity and clarity for the rest of the afternoon.

“People can have a finer, efficient workout in a short-time span,” Ms Brown said.

“Three 20-minute sessions a week is optimum for anti-ageing. You can literally use the time to do interval training sessions to take your heart rate up and down. By doing this, you are getting a good metabolic response and will be burning fat when you return to your desk after the workout.”

Depending on your body type and what kind of goal you want to achieve, the intensity level of a workout will vary for each person.

Trent Carruthers, director of Activ8 Health & Fitness, at Dolans Bay, said interval training in a short time trumped a continuous workout.

“People sometimes use the excuse that half-an-hour is not enough time to do anything,” Carruthers said.

“But you burn more calories in a short and sharp session and it is great for weight loss and conditioning.”

Some ideas for a lunch-time workout.

– Touch base outside

There’s no better way to exercise than by using the natural resources available. Throw on your sneakers and exercise gear and devise your own track to run or walk around near your workplace. A 20-minute period gives you time to head outdoors and get your blood pumping, Alternate between a walk, jog or sprint and take advantage of hills and staircases to raise your heart rate.

– Do-it-yourself

Try a bit of resistance training and create your own indoor circuit.

Carruthers said using office equipment and your body was a great way to do it. Try doing 20 squats, lunges, push-ups, tricep dips and sit-ups, then repeat this combination three times.

If you feel like stretching or meditating, find a spare room and put on a yoga or pilates DVD to do things at your own pace.

– Team activity

Round up your colleagues and start a team sport. If there is a reserve nearby, play a game of touch-football or have a fun game of soccer. A team activity is a fun idea for colleagues to motivate each other in a competitive environment.

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.