Squeeze in a Workday Workout with One of These Lunchtime Classes

Ditch the break room and break a sweat instead with these five highly efficient lunchtime exercises.


Illustration by Jeannie Phan

If you have five minutes…
Shake It Out

Sometimes the best thing to do when you’ve been sitting at your desk for too long is simply get up and move. Doing so, says mindfulness and fitness coach Sarah Gaines, will go a long way toward helping you clear and re-center your mind. Begin by standing behind your desk and taking three deep breaths. “Turn your awareness inward with a full-body scan,” she suggests, and then “start to move.” Maybe you’ll roll your shoulders, or drop it low in a squat, or just get your coworkers to crack a smile with some silly dance moves—one way or another, a few minutes spent reconnecting with your body is never time wasted.

If you have 15 minutes…
Blast Your Core

Featuring mobile yoga, strength training, and indoor cycling instruction from a handful of Boston fitness pros you might recognize, the locally developed ASICS Studio workout app lets users take a class virtually anywhere, from their office to the green space next door. If you’re particularly strapped for time, try the “Stop, Drop & Crunch” workout: All you need is a yoga mat and headphones to tackle six ab-blasting core exercises.

$15 per month; studio.asics.com.

If you have 30 minutes…
Enlist in Boot Camp

The best way to make the most of a short lunch break? A crash course in high-intensity interval training (a.k.a. HIIT), which uses quick bursts of exercise and short rest times to accomplish a lot in a little amount of time. Charlestown’s Fit Body Boot Camp offers 11:30 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. classes that incorporate pushups, jump squats, and more at five different stations that keep you breathing heavy and working hard.

$18 drop-in; 24 Cambridge St., Boston, 617-337-3738, fbbcboston.com.

If you have 45 minutes…
Try a Bar Express Class

Starting promptly at noon at the Bar Method’s Financial District and Back Bay locations, this quickie class packs all the pulsing and toning you love about barre into just 45 minutes. The workout begins with a warmup, upper-body work, and pushups in the middle of the room, followed by traditional ballet leg sequencing on the bar (hello, arabesque lunges) and floor exercises that focus on the core.

$28 drop-in; 234 Clarendon St., Boston, 617-236-4455; and other locations; barmethod.com.

If you have one hour…
Say “Om” to Lunchtime Yoga

Increased productivity and self-awareness are just two of the rewards you’ll reap from a Vinyasa Flow class at Mission Hill Yoga. Held in a slightly heated room (80 to 85 degrees) to help you detox during a long week, the noon session includes a sequence of strength and flexibility moves: Expect ample downward dogs to stretch out tight hammies and Warrior III poses to build balance.

$23 drop-in; 1467 Tremont St., Mission Hill, missionhillyoga.com.



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