women

Working through your lunch hour or idling it away? The SHAPE team tackles some popular workouts and shows how to make it count. No sweat!

Activity: Gym

KJ BURNT 1,240

Description: J:\Online\2012\07\26-27.07\HTML\Women_Health_Gone_In_60_Minutes_(Part_1)_files\image002.jpg

Tracy Melass - Editor

"At least three times a week, I leave my desk at 12.40pm to go to the Virgin Active Cape Town for a lunchtime workout; it's a six-minute walk, door to door, plus three minutes to change. I plug in my earphones, tune into Sky News and run for 10-15 minutes. Then I stretch for a few minutes and it's straight onto the stationary bike for a 20-minute ride.

"I try and do a bit of interval training and alternate between faster and slower speeds to keep my muscles guessing. Then I scoot over to the weight-circuit area, and for 10 minutes do a selection of five or six arm and leg exercises. I do two reps of 20 each, and ensure I switch between legs and arms.

"I finish off by stretching for a minute and finally it's a dash to the shower for a quick spritzer and change. Then it's back to the office, where my lunch awaits (I eat it at my desk). I usually prepare it the night before: something like salad or vegetables with a piece of fish or chicken. Then I get stuck into work, refreshed and energised.

"Time check? I'm about 10 minutes over my 60-minute allotment. The downside is that my workout is rushed (definitely no time for Watercooler chitchat!). Also, I run over my lunchtime allocation; of course I make up the time spent out of the office...

"But the upsides are worth it: I'm alert for the afternoon, it breaks my day into two parts, so I can focus my thoughts and energy better, and it suits my body clock.'

The expert says...

Simone Tomaz, a biokineticist at the Sports Science Institute of SA, says: “According to the American College of Sports Medicine, women looking to improve their health should exercise 3-5 times weekly, with each session 30-60 minutes. A lunch-hour gym workout offers a variety of training options. It also allows you to incorporate exercise without having to disrupt a busy schedule.”

Top tips

1.    Due to the limited time, stick to either cardiovascular or strength training per session. Ideally, alternate between high-intensity cardio days, and strength training.

2.    Save time by doing combination exer­cises. You could add bicep curls to your lunges or a shoulder press with a squat. 3. Incorporate intervals into your cardio training to increase fitness levels and burn more kJ. Try this on cardio machines, like the rowing machine, treadmill and stepper.

Activity: Office Workout

KJ BURNT 840

Description: Description: Tanya Pangalele – Marketing Project Manager

Tanya Pangalele – Marketing Project Manager

"D-day had finally arrived: I'd sent a meeting request to myself and booked a boardroom to ensure I wouldn't cop out, and to avoid disturbing colleagues in our open-plan office. Leaving my desk, I slipped on a pair of trainers and, in my work clothes, started a slow jog up and down the fire escape stairs for 10 minutes. Then I hit the boardroom to do Triceps Dips, lunges, squats and side Ab exercises, which took another 15 minutes. I did a quick cool down and then walked back to my desk.

"With 30 minutes to spare, I bought some food from the lunch trolley and carried on with unopened emails.

"It was difficult to incorporate an at-office workout into my schedule as my days are unpredictable. On days where I'd planned to exercise, work just happened and I couldn't get into the routine. But being inactive, I feel sluggish and tired. When I finally committed to finishing an at-office workout, I felt fantastic and energised for the rest of the day.

"The trick is to ensure that you have a power lunch and enough healthy snacks to nibble on throughout the day. That way you avoid crashing. I don't think I'd do this again because it needs time and dedication and a more predictable day. This workout would suit someone who's more desk-bound."

The expert says...

Lisa Raleigh, lifestyle and wellness expert, says: "Exercise leaves you feeling invigorated, refreshed and more productive when you return to work. Incorporating an at-office workout is a great time-saver.

"Most office jobs will allocate an hour lunch break, giving you an opportunity to train. You'll be spared the inconvenience of travelling to and from the gym, so will be able to make the most of the hour, while cutting down on membership fees."

Top tips

1.    Always have your gym kit on hand. That way nothing's holding you back from training when the opportunity arises.

2.    The average person needs an hour of exercise 3-4 times a week, so let your office workouts supply the balance if your fitness regime is lacking.

3.    Up the ante with a few more pieces of equipment for strength training and variation. A resistance band will let you increase the resistance on certain exercises.
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