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You might be thinking more about food than exercise come noontime but working out before lunch may be just the fuel your body needs. You’ll have more energy, be more alert and solve problems more easily afterwards. Even a short workout—so you have time to freshen up and grab some lunch before returning to work—reduces stress and boosts your mood. You may even be motivated to make healthier food choices. Here’s how to build up to a power lunch workout in 10 days.

Day 1

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 3 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 10 minutes
  • Cool down by walking at an easy pace for 2 minutes
  • Stretch

Time: 20 minutes

Day 2

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 5 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 5 minutes
  • Do Strength Workout A one time
  • Stretch

Time: 20 minutes

Day 3

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 3 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 15 minutes
  • Cool down by walking at an easy pace for 2 minutes
  • Stretch

Time: 25 minutes

Day 4

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 5 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 5 minutes
  • Do Strength Workout B one time
  • Stretch

Time: 20 minutes

Day 5

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 3 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 10 minutes
  • Climb stairs, walk uphill, or step up and down off a curb or step for 1 minute
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 10 minutes
  • Cool down by walking at an easy pace for 2 minutes
  • Stretch

Time: 30 minutes

Day 1

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 5 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 5 minutes
  • Do Strength Workouts A and B one time each
  • Stretch

Time: 25 minutes

Day 2

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 3 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 5
  • Climb stairs, walk uphill, or step up and down off a curb or step for 1 minute
  • Repeat 5 minutes of walking or jogging followed by 1 minute of stairs or hills 3 more times
  • Cool down by walking at an easy pace for 2 minutes
  • Stretch

Time: 35 minutes

Day 3

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 5 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 5 minutes
  • Do Strength Workouts A two times and B one time
  • Stretch

Time: 30 minutes

Day 4

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 3 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 4 minutes
  • Climb stairs, walk uphill, or step up and down off a curb or step for 1 minute
  • Repeat 4 minutes of walking or jogging followed by 1 minute of stairs or hills 5 more times
  • Cool down by walking at an easy pace for 2 minutes
  • Stretch

Time: 40 minutes

Day 5

  • Warm up by walking at an easy pace for 5 minutes
  • Walk or jog at a moderate intensity (you should still be able to talk) for 5 minutes
  • Do Strength Workouts A and B two times each
  • Stretch

Time: 30 minutes

Hold each for 15-30 seconds and do 2-4 reps so each stretch is held for a total of 60 seconds. Hold onto something sturdy for balance if needed.

QUAD STRETCH

Bend your left knee and bring your heel toward your left buttock. Grasp your left foot with your left hand. Hold, feeling a stretch in the front of your thigh. Repeat on the other side.

CALF STRETCH STAND

With your left foot 12 to 24 inches behind you and your right knee bent, press your left heel into the ground as you lean forward from the ankle. Hold, feeling a stretch in your left calf. Repeat on the other side.

HAMSTRING STRETCH

Extend your right leg in front of you and place your heel on the curb or stairs. Lean forward from your hips until you feel a stretch in the back of your right thigh. Hold. Repeat on the other side.

CHEST STRETCH

Clasp your hands together behind you. Gently raise your hands as high as is comfortable, pulling your shoulders back and opening up your chest. Hold.

HIP STRETCH

Place your left leg across your right thigh. Bend your right knee and sit back until you feel a stretch in your left hip. Hold. Repeat on the other side.

Do each exercise for 45-50 seconds and then move onto the next one.

ROWS

Loop an exercise band/tube around a bench or pole at waist height. Grasp each end with your arms extended in front of you, palms facing each other. Bend your elbows and pull the band toward your rib cage, keeping your elbows close to your body and pointing behind you. Pause. Slowly extend your arms. Switch sides and repeat.

LUNGE WITH ROTATION

Loop an exercise band/tube around a bench or pole at waist height. Hold both ends with your hands clasped together, arms extended in front of you. Step your left leg behind you and bend both knees, lowering until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Your front knee should be directly over your ankle. Rotate your torso to the right. Pause. Rotate back to center. Press into your left foot and stand back up.
After 25 seconds switch legs.

LAT PULLDOWN

Hold a band overhead with your arms extended and your hands wide apart. Bend your elbows and pull your hands down, stretching the band, to about shoulder level. Pause. Slowly raise your arms back overhead.

HIP EXTENSION

Stand tall with your feet together and lightly hold on to something sturdy for balance. Tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your left leg directly behind you, squeezing your glutes. Pause. Slowly lower. After 25 seconds switch legs.

Do each exercise for 45-50 seconds and then move onto the next one.

PUSH-UP

Place your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart on the ground, a step, or a bench. (The closer your hands are to the ground, the harder it will be.) Walk your feet back so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Bend your elbows out to the sides and lower. Pause. Press back up.

SQUAT AND REACH

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your hips and knees and sit back. Pause. Stand up raising up onto your toes and the balls of your feet. Pause. Lower your heels to the ground.

SIDE PLANK

Place your right hand on the ground, a step or a bench. (The closer your hands are to the ground, the harder it will be.) Extend your legs and balance on the side of your right foot, stacking your left foot on top. Reach your left arm up to the sky. Hold for 25 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT

Stand tall with your feet together. Slowly raise your right leg behind you as your upper body hinges forward at the hips, lowering your
hands toward the ground. Hold. Press into
your supporting leg to stand back up. After
25 seconds switch legs.

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